C2E2 Artist Spotlight: Brian Judkins


Brian Judkins of Ukiyo-Pop is one of the most unique artists in the Chicago area. Taking on a style reminiscent of ukiyo-e, Japanese woodblock printing most popular in the Edo period, he also adds a definitively geeky spin to his work. During the height of Pokemon GO’s popularity, Brian vowed and succeeded in posting a new ukiyo-e style Pokemon each day in the Chicago Nerd Social Club group. The result is beautiful as you can see above and in the gallery below. Brian will have his own booth once again at C2E2 (1079), and was kind enough to answer a few questions.

Tools of your Trade:
Japanese prints of contemporary nerdist culture

Website(s) or Contact Info:

Booth Location:

What inspires you to create?
When a particularly good idea comes along, I feel this enormous responsibility to give it life. I’d like to say something about the joy of art creation, but really it’s just this painful guilt I feel if I don’t give it a go.

What are your favorite characters to illustrate?

I only want to paint humanoid figures. There’s so much motion and character in figure drawings that I can’t imagine ever wanting to do anything else. It’s why I love Japanese art so much because of the unique compositions.

Coming up, who was your art hero?

Alex Ross blows my mind. I think he’s given more life to characters I’ve grown up with than any story line ever could.

Where do you hope your art will take you?
I don’t know and that’s the fun of it. Ukiyo-pop had a great first year and we’re exhibiting all over the country. We have a lot of international clients so it’d be great to go over seas to showcase sometime. I guess it’s just how I work. I have an idea and just start chipping away. Eventually it ends up creating itself.

Joe Kubert, Jack Kirby, or Joe Madureira. Who wins, and why?

Jack Kirby. He’s the One Above All.

Tell us a little about what you’re bringing to C2E2. What are you excited about most for the show?
Ukiyo-pop is back with a gallery of Japanese prints inspired by today’s pop culture. We’ve got a lot of new work, a new book available for purchase, and this year we’re offering exclusive pieces you can only collect on site. These limited prints will not be sold online and will have a very small, notated print run. For C2E2 I painted something I think is pretty awesome so stop on by the booth and say hi.

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