Firstly, I want to express an immense sense of gratitude to all of you who have been taking the time to read my blog. I’m very humbled that my fan base is eager to know my background of where I come from and how I became a designer. You’re all very special in my life as you enrich my day with motivation to accomplish my goals as a designer and business owner. I believe for you all to understand why and how I do what I do, it is important to start from the beginning.
I was born in May 1989 in Rio De Janeiro Brazil which back then was a much safer place than it is today. My mother had countless different jobs in her time but the one thing that was present in her attitude, her sense of style and appreciation for the abstract and the outrageous - was her endless passion for art. She now is by trade, a jewellery designer but the art I’m referring to is more of an “all around” style. Some of you may know or even be this way but for those of you who don’t, let me be more specific. She was fascinated by the over the top fashion sense that many bizarre artists and musicians had at the time - always raving on about the gorgeous architecture of the genius Antoni Gaudí and the more bizarre, rockstar like sense of absurdity that was Salvador Dali’s insane body of work, vision and just unheard of sense of creativity.
She instilled something in me that can never be repaid or returned which was to always stay true to whatever madness is in your head - which usually is another term for art. I can’t thank her enough for it and I am who I am because of her endless collection of photography books, architecture, paintings, collections and fashion sense. She always made sure i never shied away from what was really happening in my head and not succumbing to what society expects you to be in every regard of life. Basically, if you’re a fan of my work, you now know who to thank.
We moved to New York City when I was very young, around three months old. We travelled a lot in that time between ages 0-8 back and forth from Brazil to NYC. Needless to say I had the best of both worlds and witnessed countless moments of swing and jazz that the Brazilian people had to offer with their architecture, attitude, art and sense of style. In New York, I had everything the west had to offer, spending countless hours roaming through chinatown, soho and midtown with my mother. Around age 8, we settled in NYC and stayed there for the next six years where I started skateboarding, hanging out with friends late at night and delving deep into drawing comic book art. There was a point where I was destined to go to high school in a school where the top students got a chance to work in the Marvel offices in NYC. This plan was halted do to my mother packing up our bags with me, her and my young brother to the city of my birth.
This was a turning point in my life as I was basically an east coast skateboarder now in a south american country which I had no real memory of, could barely speak the language and was utterly hopeless at writing it. I had a legit meltdown as my world had just crumbled but I quickly overcame this like anyone would, just sucked it up. I made new friends and learn’t how to surf. When I was 17, I was an exchange student coming to the Gold Coast of Australia and I basically never looked back. From age 17-24 I basically had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I played music and had odd jobs but never really fit into one particular industry.
It wasn’t until my partner Elysia took me to an info night at Designworks college and I had a brief presentation of what this weird term “Graphic Design” was. Let me start off by saying, I was a fucking awful designer when I started. I had no idea that people even gave two shits about type, let alone everything else that came along with it. I studied hard, annoyed a lot of people to learn because I knew that I was an artist deep down, I just needed to tap into how I could compliment that to design and possibly work as a professional. I graduated in 2013 and had odd jobs doing some design work but I decided to go travelling for a bit. I did this for the next 4 months going from Bali to NYC and back to the Goldy.
I got a job as a mature aged apprentice to acquire a Print Machinist title, which I earnt through lots of hard work and gained valuable knowledge of what happens before, during and after print. I’m truly grateful for this experience as it not only enforced my knowledge of the industry, it gave me the work ethic I still use to this day. I ultimately decided to leave the job which was offered to me as a full time printer, having a fat, steady paycheque to pursue better things (which I still had no idea what that was) and did what I always do when in doubt - GO FUCKING TRAVELLING. Elysia and I travelled through Thailand and Bali for the next 3 moths and while I was over there I made the insanely crazy and exciting decision to start my own business as a graphic designer.
A lot of people ask me why I started Judy Is Punk and why I didn’t just go with my own name. I knew I was different and I realised that there were already so many agencies that had creative this and graphic design that (which there is nothing wrong with by the way). From what I’ve seen in my life, growing up with so much art, insanely out there people in both NY and Rio, I knew I had to be my own thing and not follow any footsteps. I started Judy Is Punk because I wanted to bring that sense of culture and excitement to design that the Gold Coast is truly lacking. Have I done that? I have no idea but I’ve had an awesome fucking time just being my own man and not giving a shit about going through life abiding by societies shit rules and emulate industry standard bullshit design companies.
The reason I write these blogs is to hopefully reach any of you out there that have an idea that you’ve always thought could work and just fucking run with it! You can do it. If you have your own style that nobodies seen, please show the world, that's what makes you special and unique and for fuck sake's, that is art. Being yourself is self expression and is what being a designer and artist is all about. Being you is art and out of 6 billion people on earth, believe me - there are lots of people out there that will truly find you and your way of viewing the world fascinating.
Words: John Bresciani
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