Boxbird interviews Peskimo….
I spotted Peskimo's work on a blog quite some time ago while on maternity leave and filed in in my brain under 'must get in touch with them'... then promptly forgot the entire contents of said file as it was replaced with feeding times and nappy changes! So I was delighted when Jodie & David, the Peskimo team, got in touch with me.
Their work is full of brilliant colours and characters and hand screen-printed by the duo. It's rare to find a pair that work so well together creatively so we quizzed them to see how it all came about......
BB: When did you first start working as a duet? And were you working commercially as individuals before teaming up?
We met while at Uni in Leeds, but didn’t start working together until after we graduated, although we had planned to. The first work we did under the Peskimo name were t-shirt designs and this lead fairly organically to other little projects until Peskimo fully took shape and became a viable job.
BB: You also work as commercial artists can you tell us a little bit about some of the clients and projects you have worked on, and about the up’s and downs of working commercially.
We feel very lucky to have worked on a wide variety of different jobs with a great range of clients. We’ve illustrated naked bankers for Barclays ads and have recently worked on lots of editorial jobs for magazines such as Wired, Monocle and Which?. As for the ups and downs, it is nice to be given a brief to work to and a deadline to do it by, and with commisioned work, we find ourselves drawing things that we never would outside of that job. However, its always true that the grass is always greener, and when theres a lot of commercial work on, we tend to pine for some time to create new things, so it’s important to balance the two!
BB: We love the characters you produced with Kid Robot, but the question is which is your favorite!
Jodie: Miss Mishka is my favourite because she’s sort of like a variety of cute animals rolled into one.
David: Hobson is a special one, if only for his little tambourine accessory and trumpet nose!
BB: Are there any commercial clients, companies or individuals out there that you would like to work with either for a campaign or in a collaborative way?
We cant think of any specific clients, but we’d love to see our work animated, so maybe a music video, something upbeat though, our creations like to dance!
BB: Can you tell us a little about your degree experience and any advice you would give to students of a similar discipline heading into the big wide world?
David: My degree was in Multimedia technology, so creativity wasn’t really rewarded. That said, I learnt a lot that has helped in unexpected ways, so I would advise taking any opportunity to learn even a little about new things, even if they don’t seem to be relevant, chances are, that knowledge will be applicable somewhere down the line when you least expect it.
Jodie: I did a graphic arts and design degree which was all about being creative but I think I did tend to worry a lot about what I was producing. I would advise people to make the most of uni, learn as many skills and do as much as you can and don’t worry about it. To churn things out and try new things. You hardly get the chance to just do what ever you want once you graduate.
BB: Are there any illustrators, artists, designers out there that are inspiring you at the moment?
Most of our inspiration comes from places we’ve been or objects we’ve stumbled across. We have just come home from a holiday to Japan where we were bombarded with inspiration. We kept spotting little ‘uncle tory’, a character created for the Suntory brewery by Ryohei Yanagihara, so we’ve been looking into his work quite a bit. We were also blown away by the goodies on show at a Toy collectors dream mega store, Mandarake which takes over the 4 floor Nakano Broadway shopping centre. On the top floor they have a shop full of vintage toys and old Japanese advertising boards, we took some sneaky photos, it was amazing!
BB: Which website’s do you visit regularly?
David: although I don’t get to play computer games very much, I like the culture around it, and kotaku.com does a great job of dishing out the bizarre and weird stories, Its sister site io9 does the same for sci-fi and fantasy, Im a bit of a geek at heart!
Jodie: I’m following some good boards on Pinterest, lots of vintage design, pattern and architecture based images. I’d much rather look at nice pictures than read an opinion on something.
BB: Tell us about your workspace
We work and print from home. Although at the moment, our print area is moving around as we perform diy on the old print room, so it’s currently wherever we can find an empty table top. The studio is the brightest room in the house and although we are very close to the centre of Bristol, we can see the green green grass of somerset from the window, many a time we’ve found ourselves startled by a pretty amazing sunset! Typically, the studio is a creative mess, bits and bobs everywhere, it will get cleaned and tidied once in a blue moon and then quickly get back to the normal calamity.
BB: Do you have any interesting projects coming up?
We are going to take some time in the new year to concentrate on new work, in new mediums. We have no plans, so we are excited to see where it leads!
BB: If we could have asked you any question in the interview what would it have been & what would your answer have been?
Hmm, maybe ‘What new skill would you like to aquire?’
David: Carpentry and wood turning, in fact I would like to be a master of all woodbased skills. Im envious of the finesse and beauty of the wooden crafts. Im alright knocking two pieces together to make a shelf, but to do it will confidence and skill would be pretty good!
Jodie: I’d like to learn to play a musical instrument, probably the piano.
BB. What are your plans for Christmas?
We would normally travel and eat quite a lot in the space of 2 or 3 days, so the plan this year it to take it a little easier, slow down the pace a bit and savour the moment, but still probably eat too much.