Q&A with Peter Horjus

Peter’s design work is built on the idea of simple order. His inspiration varies from fashion found at art gallery openings to art found at old hardware stores. He loves to pick up colors, textures, shapes and patterns from simple junk-shopping excursions or a casual day of people watching. Peter loves anything beautifully distressed and aged by time, and we love anything he creates..

What has been your most rewarding project thus far?

I had the great opportunity to illustrate the cover and inside cover for a Saks Fifth Avenue catalog. I feel that was some of my best illustration work; which also led to painting large commissioned oil paintings for some interesting patrons.

What are the most important influences that have moved you as an artist?

My dad. Growing up I would always see him painting and drawing, whether it was a small canvas or murals on the walls. I remember him painting a whole harbor scene on the length of our fence outside. He is a very solid man and artist.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?

I’d either be an architect or a FBI agent –– I’m a perfectionist and pay attention to the details in everything. I’m also very imaginative, inquisitive and love to learn. I taught design for a while, I miss it, it was very rewarding seeing the enthusiasm in the students. I suppose I hope to teach again.

When you get a new project or idea, what happens next? Walk me through the design process, from start to finish.

I usually go somewhere outside the studio –– a coffee house or the beach. I sketch and doodle a brain-dump of ideas, thoughts and possibilities I trend-spot. I have sketchbooks full of quirky to strong drawings. I’m now on my 22nd sketchbook, they are fun and very interesting to skim through. I try to keep my sketches loose and my concepts tight. From there ideas germinate and are refined into tighter drawings. Next, for most designs and illustrations, the art is scanned and manipulated and colored on my iMac.

What is the most challenging aspect of what you do?

The amount of work on the drawing table, sometimes there is too little and sometimes there is too much. Deadlines are tough and the endless opportunities sometimes overwhelm.

Which artists or designers, past or present, serve/have served as great inspiration to you and strongly influence your own work?

In the past I would say the painters Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Max Beckman, and the Illustrator Al Hirschfeld. Recently, I discovered Alice and Martin Provensen in an illustrated cookbook I found at a swap meet –– simply delightful, flat, decorative 50’s illustrations with exceptional concepts. I love these serendipitous findings. There are influences and inspirations all around us. You can find fashion at an art museum and art at a hardware store.

How do you decide which designs you are going to use, or create, for skins?

Whatever Skinit art directs me to undertake, or personally, with my own motivation, where I might see an area of opportunity.

It’s 2020, where are you and what are you doing?

Living in my self-designed and built home near the ocean or a river with a lovely wife-to-be and a labrador retriever-to-be working on a myriad of creative licensing projects.

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One Comment on “Q&A with Peter Horjus”

  1. March 12, 2014 at 8:36 am #

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