In our second exclusive interview we have the exceptionally talented Matthew Dent. Enjoy!!
1) Please introduce yourself to the readers of WeFancyIt
My name is Matthew Dent I am a freelance illustrator working from my studio in South East London. I am also co-founder of The Soho Warriors Football Club, London’s first creative led football team.
2) So what inspired you to get into illustration at first?
Growing up I was surrounded by art and drawing, and was always encouraged to make things. My grandmother was a very talented artist (I actually have some of her work up in my flat), and my mum is also a really great illustrator, she has a really natural way of drawing. So it was mainly down to my family, and being encouraged to do what i was good at, something which is really important when growing up.
3) Where did you study?
I studied film and media at the University of Westminster. I kind of floated about and didn’t really get that into it, as I was starting to get work as an illustrator. I had a really good time at University, but looking back I would have liked to take a different course, and focus more on developing my style as an illustrator. I think its really important to go to University with a definite idea and plan as to what you want to come out with, a lot of people are still leaving University with no idea as to what they want to do, wasting a lot of money and time.
4) What would you say have been the major influences in your style?
I gain much of my inspiration from the things that float around in my head, i like to dream up ideas and characters, based on the things that I may have stumbled upon in my real life. I look to maintain that sense of happiness and fun within my work, often looking at ways of keeping things simple and clean. I always make sure I do plenty of self initiated work, and like the thought of simple ideas that can work as a beautiful illustration as well as having an important message to go with it. I think it’s refreshing to see new work, and I like to keep pushing myself and developing new ideas and characters to dwell my world.
5) Is there a particular project that you are exceptionally proud of?
This project was created for the 2011 Tingbjerg Byfest festival. I was approached last year by Tor Larsson at Studio Painted in Copenhagen to work on this. The brief was to think how a design could work in different media, from flyers, posters, programs, to badges etc. Working from a starting point we looked at the idea of “going for a walk”, merging aspects of everyday life and illustrating exciting things like, music, eating, and dancing. We wanted the design to feel positive, happy and colourful, as the festival is aimed at families and in particular younger people.
6) Do you have any other shows in the pipeline?
I am working on some new work that will be shown at Pick Me Up 2012, Somerset House. This will be part of The Soho Warriors Football Club space, showcasing some of my work alongside a bunch of other illustrators and designers involved in the team.
7) What do you think 2012 holds for illustration as an art?
I don’t think things will change too much in 2012. There are a large number of creatives out there who continue to do exciting things and produce really amazing work, so I expect to see another year of exciting projects.
8) Is there any advice you would give to any budding illustrators?
Work hard, then work harder…
9) Have you dabbled in any other creative field?
Not something I ever really talk about, but I really enjoy writing and working on ideas for scripts and stories. I am currently working on an idea with my dad who also writes. We are looking to develop the idea for a feature film or TV series. Well thats the plan. I would also really like to take a screenwriting course, something I may start doing this year.
Why not lift those January blues with a trip down to Kemistry Gallery which is playing host to a quartet of extremely talented British illustrators.
The show ‘Cut & Run’ will feature original paintings, sculptures and limited-edition prints from the likes of Matthew Dent, Jack Teagle, Matthew Bromley and Ryan Chapman. The show will explore each artists take on adventure, hunting, afterlife, happiness and beyond.
The show is running from 5th January through to 28th January and entry is free of charge.
Be sure to take a look and brighten up those bleak January evenings.