Built For Life: Peter Perch

Coming from a background of skateboarding and graffiti, Peter Perch had gotten preoccupied making art he thought other people would want to see. It wasn't until he started drawing and painting something he'd been obsessed with since he was a kid that he found a new direction for his art that really made waves.
As part of the Stanley and Peter Perch collaboration launch, we invited the fish artist himself to share his built-for-life passion. We sat down with Peter to ask him a few questions about his love for fish, fishing and his fish art. 
Stanley: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your art?
Peter Perch: My name is Peter Perch, I'm a fish artist. I paint fish. I live fish. I fish fish. I am a fish, fishing and wildlife illustrator based in the Netherlands, but working on projects worldwide. I'm not your grandfather's fish artist. I don't do realistic old paintings of trout. I come from a background of skateboarding and graffiti and I think that's also why my designs pop up from a distance.

Stanley: What makes your art so unique and loved worldwide?
Peter Perch: In hindsight it all makes sense now. At the beginning of my career, I was too preoccupied with making art that I thought people wanted to see. And it's only when I started to make art that I wanted to see, I realized that that is what other people want to see. I don't really stick to the traditional rules of fish art. I like to mix things up. I use different techniques. I use inside jokes that only fishermen will get or just make fun of fish, fishermen or myself.

Stanley: How did you become interested in fishing, and how did you become a fish artist?
Peter Perch: As a kid, I spent my days cycling around and spotting fish in the canals or in the river and catch them. Afterwards I would study them. I guess, from a young age I just grew up to be a fish artist. Actually catching fish might be one of the most important parts of my creative process. Only after I catch certain species of fish I really understand them. And only then I'm able to truly illustrate or paint them. I spend hours and hours every day just drawing scales. And this really is a meditation practice for me. I just zone out and I draw scales, scales and scales.

Stanley: We know you use Stanley products in your everyday life, while fishing, and when working on your fish art. What excites you most about this collaboration with Stanley?
Peter Perch: Basically every fishermen that I know already has a Stanley bottle. It's the bottle that your grandfather had while you were fishing. I'm really proud to do this collaboration with Stanley because it's such an iconic product. It's really a good product to put fish art on. 

Stanley: One last question, Peter, what does the future hold for you?
Peter Perch: I'm very curious what the future will bring but there's one thing I know, it will be fish.