Making eye-catching and impactful signs by hand is a lost art, often taken for granted, but hard to miss when done well. Such is the case with Chicago-based sign painter, Alicja Polachek. With over a decade of sign-making experience under her belt, Polachek mixes aesthetic and technique to create spectacular works of art with a purpose. Working with gold-leaf and unconventional materials like ash and flowers to make her signs, Polachek chucks the shortcuts and it shows.
Mentored by the highly-esteemed Los Angeles-based sign painter Ralph “Doc” Guthrie, it makes sense that someone with Polachek’s meticulous skill would excel at such a prestigious and rigorous program. Guthrie is a professor at the LA Trade Technical College, one of the few institutions in the world to still have a sign-painting program. It is highly-regarded and in demand by an increasing number of aspiring sign painters looking to make an impact.
An impact that Polachek is already making. Paired with a naturally creative spirit, inquisitive mind, and disdain for the conventional, her hand-made signs scream class and originality that doesn’t go unnoticed. Whether it’s a commissioned piece for a skate shop storefront or tattoo shop, or a commemorative piece for a couple looking to remember their wedding day, the pieces that Polachek creates goes beyond sign painting and crosses into the realm of flat-out art.