How did you get into decorating?
I got into decorating straight after school, literally the day after finishing my exams. A family friend asked if I would help on some exterior painting work and I accepted. Being in a trade had never been something I’d considered and not encouraged either. I was raised in a cult so the idea of a secular career wasn’t high on the agenda. I took on the work as part rebellion part curiosity. Rebellion as I didn’t want to become a full time preacher and curiosity as it was something I’d not considered doing. I thoroughly enjoyed my time. Working outside, in the sun, and the client had 2 daughters how were just what a 17 year old Jonathan was happy to look at while prepping windows. That was about 20 years ago. I’ve had a varied career since then from apprentice to teaching the trade.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
My favourite part of the job is the ability to take a design in someone else’s head and make it a reality.
What’s your least favourite part of the job?
My least favourite part of the job is washing rollers and brushes out. There’s never a good time or a good place to wash an 18” roller.
Tell us a story about your teaching career…
A heart warming story happened when teaching. One of my students was practicing cutting lining paper around an external corner. On his 3rd attempt he managed to get a good clean cut. He asked if he had done a good job with me replying that it was perfect. His smile was good enough for me. In some cases the students I taught had no positive adult role models or praise from adults. I was a nice feeling to dismantle the negative beliefs of these young men and women. Hopefully teaching some life skills in the process.
What would you do if you weren’t a decorator?
After having a spell of teaching whetted my appetite for doing that I’d like to teach the trade again if I wasn’t on my tools.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self?
Well apart from washing my hair with that German shampoo in my 20’s my other piece of advice would be to have confidence in your worth. Carry on learning and don’t wait so long to take up spraying.
Thanks again to JG for answering my questions. Another great insight shared.
I am looking to talk to as many decorators as possible over the coming months so we can share knowledge and hopefully raise the profile of the industry as a whole.
If you would like to feature in ‘An interview with a decorator’ please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org , DM me on social media or via the contact page on my website.