Matt is an Illustrator and exhibiting artist based in the UK. He’s taken part in many
exhibitions showcasing his work throughout the UK. He earned his degree in Illustration back
in 2014 but returned to study Illustration on a master’s level last year alongside his role as a
teacher to better understand the industry with the intent on turning his love of Art into a
full-time career as an Illustrator.
He has always had a firm belief that anyone can be creative regardless of the tools at their
disposal given their determination and passion. Something he embodies with his use of
basic tools at his disposal to create his works of art, with a preference for pens, pencils, inks
and collage as his visual language. Though not opposed to digital methodologies he has
always preferred a more hands-on approach and had a greater satisfaction for works
created by hand.
Matt has always been driven by an appetite to express himself through creativity having
always been a part of his identity and plays a crucial role in trying to interpret the world
How long have you been an artist and how did you get started?
Matt: I’ve been an Exhibiting artist now for 3 years or so consecutively, possibly 4, It started with an exhibition invitation after posting some of my ideas online and since then I got a taste for it. I started drawing for galleries, private commissions, local business or just for fun, which was usually during my day job work time and would get me into a lot of trouble!
Do you see your art as serving a purpose beyond art?
Matt: I think that works of art always serve a greater purpose than something to be hung on a wall. I did some work for an American charity for example that uses Art as a form of therapy to help those with mental health problems. On researching this it was incredible to me how Art had become such a useful tool in allowing people to communicate in a way they hadn’t been capable of before. More recently I volunteered with another Art charity in the UK that would decorate wards in hospitals with artwork and during that time I got to interact with some of the patients there and the response was incredible! It was amazing to see first-hand how simply decorating a space could create such a positive outlook for these people.
What is the message you are trying to give with your art?
Matt: Someone once described my work as ‘art that on the surface looks fun and light-hearted but at further inspection echoes much darker subject matter’ and I latched on to that working methodology for a while. This has shifted gradually with much of my work now commenting on the state of modern society be it social media, its impact on mental health, Endangered species and pollution. I typically try to stay away from making a personal statement with my art, my goal is to illuminate an issue visually to get people thinking and allow them to reflect on it themselves.
What are your plans for the future?
Matt: I touched on this briefly earlier but my goal is to become an Illustrator rather than an exhibiting artist with the occasional commissions. I have such a passion for anything creative that I’m absolutely set on making this a full-time career.
What is a little-known fact you would like to share?
Matt: I’m incredibly structured and regimented. I usually plan my days in advance setting aside time for everything that needs doing on a day to day basis. I find it incredibly helpful as well to keep me in check and focused on what needs doing, usually making a list of around 5/6 things to get done that day so that I’m never not doing anything.
How does creating art make you feel?
Matt: I think the creative process can make you experience a variety of emotions from the stress of feeling pressured to come up with ideas, to the thrill of watching a piece evolve in front of your eyes and the satisfaction of the final outcome. It can be incredibly addictive!
What does your art aim to say to your audience?
Matt: I believe the main aim for my work is to be thought-provoking, to get people thinking about that particular issue and I hope that at some level they can reflect on it on a personal level.
How do you get ideas for each piece of Art?
Matt: For me ideas can come from anywhere. From my studies on the master’s to my job as a teacher. I think it’s important to keep a notebook or something on your person where you can quickly jot down your ideas before you forget them. It’s equally important though not to force anything and be patient and eventually something will blossom.
How has your art evolved over the years?
Matt: I’ve recently gone through a big change in my creative tools. A lot of my art as shown here is very focused on realism using dot work becoming obsessed with trying to attain a level of precision that would ultimately take over the work. I was finding that my practice was stagnating but removing that restriction of realism I’m excited to now see it evolving once again by experimenting with different methods of visual language and really opening myself up to other methodologies. In recent months I’ve resolved to redefine my work and it’s been an incredible journey so far and one I’m keen to see evolve!
Any Upcoming shows or workshops we should know about?
Matt: I have one or two coming up soon, but I cannot release any info just yet. There had been a talk from me planned to discuss some of the art movements of the 1900’s, notably Dadaism,
and its impact on modern creativity but due to the issues with Covid-19 there’s no confirmation on this just yet.