Illustration February 5, 2016
Matt Luckhurst: Pancakes & Pencil Crayons
by Lauren Festa
It’s Illustration Month at the ADC and we’re featuring some glowing work from our ADC Members. Not a member yet? Resolve to become an ADC Member in 2016 while you sip green juices and join the community. Illustration Month is our chance to highlight ADC Members who consider themselves illustrators, whether professionals, students or just really keen amateurs. Matt Luckhurst is a designer and illustrator and a fellow NY transplant by way of Vancouver, Canada. Now calling Brooklyn home and Collins his place of work as Design Director, the YG 10 has been recognized by the Type Directors Club, Design Quarterly, Print Magazine and many more. He’s also written a children’s book that has children everywhere falling in love with pancakes. (You can get it here.)
Be sure to check out his design work too!
When did you discover your own talent and then later turn it into a viable gig?
Not sure that ever happened. I’ve always supplemented my illustration work with design work. I think I discovered I could work in design and illustration during my undergrad. I was painting, sculpting, designing and drawing. I just realize there were a lot of options for making a living. There are different ways of putting a career together through visual communication.
How long have you been an illustrator?
I wouldn’t go as far as to call myself an illustrator but I’ve been drawing for money for about years.
Self taught? School?
School. The Alberta College of Art taught me how to draw.
Was a career in the arts encouraged from a young age?
No. I went to business school first.
Take us through your creative process.
Find an amazing place in California. Find a beach. Bring pencil crayons. Go for it.
In illustrating, what are the tools you can’t live without?
What is one of the most exciting projects or a favorite you’ve worked on/are working on?
My children’s book about Paul Bunyan was amazing. Mostly just getting reactions, even years later, from random people who have kids who love pancakes now.
How do you describe your aesthetic?
What is the biggest challenge about being an illustrator?
Motivating myself to do it. Most of my illustration is self directed these days, so I have to force myself to get after it. Then sitting with something and finishing it. I always want to jump to the next thing.
What do you love most about it?
Being able to do it. That sounds cocky, maybe? But I am always so stoked I can grab a bottle of wine, sit down in a park and draw something I’m really excited about.
Any dream collaborations or brands you’d like to work with?
I love what McFetridge is doing with Patagonia. I’d love to jam on that.
Where is your favorite place to go or thing to do to get inspired?
Big Sur. In the woods and on the coast.
Any contemporary artists on your radar? (illustrators or other).
Shout out to my favorite pair of grumpy illustrators Min Heo and Agnes Lee. Their talent always blows me away. Christian Widlic can’t draw but always makes great images. I got to meet Tim Lahan. He makes bumper stickers. Nick Ace is bringing more heat per pixel that anyone else in the game. And Dark Igloo is super chill. We made some pretty stellar GIFs together this year. All those people are amazing.
For anyone considering illustration as a career or just something to try out of curiosity, do you have any advice?
Sketch always. Do a lot of different things. Be disciplinary. Be an illustrator/designer/parakeet owner/dancer/magician. You’ll draw cooler shit.