How many people say they genuinely love their job and that even when they retire, they still want it to be a part of their everyday life? Former signwriter Alby Semmens is one of the rare few.
The 82 year old South Australian spent more than 30 years in the art department at
“I started out as a signwriter on the road, going around to different shops and painted just about anything you could imagine,” Alby said.
“Most of the time the designs were mine. They'd tell me where they wanted it and an idea of what they wanted, but the individual styles were left up to me,” he said.
From shop signs to urban murals
The assignment? A collaborative mural in Knox Lane, Melbourne. Artist Julian De Lio and his team at Apparition Media worked with Alby and other artists to bring the mural to life.
“It was great being part of the creation as an artist because not only is
“It was really interesting to work with Alby, and talk to someone who spent a lot of his time working for Coca Cola doing similar work to what we do. It's cool to spend time with someone from that traditional school who has gone through the different waves of signwriting,” he said.
Beyond work: a lifetime of collecting
Alby’s signwriting career was eventually overtaken by another
His collection is displayed at home, and what doesn’t fit in the house lives in two backyard sheds.
Having a collection of his own meant that when Alby retired in 1998, he didn’t have to say goodbye completely. Before he retired he became a member of the
“It was great to go down and see how things work and to be involved. I’ve had such a fantastic life with
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