To coincide with the launch of our first episode of ‘Miscellameous‘ coming out tonight at 7pm (Australian EST) we decided to get a little more insight into one of our guests – Matt Commons who is an illustrator, UX designer and front end developer from Melbourne!
Let’s start with the usual, tell us a little bit about yourself; How old are you? How long have you been doing design? What areas of the industry have you worked within? What do you enjoy the most about your work?
I’m a 29 year old illustrator, UX designer and front end developer from Melbourne. I have always been designing random things ever since I got photoshop back in 2000. I would make these lame display pictures of my friends names that would be used on MSN, or make pointless websites that only ever got face lifts and never any content or any real point to them at all. I used to do a lot of design for bands as well be it myspace pages or band logos.
So I have been working in the web industry for about 8 years now. I picked up digital illustration as a hobby not too long ago and have just started selling my own illustrations at expos such as Melbourne Supanova back in April.
What I enjoy the most about my illustration work is that it’s design work that I want to do for myself. If people like it, then that is awesome and the best compliment I could ever ask for. That level of design has always appealed to me, the freedom to just create and not be told that you need to change x,y and z.
Where did the inspiration come fromm to pursue this very niche style of design when it comes to your artwork? Have you ever looked at expanding this into comic book design or anything of that nature?
Roughly 2 years ago I did a random digital illustration of the comic book character Hellboy. I was given some words of encouragement from my cousin and his wife, which pushed me into illustrating other characters. I found it to be really enjoyable taking on a new task as I have never been overly confident drawing or illustrating anything before. With every illustration I completed, I started to notice improvement and now I just want to keep building on that. The “On This Day” feature on Facebook has been great for showing me how far I have come in such a short amount of time.
Have you ever looked at expanding this into comic book design or anything of that nature?
I am currently in the early stages of working on something along those lines. It has proven to be challenging but I am still eager to see where I can go with it all.
Seeing as your artwork is heavily superhero/villain themed, who is your favourite character and why?
It’s a toss up between “The Flash” and “Batman”. I find the concept of super speed to be really interesting and if I had to choose any superpower I would probably go with that! I can’t look past growing up with “Batman the animated series” as well as all the the movies and more recently the comics, which I didn’t do get into when I was younger. Amazing stories and who doesn’t like Batman?
Do you have a favourite piece of work? If so why is it your favourite piece?
I’m not sure if I have a favourite piece. Normally my newest pieces are what I am most proud of as I am slowly picking up on new tricks and as I mentioned earlier, always improving.
How vital do you see social media in terms of building a following for your work? Do you see value in attending festivals, and exhibitions or is face to face interaction a forgotten art?
Instagram is really important, I try and make sure I get a few posts in a week or so. It is the only way I really communicate with anyone who follows my illustrations at the moment. Selling my artwork at Melbourne Supanova was great, it was my second expo experience and I loved the face to face interaction. Talking to people that actually follow my artwork and seeking my stall out to get a print was an awesome thing to experience.
What is a long term goal for yourself business wise?
If I can get to a point where I am just a fulltime artist then that would be amazing, but I’m not quite there yet! I just want to keep doing something that I enjoy doing.
Now for anyone who sees and loves what you do, where can they check out your work and purchase it??
I don’t have a webstore setup just yet but you can find me on Instagram – @mattcomms
I also have a dribbble playbook but it is not updated as often as Instagram –http://mattcommons.dribbble.com/
Cheers again for joining us Matt and for taking the time to give us a little more insight about what you do!
Remember to check out Episode 1 of Miscellameous now!