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Peter Judson Interview

With a background in illustration and printmaking, Peter Judson is a designer based in London, England. His clean, graphic approach leads to illustrations and prints with a playful impact.

Who are you?

Peter Judson.

What do you do?

I think it’s too early to say! I come from a background in illustration and printmaking and they’re definitely still a big part of what I do personally and commercially.

These days I’m just looking for projects that are going to challenge me and allow me to broaden my practice. I don’t want to hit 65 and say, “Ah, I wish I had tried this, this and that.”

Where did you grow up?

Born and bred in London! And I’d have to say my main influence comes from the pace of the city. If I ever get more than two days off, I start losing my mind as though I’ve forgotten something important and end up full of weird guilt.

I’d say there are definite pros and cons to living like this. I do love a place where there is always something going on. It’s very easy to get that culture fix or pop down to the pub and forget about the stress with a few ice cold refreshing pints of golden heaven.

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When did you take your first big risk in life? 

I think with any decision, if you set yourself up for the worst, then it never really feels like a risk. I think when I went freelance full time I was a little worried that I’d have to go back on the dole, but I haven’t re-mortgaged a house or done meth. So looking back I think I’m pretty tame on the risk front.

Why have you persisted with the path you’re currently on?

When I left university almost two years ago, I think the biggest thing I’d learnt in reflection was how much I didn’t know! So I’ve tried to set up my practice in a way that I can make a living off it while allowing myself the time to take on projects where I may fail and hopefully keep learning.

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Who is someone you’d love to work with, but can’t?

Ettore Sottsass. I think it’s pretty evident that he and The Memphis Group have had a colossal impact on what I do. To work or talk with him about how he approaches design would have been a true inspiration. You can only learn so much from reading about someone.

What are you working on now?

I’ve just tied up a few editorial projects, and I’m taking a little time out of my studio. I’m going to spend the next two weeks doing some manual labour setting up an exhibition.

It’s super refreshing to use a drill instead of a tablet. I like to work out logistical problems. It’s nice to build something well instead of trying to communicate an article or respond to a brief. I’m really enjoying the change in practice!

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Where do you spend most of your free time?

Chairs. Mate’s chairs, pub chairs, and now and then a sofa. I’m a big fan of sitting down.

What do you think is your biggest success so far?

I don’t really look back at old work. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really excited about how my work has been received, but when I finish a project, I always end up focusing on what didn’t work and try and sort that out on the next project.

I think I’m searching for the one where I’m 100% sure that I’ve smashed it, but I have a feeling that won’t be for a very long time. If I can keep creating work, then that’s good enough for me.

Written by Jane Park