Simon works from his home in Seaton, Devon. He was always keen to become an artist since he was a toddler.
The family business was F. Speed and Sons which specialised in building and decorating. The company was set up in Midsomer Norton for the benefit of Arthur Speed (Simon’s Grandfather) who returned from the trenches of the First World War. Arthur was a talented artist who painted many of the Pub Signs in the area.
The sign writers’ workshop was Simon’s favourite port of call; where he would sit and watch them mix their paints and breathe in the smells of linseed oil and turpentine. Various apprentices all passed through those workshops. Even though signs were not necessarily art, eventually they all became artists.
When Simon originally left School he was due to take up a place at Taunton Art College to do a Foundation year, prior to a Teaching Degree in Art. He was lucky enough to be a good footballer and in The England Youth Football trials at the time. It was a choice between foundation year art or football, so he chose football. He played Professional Football until he was 18. In his free time away from training, he took a sign writing course at Bath Technical College.
His parents were keen he completed his education. A year later he took up a place at College on Wimbledon Common for a London University degree. He studied there for his Art teaching Bachelor of Education. He played part time football to subsidise his college education.