Introducing the talented and versatile illustrator and designer Matthew K. Grundy aka Matt Diecast. Matt has kindly taken time out of his busy schedule to tell us a bit about himself, his inspiration, working methods and what projects he is currently working on.
I’m Matthew K. Grundy, also know as Matt Diecast, I’ve worked as a freelance designer for the last ten years, and for the last five years or so, I’ve been gravitating more into the realm of illustration, as it’s become apparent to me that’s really what I’ve always wanted to do.
My inspirations, like most artists I guess, are pretty wide-ranging. Everything I see, hear, and experience gets channeled into what I create, perhaps not in the literal sense of documenting things with drawing, but more trying to recreate feelings and atmosphere of things from my life. I hope that my work is mostly about visual storytelling; trying suggest a bigger story than just the one moment that is fixed in the picture, and take the viewer’s mind somewhere else through the use of atmosphere, colour and expression.
In terms of stylistic influences and things that got me started, comics are always going to be pretty much the top of the list, and music not far behind. I was raised on Marvel comics, 2000AD etc, and they were the things that started me off drawing. Heavy metal album covers soon became an inspiration, sending me off on the route of drawing skulls and monsters that still persists in my artwork today!
Later on, as I got older, comics seemed to hit a phase of ‘growing up’ artistically as well, and artists like Dave McKean in particular showed how things could be done incorporating a wider range of media, both traditional and digital. It was seeing Dave McKean’s covers for the comic ‘Sandman’ that got me into learning Photoshop, going to study design, and steadily evolving an illustration style that blends traditional drawing and digital aspects.
I like to try to create work that starts with traditionally drawn elements using pencil, ink and watercolour, but then use what I see as the strengths of digital – the ability to play with opacity and blending of elements and to create lighting. I also have a tendency to create images that are visually slightly incomplete and have to be resolved by the eye/brain of the viewer, and that is something that Photoshop lends itself to well.
My work has been largely centred around the music industry, and I’ve got to do some video games related stuff here and there. I’ve recently finished work on all the branding illustration for this years Hit The Deck festival, and have just completed a tour poster for the band Summerlin. I’m just about to start work on a limited edition screen printed poster for this year’s Two Thousand Trees Festival, and I’m also (very steadily) working on my own comic project, tentatively entitled ‘The Edge of the Nameless Empire’, but it’s very slow going on that, as I’m writing it as well as creating all the artwork, which is an entirely new and alien thing to me! I’m also in the process of planning a collaboration piece with my friend, the awesomely talented Si Mitchell (www.simitchell.co.uk).