August 24, 2012

BLOG CHAT_16 MATT RICHARDS


We would like to introduce you to London based Freelance Illustrator, Matt Richards. He creates fashion, editorial and portrait work. His career started in the fashion industry, designing, developing & managing product however illustration has always followed him on his way.
Matt's illustrations have been used for the likes of Alexander McQueen for Puma, Tommy Hilfiger Denim, and Mary Portas amongst others. His first solo show Musical Views can be seen this summer as part of the East 17 Art Trail in London, www.e17arttrail.co.uk. Also check out more of his work at www.mattrichardsillustration.com


1. WHY ARE YOU WHAT YOU ARE?
I've only been illustrating full-time for about 3 years but I have always drawn.
As a kid I was quite happy with wet weekends when you couldn't go out and play with your mates as I would draw out my make-believe world. At school, I loved life-drawing and spent most of my lunch breaks in the Art Studio. Drawing continued as a Fashion Designer and when that turned into a more managerial role, I started freelance illustrating in my spare time.

2. IF YOU WERN'T DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?
I did quite a lot in the fashion industry and I never consider at all that the door to that has been closed. I'd be happy to go back to that.


I'm really into music too. Not so much now but, I used to put on parties all over London with a friend, Notting Hill Carnival, boat parties down the Thames, that kind of thing. A lot of our followers have grown up now and children mean they can't party as much as they might like, to but we have a podcast to keep the musical connection with them. I think I would be producing music if I wasn't illustrating/designing. Failing that getting outside, something to do with gardening, how about looking after Jamie Oliver's veg patch? He could pay me with food!

3. HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THE DESIGNER'S/ILLUSTRATORS BLOCK'?
Get unplugged from the computer and get outside!

During the working day sketching is fantastic for getting things going. It doesn't even have to be revelant to the subject you are working on either. I'm sure a lot of creatives get this, but there are times that all I want to do is draw a particular thing. Instead of cramming it into a brief I might be working on, I'll take some time out and get it out of my system via a sketchbook. If drawing for a brief, I have to spend about half an hour sketching anyway to warm-up and get into a flow.

I also find travel always inspirational as it broadens the mind and makes you look at mundane things from a completely different perspective. In a different country in particular, everyday objects appear to the foreigner as fascinating, where the native would take them for granted. Having London on my doorstep is a definate plus as it is so rich when needing to find ideas, inspiration and research.

4.WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
I am currently putting together my first solo show for the start of September as part of the E17 Art Trail which is a bit nerve-racking but exciting at the same time. As part of my research, I have been interviewing and recording local musicians,  and all have been absolutely fascinating so far. The aim is integrate their music with the portraits I create, I'm adding information about it as we go along on my website.

5. EARLY BIRD OR NIGHT OWL?
It's best not ask me anything complicated before my morning coffee & probably some of my best work has happened late at night. I do have the tendancy to forget the time if I'm really engrossed in something. Having said that, I hate wasting the day (particualry if the weather is good). My partner is a morning person so that kind of keeps me in check!

6. WHAT DO YOU TREAT YOURSELF TO FOR ELEVENSES?
I love my coffee, I have an old faithful Bialetti Moka on the stove that makes a pretty decent Latte. While that's boiling up, I'll nip out into our garden to check on my vegetable patch.
I try to resist chocolates, biscuits, that kind of thing,  but I am a total sucker for peanut butter & jam on toast!

7. MY FAVE COLOUR IS...?
I'm rubbish with lists so this will be true now, but maybe not next week - Turquiose

8. MY FAVE SMELL IS....?
As above really...How about opening the fresh coffee tin in morning? freshly cut grass? Baking bread? I actually like that smell of boiling tar you get at roadworks!

9. HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THE DESIGNER'S/ILLUSTRATORS BLOCK'?
I probably wouldn't survive as my record collection runs into 1000's and it's bloody heavy!
My gorgeous 15 year old cat
A Cornet (small trumpet) that was handed down to me from my Grandad that I learned to play at school but by then it was feeling so sorry for itself, it had to be retired and I moved onto the Trombone, and then guitar.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVE BLOG?
Oh Jeez! I just looked at my blog feed to answer that one, at the moment I'm subcribed to over 300 blogs and have well over a 1000 feeds to read! If you can find a favourite out of that lot, you are a better person than me! Pintrest is pretty good for inspiration these days too.
I'll have to mention my friend's blog totallywould.wordpress.com as she is a fantastic wordsmith and very amusing with it.

11. WHAT'S ON YOUR PLAYLIST?
If you like foot tapping stuff you can check out my own mixes at "Carnivalism"  click here, carnivalism.co.uk also post one song a week as Carnivalism Fridays because, well everyone is in the mood on Friday aren't they?
I've spent the last year putting all our CDs and some vinyl on our server, it's a massive job but great for re-discovering old tracks. I even have some of my mum's old records from her hippy days, from which I think everyone should have a bit of Sandy Denny in their lives particularly as folk seems back in favor these days. But for more random stuff, anyone on Spotify can find me "Carnivalism" open.spotify.com/user/carnivalism I always love to know what other people listen to, it's a great way to find new music so come and say hi on there! 

Musical Views runs from September 1st - 14th
For more information visit www.mattrichardsillustration.com



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