MWM Graphics is the commercial art studio of 26-year-old Portland, Maine artist and designer Matt W. Moore. Matt is the founder and curator of the popular website/free-sticker-zine Wallspankers and als publishes art books through Knuckle Sandwich Press.
You are using many different mediums/styles creating art, murals, creating logos, t-shirt designs, vector art, traditional ink illustrations, graffiti etc. What form is more satisfying for you as an artist?
Wow… Tough question. The honest answer is that I love each discipline equally, and I wouldn’t be where I‘m at with one without my explorations with another. My illustration is often very graphic and some of my design is very illustrative. My history in streetart and graffiti is always spilling into my work, and vice-versa. It is nice because after working intensely in one style for days or weeks, I can jump to a totally different aesthetic and style and keep the momentum from the last project. Cross-pollinating ideas from one to the other. My motto is “Range is conducive to growth”.
What inspires you in life and/or art ? (e.g other artists examples, music, other)
Family first, no doubt. My wife and son are the biggest inspiration and source of balance in my life. As far as sources of inspiration, I try to go as far off the beaten path as possible. I am the type of dude that is constantly dialed. I’m always analyzing situations and mentally deconstructing everything, from architecture to nature. Trying to figure out how things work and how they were constructed. Most of the time, I’d rather flip through an old issue of Graphis from 1972 or look through a National Geographic Magazine to let my mind wander. Again, “Range is conducive to growth”.
You recently released Wallspankers issue 3 featuring as a free B&W sticker graphics from 80 international artists. Can you tell us a little bit about the Wallspankers project? (how it started, what makes it different from other zines like e.g peel zine, response so far)
Wallspankers was started as an online platform for international artists and designers with a quarterly magazine of black and white sticker designs. I launched it in April 2006 by reaching out to my immediate community and requesting black and white work for the sticker-zine. I wanted to be more than a collective of amazing artists… I wanted to make something that people could be a part of and participate. Anyone can submit work. Anyone can print the Free PDF Zine on sticker paper and spank the designs all over any city in the world. Imagine a little Podunk town in Nebraska or Thailand or Ecuador crushed with stickers from over 200 artists from all over the world. Amazing, right? Wallspankers.com also has a constantly expanding graffiti archive of writers from Maine and beyond.
You have created t-shirt graphics in the past both for MWM and for clients -do you think that art is “degraded when worn as a t-shirt”
Hell no! Quite the opposite. I mean, not every painting or illustration would translate well to apparel. But t-shirts are one of the best ways to get designs out there. They are super affordable compared to original artworks.
What do you think of the “streetwear” industry as a whole?
It is more entertaining than Jerry Springer, Forealyo! I love it! New conflicts and beefs everyday, ridiculous designs being pushed as “epic”, shameless over-biting, Retarded prices. Don’t get me wrong, I like rocking dope kickers and gear… but some of these kids have got to chill. There is more to life than a pair of Tennis Ball Reebok Pumps and the new BAPE camo reversible. Go find a nice brook and “Om” like Siddhartha until you find your path. Damn… I’m too young to be so salty… maybe I need to find a river and “Om”.
Any brands you think are creative, innovative and inspiring?
Absolutely. Anyone who is thinking about what the world will look like in 3 years has my attention. Anyone who is still doing 2004 had better be doing it really well or I’m not interested. If I had to pick one company to give the gold metal to it would be the Burton family of brands. They always come correct.
Any plans for releasing a new series of t-shirts anytime soon?
Yes, quite soon I will do a nice little spring line of MWM360 tees. I haven’t decided on the overall look yet, but it will be crazy graphics and subtle palettes. Black on grey, grey on white, brown on tan, etc. I am a big fan of clothes that look like blanks from 30 yards but really grab your attention up close. I have also recently done a bunch of one-offs for various clothing companies around the world.
You also just released Bangers 3 a book of black and white paintings and illustrations from the past 3 months. What is that book series all about?
Bangers is my lifelong book series. Every winter I will return to black and white illustration to filter my new ideas and visual vocabulary through the strict filter of no color. Bangers 3 is a 72 page book of paintings and illos on 8×8 watercolor paper. Really mixed up… Ink, paint, spraypaint, markers, pencils, etc. I am super excited about the project and everyone that has seen it is really feeling it too. Swing through and scoop a copy at my site.
Any other projects you’re currently working on you’d like to talk about?
I also just released 10 new posters from the VectorFunk Series. Everyone was asking, so I had to do a little run of them. They are seizure-inducing! Crazy vibrant colors and techie digital designs. Have you ever seen the video on Youtube of the spiders building webs on acid? The VectorFunk stuff is kinda like that. Unexpected flows and optical illusions. Those are available on my site as well. Only 33 of each design, signed and numbered.
Big ups to my crew and extended family, near and far. I wouldn’t be where I am now without your support and inspiration. Stay great! And to all the designers and artists out there… Send some b/w sticker jams to Wallspankers for Issue 4. I promise your work will be seen and enjoyed by many. All work received before the March 31st, 2007 deadline will also be considered for the WS:1234 Book project. It will be mega!