Meet the Signwriter & Signmaker, Ross Hastie.
Having first picked up a signwriting brush at just 12 years old, and actively practising ever since, Ross’s life has based itself around the love of this beautiful craft.
“In September 2014, a few years into practicing lettering and pinstriping, I was invited to participate in the International Letterheads convention in Rochester, Kent. With over 150 Signwriters from 10 different countries in attendance creating artwork and sharing knowledge, this was a pivotal moment for me. I formed true friendships with some of the finest Signwriters on the planet, most of which I am still in regular contact with and have worked with numerous times since.
In September 2015, I went to the UK Letterheads Meet in Lincoln, spending the weekend with 50 other signwriters and gaining invaluable knowledge of the trade.
October 2016 saw me quit my job and start signwriting full time. I made contact with 10 signwriters from around the UK I had met through the Letterheads, offering a week of work with each in exchange for food and lodging. I lived on the road from the end of October right up until Christmas, producing work all over the UK in places such as Central London, Hertford, Nottingham, Leicester, Manchester, Newcastle and North Wales to name a few, including working for the Brilliant Sign Co. and Perry Signs London. During my time on the road I also participated the UK Letterheads Meet hosted by Carters Steam Fair in Maidenhead in November. Upon my return, I bought my first work van.
In February 2017, I was contacted by Mike Meyer Sign Painter from Minnesota USA, and invited out to spend 3 months with him. I spent the first month working in his commercial sign shop in Southern Minnesota. I undertook a variety of work in my month there, ranging from a 40x12ft billboard to pinstriping a 1917 Ford Model T! The first week in March I took an Amtrak Train from Red Wing, Minnesota to Milwaukee to spend a week with Jeff at TheKingofPaint.com. We spent a few days working, and participated in both the Pinstripe Legends in Milwaukee and the Chicago Brushmasters charity art auctions on back to back weekends. The artwork I produced at these events went on to raise over $600 for US charities, with the piece I created in Chicago being sold at auction to Ray Drea, Director of Styling at the Harley-Davidson Headquarters! After the weekend in Chicago I returned to Mikes as he prepared to go on tour and teach signpainting across the USA. I spent the following 6 weeks on the road with Mike assisting with the classes. We visited a total of 26 states in the Midwest, South and East of the USA. We attended the US Letterheads Meet at Vital Signs on the Georgia/Florida state line and taught 4-day signwriting classes in Philadelphia, Providence Rhode Island and at Colossal Media in Brooklyn, NYC.
My return to the UK in April saw my work level and client base increase, and I have been producing work around the UK ever since. In June, I returned to London for 2 weeks to work again with Perry at Perry Signs London and attend his charity event the ‘Signwriters Catch-up’. In November, I returned to Maidenhead for another UK Letterheads Meet at Carters Steam Fair.
In February 2018, myself and 4 English signwriters flew out to Quebec City, Canada, to participate in the Canadian Letterheads Meet there hosted by French-Canadian Signwriter Pierre Tardif. In March/April we attended Tattoo Conventions in Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh to advertise our services and sell small signs to tattoo artists. In June 2018, I upgraded to a new larger work van, and flew to Chicago to paint murals in the town of Streator, Illinois with the Walldogs. Over the course of 5 days over 200 individual artists known collectively as the Walldogs worked together in 100degree heat to produce 15 stunning murals around the town. The mural I worked predominantly on was a tribute to Bob Tattersall, a champion racing driver of the 1960s born in Streator. We were joined every day by Bobs widow Dee Tattersall who, despite being in her 90s, turned up to show her support and bring us water and snacks. In September, I returned to the Perry Signs London Signwriters Catch-Up for the weekend to paint with other artists and raise money for charity. In October i signed the lease on our new workshop near Stirling.
We have busy 2019 planned with numerous tattoo conventions, trade shows and vintage vehicle exhibitions planned, and another trip to USA to participate in this year’s Walldogs event in New Hampshire”