Timeouts are lightning-quick interviews. Five questions to help you get to know the players holding court at Dribbble. Many thanks to Matt for being today’s interviewee.
Who are you? Let us know where you hail from and what you do.
Hi, my name’s Matt Chase; I’m a Kansan-born designer & illustrator currently fighting the good fight with Design Army in Washington, DC. When I’ve got the time, I also enjoy meddling with freelance editorial illustration.
What are you working on?
I’ve been pretty busy lately. This weekend, I wrapped up illustrations for the new edition of Monocle Mediterraneo, the publication’s special edition summer newspaper and tonight will be signing and packaging a jumbo size palette of prints for Urban Outfitters, who surprised me recently with an invitation to sell my work in their stores. Very humbling, very exciting. I’m also helping my mother’s elementary school art teacher brand an educational art conference, which has been a nice way to pay homage to the years I roamed the halls as a kid. And a few things I’ll keep quiet on for now.
Choose a favorite shot of yours. Tell us why it’s a favorite.
This crop of my Christmas card is probably my favorite. Not so much what it is by itself but what it represents. Every day seems a little busier than the one before, and the last few years have pressed me so much for time that I got to a point where relationships and friendships really began to slip. I’d made a resolution a few years prior to illustrate and send my own Christmas cards every December, and I distinctly remember staying up until 4 AM the night before my flight home to make sure I could finish this one.
Tell us about your setup. What tools did you use to create the shot(s)? (e.g. hardware, software, pens, paper, blowtorch, etc.)
The hand-me-down desk that holds my Mac is even a bigger disaster than my workbench, so I’m picking the lesser of two evils here. This is where almost every project starts—just me and a sketchbook and some ideas. Half the time they aren’t even sketches; most of the pages are just filled with notes—writing has always been a major creative release for me and I often find that I can unearth better visual metaphors by verbalizing them rather than drawing them. After I land on something I think could work, I jump to Illustrator and find out pretty quickly if I’m right or wrong. Photoshop usually gets involved later on but sometimes I like to keep things simpler. Really depends on the project. Oh and the rum is for a friend. The uh, wine too.
Choose a favorite shot from another player. Tell us why you dig it.
Mike’s Kodak illustration is straight brilliant. Visually, it’s simple as hell but totally captures what that article discusses, which, when you’re dealing with abstract stuff like economies and bankruptcy, is the opposite of simple. As someone who’s still getting acclimated to doing editorial work, it’s really inspiring to see illustrators expressing so much with so little.