She gets another job as ticket-writer. It’s the job of writing out shop-window prices with brush and ink on cardboard. Lesley and a more experienced artist work together in a corner of the building, above the shopping hall. A frosted window, a dingy lane, a brick-wall view. … [RED, page 47]
“Ticket writing” was the task, quick and jaunty, of painting the prices in the shop windows of department stores. It was done with a wide sable brush and India ink and was bread-and-butter work for artists—quite well paid, though a woman was paid less than a man doing the same job.
The prices of these dresses are just below 30 and 40 shillings each. In 1936 the basic wage (for men) was 69 shillings per week. At the time Lesley was earning 40 shillings, but her rent was 35, leaving 5 shillings to live on.
Soon she’s given more difficult jobs to do. She draws long-legged, languid women in fox furs and gowns, in hats, in long gloves, in unobtainable but imaginable lingerie and jewellery. … She has “a gift” for manufacturing these serene, arch, lounging women made of ink and wash and show-card, whose taunting boredom could be had for just a few impossible guineas. [RED, page 47]
[Images are downloaded from Trove]