SignCraft Magazine Interview
"Judi's Window Painting - Sacramento, California"
Judi Peterson started painting window splashes almost 10 years ago in Sacramento, California. Her business has grown quite a bit since then; with the help of Allen Waite and Dennis Mortensen her shop turns out roughly 1500 window splashes each year. The team recently completed 125 restaurant windows in a two-week period.
"I was selling cars before I started painting windows," says Judi, whose hobbies include gardening and country dancing. "So that's quite a big change [laughter]. I've always enjoyed art, but my lettering skills really needed to be honed quite a bit. I never thought about pursuing an art-related field until one day a friend of mine who is an artist called and asked me to help her paint some Christmas window splashes."
When asked where she learned layout and design, Judi mentions her collection of SignCraft back issues. "I've always been able to draw," she explains. "My mind works like an overhead projector - I can freehand almost anything that I can envision. That's always been my strong suit. The lettering though, I had to work on. The funniest thing was when one of my first customers asked me, "Can you paint, 'Win a VCR'?". And as I was nodding my head I was thinking, "Win? No! No! That's got a 'W' in it! All I can paint is 'Season's Greetings'." [laughter] That's when I started reading SignCraft, paying attention to letters everywhere I saw them, and working on my lettering skills."
SC: Is there a lot of competition for window work in your area?
SC: Why do you think splashes are so popular in California?
SC: You're very easy to talk to, and it seems like you really enjoy working with people. Is the "customer relations" aspect of the business fun for you?
I try to do everything real custom and unique, and add a lot of artwork - the kind of stuff you don't see everywhere else, even though it adds to the cost. I'd rather put in the extra time and have a really neat piece of advertising than to make more money and do a generic job.
SC: If there was something you could change about your business, or the window splash business in general, what would it be?
There's one other thing, too - I'd change all the stores that have rose bushes or holly in front of them. [laughter] Those thorns hurt when you sit on them! Other than that, it's really a fun business. I like working outside, I like being in a different place every day. It's an exciting life - every place I go somebody comes up and says, "Oh, you're Judi the window painter!"