Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Artist spotlight : Matthew the horse

A selection of Matthew's sketchbook work.

For all you horse fans out there, Matthew has kindly taken time out from his busy schedule to answer our questions below. He's also treated us to a sneaky peek of his workspace, photo above. Who would have guessed his studio companion would be a rather fine fox who Matthew likes to keep perched on the wardrobe so he can keep a beedy eye on guests...


How would you describe your work?

I'd like it to be seen as friendly, jolly and fun whilst maintaining some sort of voice beyond just cute. It's constricted heavily by the calligraphic line I draw in. This can make some lovely images but can also restrict my drawing. I'm trying find a balance between loose naive line work with a bold, inventive, graphic sensibility. Maybe a good way to describe it is an illustrative version of a child dancing around in the nude to the music in its head.

What is your process for coming up with new ideas?

I've always got a notebook on the go. I use it for little ideas, playful drawing, drawing for fun, exploring mark making and line, figuring out how to make something look interesting, that sort of stuff. I find that if you have an on going dialogue with yourself, there's more chance of arriving at new visual devices that you can really take ownership of and help shape your own voice. It's important to draw all sorts of things in all sorts of ways. Feelings are good and of course cool stuff like dudes.

Please describe a typical day:

Emails and admin. Say something deep on Twitter. Hate myself and question everything until lunch. Have lunch. Make a decision about the direction of the piece. Draw that idea at least 50 times. Change idea. Draw it another 50 times. Choose the first one I drew. Think about it. Scan it in. Photoshop it. Blog it. Repeat.

What is your working environment like?

I've got a nice space in the flat for working. I only have a couple of days a week to draw as I teach at the art school, so I can cope with working from home. I've got a desk with a Mac on it. Some big shelves full of comics and monographs and unread textbooks. Then my materials live in boxes and hung off nails at arms length. I've always had my desk space in the living room so I can crack on with work in the evening without having to shut myself away from the lady friend.

What are your top 5 influences / inspiration?

In terms of other art, I can fall in love with anything if it's got a bit of assurance, human nature, humour, skill and beauty. That's my goal, but it's not easy. I'm mostly inspired by meeting really amazing people who are doing it right.

What are your top 5 albums / soundtracks to a working day?

I try to draw without music or I get distracted. But if it's photoshop time I've currently been enjoying Robbie Basho, the new Bill Calahan album and (since I fixed my old drive drive) a shed load of grime from 2005.

What are your top 3 favourite websites / blogs?

There so much good stuff online it's mind blowing. It's like an ocean of boats and I get sea sick. I keep going back to haw-lin for the beautiful pictures. I've watched a lot of Adventure Time on youtube if thats not too much of an easy option and finally...

And finally, what is your favourite tea time biscuit?

We had some KitKats in the other day which went fast. I discovered you can make a nice bracelet and a fancy ring with the wrapper.


Thanks Matthew!
To view more of Matthew's work click here.

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