Craig Judd and his truck

Judd was born and raised in the little town of Chowchilla, in the center of California's beautiful San Joaquin Valley.

While attending high school, he took an art class because he thought it would be an easy way to get some credits, and was very surprised to find out that not only did he really like art, but seemed to have a natural ability for it. With much encouragement from his teacher, he began to seriously pursue learning all he could about it.

In 1967 Judd began working in a local body shop under a manager who had a lot of knowledge about custom painting. He was taught the basics of bodywork and paint, and also attended a GM Training School. He soon started to paint Custom Motorcycles on the side, and found that he was pretty good at it.

In 1974 Judd opened his own body shop, but it very quickly became apparent that custom painting was where his true talent was. So, in 1976 Judd went to strictly custom work. He was taking his work to Bob Kovac and Neil Averill for the finishing touch. They both encouraged him to learn how to stripe, and took the time to show him how to get started. He spent many nights in his garage striping anything he could get his hands on. Soon he had it down and started doing complete jobs on his own. Judd had never considered his self an artist, but all that changed when he picked up a striping brush and started making "automotive art." Striping has been an exciting outlet for Judd, as well as a fantastic job. He is glad that it is finally being recognized as an art form.

His work has been featured in numerous magazines over the years, including Hotrod, SignCraft, AutoArt and many others. He also designed the gold leaf and striping on the 1940 yellow Ford that was in the cult classic movie "The Hollywood Knights" starring Tony Danza, and his artwork was on a Dragster that was in "American Graffiti Two".

In the last few years, Judd has branched out in some new directions. He started holding Pinstriping Workshops where the students get hands-on training, and also produced two instructional videos "Pinstriping Made Easy" and "Flames Made Easy." At present he is in the process of designing a line of collectible toys fashioned after his "Eye Daddy" logo, and is also painting a series of collectible Tin Signs with Hot Rod Themes for BellAir Motor Sports. He believes that if you help a guy that is just getting started in the business, he will remember that you helped him, and he will in turn help someone else. It is important to Judd that the "Art Form", his chosen profession, continues on.

Several years ago, Judd met the founder of Muscle Machine die cast cars at the L.A. Roadster Show. He asked Judd to design some paint schemes, posters and trading cards for the model cars. They struck up a great friendship and Judd has done a lot of work for him including the flames and striping on the now famous 1950 Studebaker named the "Panic Parrot." He also designed and painted a series of "Pin Head" miniature bowling pins for "Hotrod Underground" collectibles.

Recently Judd had the opportunity to do some work for Disney. He painted full sized car hoods to replicate the ones that were featured in the Disney animated film "CARS". They are now on display at Disneyland in Paris, France. Last year he was able to travel to France and see the hoods on display. He says, "It was the thrill of a lifetime for him."

Judd thinks it is important to see and study what other stripers are doing, and believes that it is the greatest form of flattery to have someone like your work enough to copy it.

So, over 35 years later, Judd is still in beautiful Chowchilla, CA doing what he loves the most. His shop is located next to his home, and has been
in the same location since 1977. He has been married to his wife Sally for forty six years. They have raised four sons and have five grandchildren.
Judd's wife has also been active in the business, with a keen eye for color combinations and sign layouts. Judd said "she is my best critic, and
puts up with my "artistic" mood swings." "No one ever said it would be easy, but if I had it to do over again, "I WOULD".