What I love most about his sketches is how he captures San Francisco.
As artists, everything we put to paper is about our individual choices. So, more than likely you can see the artist in the art. And, to me, Matt's lines capture the city beautifully. They genuinely show the charm, complexity, and life that this city has.
Matt has such a clever way of capturing city scenes with only a marker.
That same cleverness is extremely apparent in his gesture drawings. Look at how much character and story is infused in such simple and fast scribblings.
And if his stuff looks like Ronald Searle, it's probably because Matt is a super fan of Mr. Searle's.
Check out his fan site here.
"Blood elf mage! Much more pleased than with my worgen. To put her more into the WoW universe, I looked to Glenn Rane's previous Blood Elf work for inspiration, then added my own tweaks to it. So it's a semi-original design."
My first week in San Francisco, I took a walkthrough of the Powell building, and immediately started drooling over the amazing designs on the walls. I made it to the third floor (caught my breath), and saw this amazing layout design of a typewriter repair shop/closet that had been done for a past Spring Show (I think).
I was floored. It was just incredible to look at. The story, the perspective, the design!
It was a soul-crushing experience for my first week in San Francisco, to say the least. But it did set the standard for what was to be expected of me, and what the prize might at least look like. So I kept my eye on it. I checked for who the artist was.... no name. Damn.
Fast forward two or so months...
I randomly land on Joao's blog, and again, I'm floored by the level of the work Academy students are producing. It's mostly digital, lots of creature and vehicle designs. Just... amazing... stuff. The colors are so vivid, and the designs are so tight. He has some great character development work from his thesis. It's just great. And then, as I scroll down.... I see the typewriter layout! uh-- yeah. It's the same guy!
Long story short (too late)...
Make sure you check out his blog. Check out the process video at the bottom. Be amazed.
And he's a wizard... which would make his quill, his wand.
He has such an inventive and creative mind when it comes to telling stories, and then he only compliments that with his intricacy and attention to detail.
His style is very loose (and by loose, I mean wobbly), but it always serves the illustration.
He's always been a reminder to me that even if your style doesn't "fit" into what the industry might be looking for... if it's strong, you can make a niche for yourself: Because you'll be the only place the industry can go to get that particular branch of art.
Make it happen!
Be sure to check out his sketchbook walkthroughs at the bottom.