Signcrowd - A Directory Connecting You To Sign Makers Across North America

Signcrowd - A Directory Connecting You To Sign Makers Across North America

  • Featured Sign Maker
  • Jul 16, 2021

Meet Sarah Elise of Filthy Freehand

Sarah’s love for lettering, typography, and design stems from the degree in Architecture she earned at UW-Milwaukee in 2007. In 2014 she discovered her passion for sign painting and dove in head first, gaining as much knowledge and experience as she possibly could. Traditional sign painting education in America has become nearly nonexistent following the vinyl boom of the 80’s and 90’s, so Sarah had to teach herself the hard way – through experimentation and lots of practice. She also attends as many workshops, meet-ups, and exhibitions as she can, learning from and being inspired by her peers and mentors.

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Her sign painting career took off in Milwaukee. Sarah slowly built up her business known as Filthy Freehand.  Over the years she has been hired by many of the city’s most beloved businesses. Some notable locations she’s painted at include Dan Dan in the Third Ward; Fuel Cafe and Anodyne Coffee in Walker’s Point; Company Brewing in Riverwest; and Burnhearts, Goodkind, and Vanguard in Bay View. One of her most recognized pieces is a mural on the side of Fink’s in the Brady Street neighborhood that cheerily says “Hello Milwaukee” in bright yellow letters. 

While Sarah loves all kinds of signs and murals, she has a particular fondness for working with gold leaf. She appreciates the deep rooted history of gold signs and believes the warmth and brilliance of genuine gold simply can’t be replicated by any other means. Some examples of Sarah’s gold work can be seen at local businesses like Fauntleroy in the Third Ward, Orange and Blue Co. in Brewer’s Hill, and Odd Duck in Bay View. 

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