I stumbled across Matt Cipov on LJ a while back and was blown away by his work. I love his use of line, the crisp definition of his characters, the refrains that appear over and over again in his art, and how irreverent it all is. It delights me and I continue to find surprises long after I thought I’d figured it all out. 🙂

Matt no longer has an LJ account, but hints that there may be a new blog coming! I’ll be sure to post a note when it happens.

What are your main inspirations in art?
I am inspired by all sorts of things that catch my eye… drawings from old books for children… strange animals I see at the zoo… words I glance at in books… people I see on the street… and even things like song lyrics have often grabbed me

What is your art background? (education, experience, etc)
I have always been drawn to art. It was my main focus in high school… from there I attended the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design from 1995 to 1999… after that I spent several years doing all sorts of things like corporate freelance, voice acting, sign making, and t-shirt designing. I got a bit burnt out in the corporate world in late 2005, so I ventured off on my own to become a self employed artist and designer. You can also catch my work at events like Chicago Renegade, at a number of online/brick and mortar boutiques or at gallery shows.

What is your process for creating your work?
I get little slivers of ideas, or concepts first. Then I go straight to the final art process where I do as little penciling as possible so I can render my ideas as fast as possible… before they don’t seem to have as much impact as when I first thought them up. Then when I think a drawing is done, I set it aside for a while to allow myself to gain a bit of new perspective on it. If I feel like it needs a bit more work, I add new elements, or change things I see as problematic. When I feel like that process is done, I erase all my pencil marks and move on.

What is the single most important thing you want to communicate with your work?
The most important thing I want my art to say is that a lot of joy and passion went into the making of what I did. I want a person to look at one of my drawings and get a sense of the fun I have committing my lines and ideas to paper.

What are your career goals?
The only goal I have is to keep doing what I am doing with a sense that I am moving forward. I want to look back at each year of self employment under my belt and get a sense that I am making progress, or at the very least doing something that I see holding worth. I often disliked the reasoning, or motivations behind why I did most of my work when I had a desk job and I want to work to make sure what I do now has much more integrity and meaning.

Happily, I can say that I do feel that way.

What one object has been the most instrumental in helping you achieve what you have so far?
My handy, dandy, 100% trust worth PILOT BPS SERIES fine ballpoint pen… or more specifically, the huge amount of them that I have gone through while making art. My lines exist the way that they do because of this exact type of pen… and my art is almost completely anchored by my lines. After many years of finding the one tool I needed to make my art feel right, I found this pen… basically a common pen, but one with that can kick out a lot of ink in a lot of different ways, and it made me love making art even more.

Tell me three random things about you.
1. I have never broken a bone
2. I hold onto almost every fortune cookie fortune I get and I have been doing this for well over 10 years
3. I like to see myself as a very nice, whimsical person, but when I am feeling a bit down, I can have quite a temper. It isn’t something I am proud of, but it is the truth.