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Matthew Laznicka

Matthew Laznicka

Matthew studied Illustration & graphic design at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After working as a in-house designer & Illustrator in Milwaukee and Minneapolis for about 13 years, Matthew decided to become a freelance illustrator and do it full time. His work reflects his obsession with retro illustration from the past. He tries to weave a contemporary perspective with a 50’s b-movie poster flair. Matthew creates all his illustration in Adobe Photoshop. I still am traditional in that the concept is still based on an original sketch. I scan the sketch and work over it as my base layer. I work in many layers and one illustration can have as many as 26.
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Matthew: When I was a child I loved drawing and sculpting. I knew when I grew up I wanted to make a living doing what I enjoy. Question: Do you have any formal design training? Matthew: Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. Question: Where are you originally from? Matthew: I grew up in Racine, Wisconsin. It is a city 30 minutes from Milwaukee and 45 minutes from Chicago. Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? Matthew: I really like the country, my family resides in Black Earth, WI, just 25 minutes outside the wonderful city of Madison. Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? Matthew: I turned a old canning room in our basement into a tiny little studio. I like to call it my little cave. Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Matthew: Classic monster movies, comic books, pulp novels, Norman Rockwell, science fiction magazines, bubblegum cards. Question: How do you get your ideas? Matthew: Mostly from my head, but I do like to explore old retro illustration to get inspired. Question: Do you collect anything? Matthew: I loved "Planet of the Apes" as a kid, so I collect anything related to it. Old vinyl records, snow globes (little worlds), 8mm cameras, films. Question: Do you keep a scrapbook? Matthew: My life is a scrapbook of sorts. Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? Matthew: I have always loved stop-motion animation, I love the asthetic, and the beauty of the way it looks. Camping, fishing and the outdoors.
Question: Tell us about a favourite project you’ve recently completed? Matthew: I'm creating the illustrated label for a shampoo bottle and they want a "Barberella" retro type woman. Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Matthew: I would love to do a illustrated poster for a Science Fiction movie. Question: Who are your art heroes? Matthew: Caravaggio, Dali, N.C.& Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer. Question: Who are your illustration heroes? Matthew: I love Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, and the old pulp artists of the 40's, 50's and 60's, too many to name. I also love the work of Mark Ryden, Tara McPherson, Jason Levesque and James Jean. Question: Who are your musical heroes? Matthew: Very eclectic, I like the swing era, classic rock, new wave, alternative. Johnny Cash, Bing Crosby, The Doors, The Beatles, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, White Stripes. Instrumental; John Williams, Danny Elfman and Bernard Herrman. Question: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Matthew: Live for what you love, love your life! Question: Do you think anyone with Photoshop can be an illustrator these days? Matthew: Photoshop is a tool, I own tools, yet I'm a lousy repairman. Question: If you could take a holiday leaving tomorrow, where would you go & what would you do? Matthew: Italy, drink wine and explore. Question: If you won the lottery what would you do with the money? Matthew: Start an animation company that specialized in stop-motion. Question: What’s your favourite quote from a song or book or someone? Matthew: There's no retirement for an artist, it's your way of living so there's no end to it. HENRY MOORE.
CLIENTS: GQ, Carlton Books UK, Springer (Hamburg), Mercedes Benz, FHM Magazine, Z-Man Games, Simon and Shuster, Edios, Volvo, Seattle Sound Magazine, Telos Publishing UK,, Manhattan Luxury Magazine, Sony Wii, Caspian Publishing Ltd. Hearst Publishing, Popular Mechanics

Magazine: Juxtapoz
Holiday/Travel Destination: Discover Tuscany