Meet Matt Adams, Graphic Artist/ Designer and Cartoonist with a goal to draw something everyday for 2016.
How and when did you get into art?
Ever since I can recall, I have always wanted to draw and create. One of those earliest memories is changing the words in the song “Staying Alive” to “Stay in the Lines” to help me with coloring, I was 4 at the time. It was around the age of 8 ½ - 9 that I first declared out loud, I was indeed going to be an artist as an adult. As I entered my teens I began to study the Masters: Dr. Seuss, Berkeley Breathed and Mr. Bill Watterson. Cartooning as well as comics were and are something near and dear to my heart, as a child & adult they are a place to escape both visually and narratively.
I attended the Pittsburgh Art Institute and graduated with a degree in Visual Communication in the winter of 1993, soon after I began doing any freelance jobs that came my way: event calendars for music venues, skateboard companies and anything else I could take a pencil to or to whomever would give me a chance. From a sign shop to 15 years as the lead artist at an apparel printing company, creating pleasing visuals became the job I thought it would. During that same time I would continue to do freelance projects that included logo designs and food packaging. Within the last year my career in art has switched directions; I entered the world of designing asset tags or barcodes. This change gave me the chance to once again create whatever I could envision. I began creating characters and landscapes that would take me back to listening to the soundtrack from Saturday Night Fever.
Where and when do you typically draw?
As of late I have been using my lunch time at work to create my daily sketches, I have tried to give myself a time limit of 10-15 minutes. In the past I used to first do a loose pencil, then a tight pencil drawing over that drawing and finally I would add ink. Setting a time limit helped me to focus and let go at the same time. It has changed my current process to: pencil blobs, inking and finally watercolor. I am trying to post them whenever I can, sometimes before the current sketch even has time to dry.
Have you always drawn everyday or is this a new goal?
I used to always carry a sketchbook everywhere, it brought me joy to see peoples immediate reactions to something I had done in there, I was drawing in it on a daily basis. Over the years I continued draw daily whether it was a piece of scrap paper or a paper plate, then 3 years ago I discovered Inktober. I began by using just a regular ink pen the first year and made it all 31 days; the second year wasn’t so lucky only 25 days completed. My 3rd year I was able to complete 31 days, using characters I had created from the past 2 years. I decided if I could in 2016 I would create at least 1 sketch everyday for that entire year.
How has Sketch Wallet helped you with your art goals?
Drawing for 365 days (366 since it’s A Leap Year) I would need to understand it was not about each sketch being perfect they would need to each have a life of their own. It wasn’t about drawing better, but letting go! I have learned to trust my instincts and let the medium I’m using have a life of its own. I began the year using only ink; it was comfortable and too easy. I made it through 1 complete sketchbook that came with my sketch wallet I decided I would need to challenge myself….. I added color in the 2nd month (Stay in the Lines, Stay in the Lines). I was pleased with the results of using color pencils, but I felt I needed to push myself. Month 3 watercolors: Being a fan of Bill Watterson I decided it was a logical choice; I was already using a brush pen so it made sense to me. As of this writing I am 94 days in and still going strong, it has had its challenges, some days I get too busy and miss the self-imposed deadline. It has been wonderful having a sketch wallet; the size is great to quickly get down your ideas. It has helped be regain the love for creating and the fun that can happen when people view my creations.