Matt Wilkins – Illustrator –
I’ve pretty much been drawing for as long I can remember. When it comes to education, I don’t really have much of an artistic background, apart from the fact my grandfather was an amazing pen and ink artist who was a big influence on myself. I actually studied carpentry and went on to get a diploma doing so, however my true passion was always illustration. About 3 years ago I started posting some of my drawings up on instagram which gradually started to get noticed, which led to commissions rolling in one after the other. I’ve been working full time as a freelance illustrator for the past 2 years, always stoked to wake up and work on new projects for some great bands and brands worldwide.
I hand draw and ink all my illustrations which are then scanned into Photoshop, where I edit and add some colour occasionally. I like to keep a hand made aspect within my work rather than working too much digitally.
The process to realize an Illustration:
As most of my work is commission based it usually starts with brainstorming ideas with the client and going over inspiration and themes. I’ll quite often have clients who give me free reign and creativity in the design breif and process allowing me to experiment with new subjects.
Main sources of Inspiration in Life, in Art:
My inspirations mainly stem from heavy psychedelic music, choppers, 60s concert posters, 70s sci fi/fantasy art, traditional american tattooing and the Art Nouveau movement mixed in with some occult imagery. All of which pretty much drive me to create the work that I do.
The era you love the most:
That would have to be the 60s-70s without a doubt. The majority of what I’m into somewhat comes from that era, like the style of motorcycles and cars, skateboarding, artwork and the music of course. I constanly get inpsired by old photographs and films from that era that hopefully comes across in my work.
You and the Motorcycles:
I’ve been fascinated with custom motorcycles for years, though only started riding around summer 2016. Being involved with different brands within the chopper culture, finally gave me that push to go for it and buy a bike of my own.
Bikes as an artistic Muse:
Motorcycle are an art form in themselves, I have tons of respect for so many bike builders out there creating these custom bikes that in turn inspires myself.
Ideal place to create:
Ideally my studio would be little log cabin in the mountains or somewhere along the Californian coast! I’d gladly take either over London, one day I hope.
A soundtrack that inspires you:
Being a freelance Illustrator really allows me to find new and old bands on a daily basis to listen to while I work. It wouldn’t really be one particular soundtrack, more so a whole range of bands from the likes of Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Graveyard, The Shrine, Jethro Tull, Pentagram, Windhand, Sir Lord Baltimore, Uncle Acid, The Beatles, The Black Angels, Atomic Rooster, Ruby The Hatchet, Dust, Leaf Hound, this list could go on and on!
Current projects and Collabs:
Lately I’ve working on quite a few designs for motorcycle shows including ‘Flanders Chopper Bash’ in Belgium, ‘The Hook Up’ in Wales and ‘A Trip To Tijuana’ at the Brighton Tattoo Convention, where I’ll also be exhibiting some of my artwork. I’ve recently done a collab with a clothing brand called Gypsy Warrior that should be out pretty soon. Unfortunately I can’t give away too much info about collabs but there’s a lot of new posters, album covers, shirt designs and logos in the works.
Just to keep on creating art, improving my style and hopefully getting to work with more of my favourite bands and brands. I would also like to be exhibiting my work a lot more in art shows and festivals all around world.