Caitlin Lindstrom-Milne never imagined she would become a tattoo artist. Seven years ago, the Dawson College graduate didn’t feel like there were any careers where she could properly apply her artistic skills — until a tattoo artist approached her.
“It was kind of like a light bulb went off and I was like, ‘Oh, this is actually a really good opportunity for me to share my passion with art,’” said Lindstrom-Milne.
Now the 27-year-old originally from Saint-Lazare is sharing that passion using another medium. She was chosen from a field of applicants to design the Royal Canadian Mint’s Remembrance Day coin this year.
“I was honoured to be asked to do such a special coin as it is such an important day,” she told Global News. “I did have a grandpa who fought in the war, and I think he would be proud of me. I wish he could have seen how far I’ve come and that he could see the coin in person.”
The $20 silver coin is called A Wreath of Remembrance: Lest We Forget. The design, which includes a wreath of six different-sized, coloured poppies with a maple leaf in the middle, took Lindstrom-Milne one week to draw.
The artist said she used the golden ratio to focus on the poppies in its 100th year as the Flower of Remembrance.
“So that’s where I was inspired to kind of make the wreath of the poppies kind of go from a bit small to large and … make your eye follow the circular shape of a coin,” she said.
It’s not her first time designing a commemorative coin. The Royal Canadian Mint first asked her to apply in 2019. Since then she’s designed three coins: the Remembrance Day coin, a grizzly bear coin and a black-footed ferret for endangered animals.
She also has a fourth coin in the works that she’s “not allowed to talk about yet” but hints that it will be coming in 2022.
She said every single time she wins she gets “surprised.”
“There’s always that little piece of me that hopes that I win, but I kind of just, like, put it at the back of my head, ’cause I don’t want to get too confident with it.”
Lindstrom-Milne says she is continuing to find ways to grow as an artist and is honoured that coin collectors and clients continue to support her work.
“It’s cool that somebody has a piece of me with them as it relates to tattooing and coins.”
If you’re hoping to pick one up, it’s too late. All 7,500 coins have sold out.