I know I’m off by a day, but cut me some slack; I’ve been laid low for nigh on two weeks by what has to be the worst cold I’ve ever had, and spent most of my weekend crying into my pajama sleeve over the fact that said cold prevented me from experiencing the Belgian Beer Festival being held mere blocks away. Plus, let’s not forget the high-maintenance kittens we’ve been fostering since Wednesday!
But enough of excuses; this week I’m happy to introduce two new designs in our guest artist series, courtesy of Milwaukee-based illustrator Matty Cipov: I Love Unicorns, and Tiger Owl.
Let’s go straight to the unicorn’s mouth for a little more background info on the artist, shall we?
1. Where are you from (both originally and currently)?
I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, raised in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and now I am back in MIlwaukee. I love it here.
2. Has that at all shaped you as an artist, or otherwise affected your creative processes?
The only thing I think being in the Milwaukee area, or the Midwest has done is that it has made me love our art scene rather than feel like I am lost in the fray of too many artists. Don’t get me wrong, we have a ton of good artists, but we aren’t overly choked with them like some other parts of the country are.
3. Can you let us know about some other visual artists that you admire and draw inspiration from?
Here is a quick list (if I think about it too much, it’ll be painful to compile this): JACK DAVIS… CHARLES BURNS… EGON SCHIELE…. DC COMICS… EC COMICS… DANIEL CLOWES… JACK KIRBY… AUBREY BEARDSLEY… and the list goes on and on and on…
4. How about non-visual artists (musicians, friends, family, public figures, filmmakers, writers, etc)?
Another quick list: RICKY GERVAIS… CHARLES BUKOWSKI… LENNY BRUCE… TRACY MORGAN… CORMAC McCARTHY… RADIOHEAD… WILLIAM BURROUGHS… MARK BORCHARDT… MY GRANDMA… KISS… SCHARPLING AND WURSTER… GEORGE ROMERO (circa the 1970’s and 1980’s)… STEVE COOGAN… RICHARD PRYOR… I could go on forever.
5. Did you receive any formal art training, whether it be in college, or elective classes in high school, middle school and so on?
When I was a youngster, I was always drawing. When I was in middle school and high school, I took as many art classes as I could wrap my brain around. And then for college, I attended the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design where I got a Bachelors degree in Illustration. I’ve always wanted to be a professional artist.
6. What’s your creative process like? Do you work in silence, or with music/TV/some other background noise on? Do you have a specific space set aside for working on art? What are your preferred mediums?
I like getting right to final art. I don’t like letting sketching or penciling guide me too much. I like getting right to paint and ink and the process of building my compositions based off of the core ideas I might have, but allowing for tangents and experiments to mutate what I think the finished art will end up looking like. And when I am truly inspired, art making is a fast process. Because of that, I limit myself to just pencil, ink and acrylic paint markers.
And I could never work in silence. I always have something playing in the background. It could be a food show… a comedy album… some crazy instrumental music… or possibly an episode of one of the most amazing shows ever: Parks and Recreation. That show always makes me laugh; it gets the giggles out of me more in 22 minutes than most hour and a half movies can. It’s good art fuel.
And yes, I do have an office in my basement, but dang, in the wintertime, it is really hard to be down there and draw. At this time of year, I prefer working on my bed.
7. Do you have any pop cultural guilty pleasures you’d like to admit to?
Not really. I am a major geek and always embraced all of the kitsch and corny stuff that brings me smiles. I don’t take myself too seriously and because of that, I don’t have too many entertainment bones in my closet. Just ask my wife!!!
8. What are some of your favorite web haunts? Any blogs or websites you’d like to turn more people on to?
I frequent far too many websites to even start this list. I have to keep my brain full of trivia… otherwise I think I might die. The internet keeps me full of facts and fun info and at times, confusion.
9. Do you have any pets?
Actually yes. Owing to my allergies to most furry critters, I have a pet cockatiel named Shadow. Many other parts of my life were enjoyed with pet turtles.
10. Beer, wine, or liquor? Which kind (ales, porters, pilsners, reds, whites, rums, vodkas)?
I enjoy a nice size glass of red wine most nights before bed. It helps me relax and shake off the intensity and over-thinking that I fill my days with all too often.
11. If you had access to Doc Brown’s Delorean in Back to the Future, when in time would you go?
I’d love to check out the 1950’s. The comic scene… the toys… the candy… the decor… the movies… I would love to hang out in the fifties and have a whale of a time.
12. Cake, pie or cookies (ice cream and candy are also acceptable, but be specific)?
I go in and out of phases. Maybe a while ago, I would have told you I was more into cakes, or donuts. At the moment, I am most into all of the weird new fruity favors of gum that are coming out… but chocolate comes in a close second…. and who doesn’t love a slice of good pie????
Indeed, who doesn’t love a slice of good pie? You can check out more of Matty’s work at his Etsy shop and on his website. I encourage you to do so; it’s all very excellent!