InPrint Interviews Matthew Land

Matthew Land blends aspects of abstract expressionism, surrealism, folk, pop,
and realism into paintings that create a certain mood or atmosphere to be
determined by the viewer. Tangible textures take on a 2D feel as painted
images exist in 3 dimensions in the foreground and background. Blends
are achieved through the removal of paint as well as the addition of paint
giving each piece an antiqued charm. Matthew Land currently resides
in San Diego though he is a Sacramento native. — by Elo Marc

Hello Matthew, Tell us about your childhood, where did you grow up?

I grew up in Roseville, CA, a suburb of Sacramento, CA. I had a very normal childhood, I suppose,
played little league, football, rode bikes and fished. My hometown is the stereotypical suburb, there
is no fear of danger so the kids have to create it themselves to find an identity outside of being "rich kids."

Your How did you first get into illustration? Are you self taught or you went to school for it?

I started painting in high school because I thought art class would be an easy A and would boost my GPA (because I didn't try very hard in my other classes) but I ended up in Myron Stephen's class, so there was nothing easy about it, I ended up learning how much I enjoyed creating art work. I didn't go to college for painting, but I received college level instruction from Myron, he is probably my biggest influence and where I get a lot of my style. 

Your work has a refreshing look to it that stands out well in a growing sea of Illustration. What are some visual influences that make their way into your work?

Thank you!. I really like using construction or carpentry imagery in my paintings. I like painting as though the viewer is looking at the wall of an old garage or tool shed with exposed studs to show the structure or skeleton of the wall. Growing up in a rapidly growing suburb where homes were being built by the hundreds probably influenced me too. As a kid we would wander through framed homes looking for wood to build ramps, or whatever we could get in trouble with. Artists that influence me are Myron Stephens, Alan Magee, David Kroll, and Zach Timberlake.

Could you share your mental approach to developing concepts for your Illustrations and the technical side of your creative process?

I usually start with a very expressive background to build up layers and textures. Most of my paintings start as abstracts until the atmosphere and mood has been established. Once I know the emotional tone of the painting, then I start on the subject of the piece.

Your work features an evocative combination of dynamic color and expressions. Could you talk about your experience in developing these elements of your style?

My style was developed over years of being unhappy with my work Doing things over and over again because I didn't like the way it turned out the first time. Very experimental at times as well. I feel like every painting I do is my first painting ever. I seriously re learn how to paint on every piece I do, but that has become part of my process I suppose.

What do you like about your work, and what do you think other illustrators like about it?

I like that I achieve my depth by popping images outward in an almost 3D effect as opposed to working from the surface and going inward. I think what other artists like about my work is the humor I put in the pieces.

What role does personal work play in your business and your craft?

My day job? It keeps me pissed off enough to come home paint every night for hours on end. It's the lighter fluid.

What do you love most about being an illustrator?

Being able to document my growth as a human being and an artist.

Would you tell us something nobody would guess about you?

I think "Forever in Blue jeans" by Neil Diamond is the greatest song ever written.

What tools do you use for your work?

I think "Forever in Blue jeans" by Neil Diamond is the greatest song ever written.

Do you have any advice for aspiring illustrators?

Never give up. Ever.

Where can we find you online?

Studio Bellafonte

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