Kenneth Shoesmith was formerly a seaman working with Royal Mail and Southern Railways. He won a prize for the best Royal Mail publicity in 1912 which encouraged him to become a professional commercial artist.
Shoesmith collaborated with the biggest shipping providers, such as Royal Mail Company, Cunard, and Blue Funnel. His art was an attractive fusion of a seaman's knowledge and artistic perception. In one newspaper interview, Shoesmith admitted: ‘In fact, it was my craze for drawing ships that made me adopt the sea as a profession..’
In the 1930s it was no longer popular to create shipping posters depicting ocean liners out at sea. Potential tourists were more attracted by the sight of exotic destinations. New trends had influenced the style of Kenneth Shoesmith, who depicted ships in the most exotic surroundings, emphasising colour and escape.