LIFE AFTER ADY: CATCHING UP WITH 2019 WINNER GATIS CELMINS
Now that the dust has settled on the 40th anniversary of our Apprentice Decorator of the Year competition, we caught up with Gatis Celmins, who was awarded the gold prize and named Apprentice Decorator of the Year, to find out more about how he’s been getting on since.
How does it feel to have been named Crown Paints Apprentice Decorator of the Year 2019?
It feels amazing – I still can’t believe I won! It has been such a life changing experience already and I’m so grateful.
Did you do anything to celebrate your win?
My family threw a ‘welcome home’ party which was a surprise. I also had a lovely dinner with my friends and family and a small party with them later.
What did you enjoy the most about taking part in the final?
It was a great experience and I really enjoyed it. It was a once in a lifetime experience so it’s difficult to choose just one thing which I enjoyed the most, but I’d say that the highlight other than winning has been making new friends with the same interests as me.
What was the biggest challenge for you during the final?
The biggest challenge for me was the lack of sleep and being away from home. Of course there was also the time pressure and the crowds of people watching as I worked, which was a completely new experience.
How do you think being named Apprentice Decorator of the Year will benefit you in the future?
Obviously it’s a great thing to have achieved but I’m still in the process of learning my trade to be the best I can be. Only time will tell exactly where this achievement will take me, and I’m excited to see what the future holds.
Have your colleagues said anything about your win?
Everyone has been really impressed and I’ve had a lot of congratulations and support. Some of my colleagues told me that they knew I could do it, which was a great feeling.
What advice would you give to someone considering taking part next year?
I would tell them to go and enjoy the experience. Keep practicing and you’ll reach your goals – practice makes perfect!