MEET THE ILLUSTRATOR – MARCH – PESKIMO
Peskimo is the creative brainchild of David and Jodie. Bought to life in 2004, their designs, prints and pins have gone from strength to strength. With March’s Papergang box featuring cat naps, foxes and groovy illustrated trees, we discuss how working as a duo has bought Peskimo great success.
Peskimo is now over 14 years old, congratulations! Back in 2004 did you think that it would be the creative success that it is today? Have you noticed your style develop over the years and is it still evolving?
We started working together as Peskimo for fun and as a creative release that we weren't getting from our day jobs. I don't think either of us really imagined that we would get to do half the fun things we have or that it would earn us a living. I think we dreamed that it would! Our style has naturally developed along with us over that time to incorporate our interests and passions, moving from toy design to screen printing and children's books. It is always evolving and we always love to develop new work and new styles.
You guys met whilst at both studying at university in Leeds! Was it each other’s creative flair that attracted you to one another and what idea sparked the notion of becoming a creative duo?
We met in halls in the first year but were on separate courses - I think it was our tastes in music that brought us together - our other friends didn't always want to go to the same gigs as us so we ended up spending a lot more time together! It was once we finished Uni that we thought it would be fun to combine our powers - David is more technical and I have some crazy ideas but didn't know how to build a website or animate for example!
You’ve had so many amazing projects over the years, from cute Star Wars characters to your wonderful screen prints. What would you say was the most exciting thing to date? (Other than your super Papergang box of course!)
It may be a cliché to pick one of the most recent projects, but last year we got to fulfil a lifelong dream of working on a Star Wars edition of our Block book childrens book series. Being tasked with illustrating all the key scenes and characters that have been imprinted on our minds since childhood was both exciting and daunting, but we can't wait to share it with everyone when it is released later this year. On another note, the block book series as a whole has been a real joy to work on as it is so nice to have a piece of work that all of our family can understand, enjoy and share.
What is the Peskimo design process? It would be super interesting for our readers to know how the both of you go about creating one piece! Is it case of combining ideas and one of you designs it, or a more complicated process?
With our own work we sit down together and thrash out the brief and try and come to a resolution of what we want to create. If we can - we go out for a walk and brainstorm ideas - for some reason a walk helps us think! Then we might both do some sketches - ending with David doing the bulk of the drawing, and then working up into roughs and then final artwork. Quite often David will ask me for input at various stages, as a fresh pair of eyes and to keep honing the design until we are both happy with it.
With so many bright and vibrant colours – how do you go about creating your colour palette? Adding to this, working with screen print and riso, do you find this adds more interest to the colour choosing process?
The two are intertwined as screen printing really helped us to learn and appreciate more about colour palettes and this noticeably impacted on our approach to all of our work, both printed and digital. With screen print inks we try to either use colours that we would like to see hung on our walls or colours that work well with our existing prints. We do check out current colour trends as hopefully that will appeal to people creating a colour scheme in their homes. RISO prints are only available in a limited palette of colours so we work with what we can!
Finally, the most important question of all; where did the title “Peskimo” come from?
When we were in Leeds, one snowy winter - while wearing our furry hooded parka coats - I managed to land a pretty big snowball down David's back and he called me a "pesky eskimo" - hey – ‘Peskimo! ' and it stuck!
Cheers David & Jodie!