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Meet the Graduate Makers 2021 – Cal Hudson, BA Illustration

In this blog series, we’re showcasing some of our 2021 graduate Makers and Creators. Cal Hudson, known by the artist name of Hate Paste, received a Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation for their work. Cal is a designer, illustrator and collage artist, exploring concepts of identity, community and belonging, and the space found between brutality and beauty.

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Who or what inspires you in your practice?

My practice is pretty deeply rooted in punk music, both in terms of aesthetic and ethics.

Punk has taught me a lot about community, self-sufficiency and building something meaningful through creativity.

The accessibility of its form informs the way I make work and as a result I almost exclusively now use collage, it’s such a democratic language.

The vast majority of people have access to old magazines, scissors and glue and that’s something that keeps the medium vital. Everyone gets a voice.

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What is your work about, and how do you come up with your concepts? 

It differs piece to piece.

Sometimes I have something I want to say, usually a vaguely leftist sentiment about the state of the world which I then piece together from a library of cuttings.

This is mostly inspired by stuff that irritates me that week, be that all the vacant buildings in Norwich city centre, the PCSC bill or money.

The rest of the time I just tend to jam stuff together until it looks like something else, my tutors would probably prefer I call it intuitive collaging but that maybe gives it too much credit. Either way there is a lot of joy in doing it. 

What is the one thing you’d wish you’d known when you started your degree? 

I wish I’d realised sooner that illustration isn’t just drawing.

For the first third of my degree I forced myself to draw even though I always found it a pretty stressful experience.

As soon as I embraced collage (thanks to a little prompting from my tutors) my practice really opened up and I found when I did employ mark-making, it was natural and made sense in the context of the work.

Even if you can draw, try out other ways of communicating visually, they might just become your bread and butter.  

Why does creativity matter to you?

Creativity basically amounts to leisure time for me, albeit with some weird, cosmic worth attached to it, and as such I’m very grateful that people enjoy the things I make for fun.

The last couple of years specifically, creating has been a real outlet for me, to either let off steam or zone out completely. I try not to assign too much pressure to the process and just enjoy making for the sake of making.  

Finally, where’s your favourite spot in Norwich?

The Duke of Wellington pub remains the only place you can get a £2.50 pint, order a takeaway to (with full access to plates, cutlery and condiments) and enjoy some of Norwich’s most colourful characters.