matt w. moore interview – top image: matt with his mural ROJO nova at the MIS Museum in sao paulo
we spoke to matt w. moore / MWM graphics about his work and influences.
DB: please could you tell us briefly about the evolution of your work?
MWM: I work across disciplines and my favorite types of projects are the ones that overlap different techniques, objectives, and aesthetics. I live by the mantra ‘range is conducive to growth.’ I studied illustration, graphic design, and new media in college. after years of exploration as a youth doing hand-drawn illustration and traditional style graffiti, during my school years, I found my interests converging and I began to cross-pollinate the ideas from my graphic design work into my fine art endeavors and murals, and vice versa. one week I am designing logos and brand identity, the next week painting a mega-mural, then designing products and textiles, and then returning to my fine art studio to paint canvases and sculptures for my next exhibition. I am very grateful to have this variety.
rudimentary perfection mural in glasgow
DB: how would you describe your style to someone who hasn’t seen your work before?
MWM: bold, graphic, optical illusion, sharp, geometric, vector, asymmetry, psychedelic, mosaic, complex, vibrant, and fun.
jacquard afghans for core deco
DB: what have been the biggest influences on your style?
MWM: learning vector design was a big step in my evolution. much of my handmade work since then has celebrated a certain exactness that has a digital feel to it. my friends in the creative community inspire me everyday, and studying the movements and masters of yesteryear charges me up creatively. some names that come to mind : mc escher, sol lewitt, picasso, doze green, frank stella, alex trochut, augustine kofie, victor vasarely, jurne, roid, horfee, tim clorius, ken sortais, tomek, and the list goes on and on.
ceramic tiles for core deco
DB: which project has given you the most satisfaction so far?
MWM: the whole process from napkin doodle daydreams to concept phase to actualization for my company core deco has been very rewarding. it is a brand of home décor items that I have designed. so far we have some unique shelving solutions, ceramic tiles, and jacquard woven afghans. in 2014 we will launch our second collection. it has been very satisfying, and educational. i am happiest with my work in the moment, reacting on the fly, staying true to the vision but not being too rigid. the journey is the destination.
mural in paris
DB: what attracted you to working on installations and murals?
MWM: I have always loved putting my art into public environments. in the beginning I was doing graffiti, and then my work evolved to more abstract non-objective murals that celebrate form and color. installation and sculpture was the logical next step. taking the same energy and forms from my wall paintings that are alluding to three dimensions through optical illusion, and actually building forms that are 3D. I am striving to do more of this type of work in the future. architecture, sculpture, and public environment design are the most exciting and visible forms of art for me.
DB: what are your thoughts on specialization vs. generalization?
MWM: versatility is key. I truly believe the most interesting innovations and unique ideas come from unexpected places. but it is also a truism that you can’t be 100% in five different fields at the same time. and it is also a real risk that diversifying too far will leave the individual without their own signature style. I think of it like this, I always try to keep my feet moving, working hard, staying curious and hungry, always learning, always trying new things outside of my comfort zone, collaborating with and learning from designers in adjacent disciplines. but never taking a double step in any direction. when it comes to originality and creative identity, taking two big steps in any direction inevitably results in that individual standing in someone else’s footprint, and that can be a problem. now if the same person takes the time to arrive there at a safe speed, one step at a time, with plenty of research, exploration, and productivity, it’s a different story when two creative’s arrive at a similar place.
DB: do you think it’s important for a graphic designer to be able to draw?
MWM: I think it is important, but not crucial. I use pencil and paper at various times. I am always doodling and spilling my ideas out onto paper to see if they look the same way as they do in my imagination. drawing is a really good way to keep the vocabulary up and remember all of the different lines and flows that exist. certainly the computer has made plenty of forms a lot easier to render, but other forms are actually much harder to create on computer than they are with a pencil. as far as using sketching to plan a project, I believe it depends on what type of imagination the creator has. some folks can play an entire game of chess in their mind without moving a piece. other folks need to draw a grid of squares to see if they like the way it looks. it all depends on the project and the individual. but it is definitely a good thing to know how to sketch what you see in your mind, even if it is only to show to someone else to get the green light.
DB: how do you think online design resources have influenced the work being produced today?
MWM: as with everything in our modern world, the pace is getting faster and faster. information, innovation, culture, aesthetics, design, everything is spinning and bouncing around more rapidly than ever before. it is almost impossible for a geographic specific style to grow organically now the way that it could in the past. when something is hot and fresh the world will know about it, and draw inspiration from it, within days. and the only way for organizations or individuals to nurture their ideas and projects without an audience is to have everyone around them sign a NDA. this goes for apple, and it goes for an independent gallery artist as well. what used to go no further than earshot at the bar can now end up worldwide within minutes. it is exciting and daunting at the same time. I have always been from the school of thought that it is best to know as much as possible about what has happened, is happening, and will happen. and then strive to do something that has never happened. clearly there are a lot of folks out there that have another set of goals and don’t hold originality with such a high regard. but that has always been the nature of trends and innovation. it’s just accelerated now more than ever.
DB: besides design, what are you passionate about?
MWM: cycling, snowboarding, and snorkel are my action sports of choice. most of my vacations revolve around these pastimes. teaching is something I am becoming more drawn to as I grow up. when I reflect on the big moments in my evolution as an artist and designer it was often thanks to my big brother figures and the folks who took the time to share their knowledge with me. passing that energy on to the next generation is a cool thing. I’m not in any rush to be a professor, but I do enjoy doing workshops and quick exchanges when I meet fellow creatives.
DB: do you have any superstitious beliefs?
MWM: yes but I don’t want to jinx myself by saying them out loud! haha! I do believe in synchronicity. with all the travel I do and the infinite opportunities for coincidence it is always fascinating to have a domino effect day or week full of undeniable syncs.
coke london olympics 2012
matt w. moore
DB: what is the worst piece of advice you have ever been given?
‘art school is a dead-end street.’
DB: … and the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
MATT W. MOORE (5)
STREET ART (267)
a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.