The maker of this month is our North Docks resident Sign Maker Harry Mytton. He is a traditional bespoke sign writer based in Liverpool and Chester and has made signs for various businesses including Africa Oyé Festival and Independent Liverpool. His work is unique and his personality shines through, which has helped to keep the art of traditional writing alive today. We asked Harry a few questions to find out more about his work and what’s coming next…
What do you make?
Signs. Hand-painted ones. I paint pretty much anything – shops fascias, windows, interior walls, vehicles and what seems to be an increasing amount of toilets.
What sparked your passion for making?
The constant whiff of white spirits?!
In all seriousness, this all started out as a hobby alongside my full-time job and it wasn’t too long before I realised that this could become my career – doing something I love.
That realisation that I could be my own boss and spend the next 60 odd years (let’s be honest our generation are never retiring!) honing a traditional craft and skill really helps to focus the mind – that and having to pay your mortgage at the end of the month!
What has been one of your favourite projects you’ve ever worked on and why?
Probably my favourite job to date was being asked to restore a 60-year-old piece of scroll work in a Presbyterian Chapel. I’m not the religious type but to be asked to bring back to life something that means so much to so many people was a real honour. It’s not every day you are up the ladder behind an altar!
Tell us one new and interesting thing you’ve learned recently.
Did you know that deer can sense the world’s magnetism and when scared will only ever flee in a Northern or Southern direction? This is why when you see a pack/ flock/ gaggle of deer they never collide with each other when they run for safety.
What would your advice be for anyone who wants to work for themselves?
You’ve just got to back yourself, go out there and do your thing. Start off doing it on the side of full-time employment and grow it from there so you always have that safety net. It’s hard but if you really want to make it work it will. Also, make sure you charge good money for what you are doing – if you’ve got a skill, charge for it.
What are you working on next?
Good question – there’s normally always a shop front in the pipeline, so currently working on some designs for a complete rebrand at a restaurant in Liverpool which will hopefully be a project that rolls on through the summer.
I’ve also got a trip to London planned at the beginning of June to visit some other sign-writers down there which will be a chance to do a bit of ‘earning & learning’ (sorry its my new favourite phrase, you’ve got to do it in a mock cockney accent).
Where can people find your products and services?
My website is the obvious place … hairymitten.com.
Or the usual social media places, Twitter & Instagram – @hairymitten.
Failing that just flag me down in my van – giving out business cards at the lights is not uncommon!