We recently featured young London-based illustrator Matthew Dent in our Weekend Edit, as part of a four-man show; Cut&Run at the Kemistry Gallery. So taken aback we were by his off–kilter little characters, that we got in touch to find out more. Here’s some more of Mr Dent’s quirky little creations, and the chat we had with him…
We featured you in our Weekend Edit recently as part of Cut&Run, a four-man show at the Kemistry Gallery. How did it go?
To exhibit at Kemistry was really big for me, and something I’m really proud of. The opening night was a success and I have had really good feedback regarding the work I showed. So all in all it was a good experience, I also got to exhibit alongside some really talented illustrators.
You’ve got a very strong style, where do the inspirations for your quirky little characters come from?
They tend to just come from me and the ideas I have swirling around in my head. I try to do a new character or set of characters when I think it’s right to, and not just produce hundreds. It’s important for me to look at quality control, so each group of characters has a meaning and a purpose to a specific project. I am currently working on some new pieces that are so not so character based, but draws upon the world they inhabit
What is your background? When did you first realise you were the creative type?
I was always drawing when I was younger, and used to love art homework and trying to impress the art teachers. At school I was always into art, but during sixth form I wasn’t really advised very well as to what I could do at University. I actually saw media as a route that would be more beneficial, and was encouraged to do this. So I studied media and film at Uni, but started to illustrate as a hobby. It then started to get work and I began working as a full time illustrator after I graduated.
What’s your favourite colour?
Colour(s); red & black.
What makes you smile?
My girlfriend and her bad jokes.
I believe you’re a co-founder of London’s first “creative-led” football team – Soho Warriors FC. What’s that all about then?
This is a new project set up by myself and my older brother Chris Dent. We have brought together around 20 individuals, playing football and working together to create exciting football-inspired projects. The team consists of artists/illustrators, designers, photographers, web designers and filmmakers, aiming to fuse our love of football with our creative backgrounds. We have just announced that we will be at this years Pick Me Up, officially launching the collective to the world! Make sure you come and check it out, it starts on the 22nd March.
If you could choose one piece of design that ruled supreme as your favourite, what would it be?
Jorge Campos World Cup 94 shirt, he designed it himself.
Who would be the one person/brand that would be your dream collaboration?
There are plenty of great brands out there, I would love to do an animation for Yo Gabba Gabba.
What one piece of advice would you impart to a budding illustrator?
There is plenty I could say, but mainly just work hard and always strive to produce exciting work.
What’s next for Matthew Dent?
Well I will be showing some new work and zines at Pick Me Up 2012, Somerset House. Other than that I have a few projects on the go, including working on a fun animation. Hopefully plenty more personal work, and exciting projects.