After high school, Matthew got a degree in Commercial Illustration from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. He worked for over a decade as an in-house designer and illustrator in Minneapolis and Milwaukee and became a full-time illustrator after his daughter was born.
Each image Matthew creates begins with a sketch that is scanned in and manipulated in Photoshop. Building up overlapping layers of colour that blend together, the final outcome has a very painterly feel despite its digital origins.
Matthew loves classic illustration work from the 1940s through to the 70s and tries to capture the essence of that look, but usually with a contemporary twist. Two of his greatest influences have been Norman Rockwell, and the Popular Mechanics covers of his childhood.
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 MechanicsFavourites
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