Judith Rudd

Judith Rudd

(She/Her) • Montreal, Canada

Biography Interview

Judith Rudd is a Montreal-based artist who uses digital illustration and motion graphics to create narratives about people and places that reference iconic moments in fashion, architecture, music, popular culture, and Black and Queer subcultures. Her work emphasizes composition, gradients of colour and the power of negative space to convey emotion and encode information. Distilling stories into elegant, minimalist explosions of colour, she’s constantly seeking opportunities to allow images to speak volumes.

Selected clients

The Los Angeles Times, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, MIT Management Sloan School, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Harvard Business Review, Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Fortune Magazine, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Berkeley Law Transcript Magazine

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Judith Rudd

Your pronouns

How do you define your identity? Do you identify with (or advocate for) any marginalized communities?
I would be described as a cis woman, I don’t like labels especially in question to ID, respectfully I don’t relate to the need to belong in the same way most people do, I belong to myself foremost, I am less social after years of being exactly contrary, I happily spend a lot of time alone. I don’t have any problem being a part of any marginalized communities, I have been a part or an ally of many over the years.
I have no trouble talking to pretty much anyone, and I am very curious about different cultures, I like a remotely social lifestyle. My dream is to travel and meet lots of people but not have to worry about the curation of friendships beyond an organic shelf life; I don’t think anyone would argue against the right to express oneself freely which means I advocate for creative freedom.

Where is home?
Where I live, which happens to be Montreal.

Describe your style of illustration in one sentence.
A series of a parametric curves filled with color, transparencies are also important, 2D flat applications with simple figurative representation.

What lights your soul on fire?

What themes do you enjoy exploring?
Popular culture, politics, style.

What techniques do you use?
I studied digital design, and my illustration teacher was hilarious, he was my first important mentor. He exposed me to the power of composite work and video editing, but I was so moved by understanding the simplicity of a Bezier curve, and the power of vector art, I was immediately hooked, I also value drawing roughs by hand, but recently I am studying computer programming languages in order to better define the movements in my art in animation.

How much of yourself and your own story can we see in your work?
At the beginning you could see “my story” more than recently. I will always have a need to draw, but I was involved in theatre and music for years, so I don’t limit myself to working with illustrations alone.
My job is to support a client’s vision therefore the work does not have to be about me at all.
You might only see “my story” in the style and composition of a work.

Is there an unmistakable thread in your creative work?
No, it progresses like everything else in life, and it changes with practice and time.

What do you want to be known for?
Being kind and less cold, I am shy, so I don’t need to be known for any reason.

Which projects excite you most?
I enjoy projects that require research and thoughtful colleagues or directors that enjoy their work, it is easy to experience the difference immediately; When someone is invested in a project or simply getting a task to completion, both scenarios are perfectly acceptable, I always want to drive the best work forward for the betterment of each project.

What is your dream gig?
Working with music and illustration or movement.

Where, when and how do you best create?
I don’t have a preference as sometimes a project will require several times zones. I can work both day and night it really depends on the criteria.

How has your style evolved since you started?
I don’t take work so seriously that I feel personally vulnerable, being good at taking direction is important to me, as we all can learn new things about our work becoming better than before, I treasure the opportunity to remain open minded and that makes my style more pronounced which translates better than a few years ago.

What do you find most challenging in your practice or in the illustration industry?
Breaking away from stereotypes is key to getting the best work out there.

How as being an illustrator changed your life?
It is more complicated but also more rewarding.

Name a tool you can’t live without!
Apple Pencil and music.

Tell us about a project you worked on that was meaningful to you as an artist.
I illustrated a book last summer for a wonderful Haitian Canadian writer, filled with folklore in the form of songs told in the eyes of female heroines, I learned so much and because the intended audience was vastly attached to the culture and traditional storylines this is work being presented in a new way, I learned so much and felt a great level of gratitude for the experience.

What influences or inspires your art?
Music, all genres.

What would you tell your younger self?
Make the sacrifices necessary to be yourself above everything else.

Why do you think art speaks louder than words?
Art as we know is so subjective, I don’t think of the competitive nature of different mediums often.

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