Matthew Pierce was born in 1995 in Norfolk, Virginia. He describes his art as: ”Asian inspired, street influenced, vibrant & eclectic work; a ‘surrealistic’ spin on graffiti and traditional Asian imagery.”
He started off drawing dragon ball Mario and street fighter characters, and so on and so on very young age, inspired through arts and crafts at school.
By drawing every day, he quickly established a strong foundation in sketching and fast forward 12 years he and his brother were recommended to join the Governor’s School for the Arts. GSA is a prestigious regional secondary arts school known because develops excellence and nurtures creativity by inspiring the unique artistic vision by being the anchor and teaching the passion for the arts.
In 2011, he auditioned and was accepted into the GSA; A prestigious arts magnet program. [Think Hollywood Arts from The Nickelodeon series 'Victorious'.] Since then, he has showcased his work in the Chrysler Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Hermitage Museum and Gardens.
At the end of my senior year at GSA he already hosted his first solo exhibition in downtown Norfolk, VA. He also self-taught in Korean and Japanese languages.
“Art; the broadest, the most extensive, and the single most difficult subject to define. A subject where tangibility and intangibility reside. Art is a subject where the mind races and creativity flows. Art is a subject that truly knows no boundaries.” – Matthew Pierce
It’s a big big pleasure have you here. We are really impressed about your work and your interest for arts since a young age.
1-Can you begin by telling our readers a bit about your background? I believe background ALWAYS influence our art positively. How did you get into illustration? Have you got any antecessor based on arts?
Growing up we didn’t have cable, so I would only watch cartoons on Saturday mornings. Every other day I was playing my Nintendo 64 or Drawing the characters I was exposed to.
2-I’m really curious…What is your working environment like?
My working environment? It always changes. I have worked in various different studios specifically geared towards artists. I recently moved back in with my parents and I am working out of my room. It is a nice sized room, with two desks; A sketch station and a scan station. I tack my sketches on the wall to help influence my next projects.
3-What are the three words that describe your work?
Bright, Vibrant, and Colorful.
4-Please describe a typical day?
I don’t have those; I am always working. My projects differ so much that no two days are ever alike.
5-Which have been your most satisfying projects to date?
My most satisfying projects are always my most recent ones. So right now it would be the portrait of 빅뱅 ‘BIGBANG’. I try to up the ante for every project so that I don’t grow bored.
6-This one is a little complicated…Who are some of your favorite illustrators/creative and why?
I have so many. I want give you all of them, but Pharrell Williams and Takashi Murakami are the first two names I thought of.
Pharrell is an innovator, He has touched a lot of people through fashion, furniture, curation and music. I enjoy almost everything he has produced.
Murakami is my primary influence. He is the first person I have seen merge anime and fine arts. I really don’t have to say much about his work. It really speaks volumes on its own.
Also, there is an artist that made a big impact on me even though he doesn’t know it. His name is Dustin Vo. He was in my art classes back in High School. We weren’t close friends and we spoke seldom, but he always had great ideas and kept me on my toes. When I was stuck on a project and contemplated what color I should add, his reply would be, “Hot Pink!” He made me start to experiment with brighter and more daring colors, so to that, I owe him.
7-Based on your experience, college worth the cost or do you recommend an alternative?
Well, college is very expensive. But I would say it is worth the cost. It is a great place to learn social skills and connect with multiple individuals at a rapid pace. However, I recommend following your heart. College isn’t for everybody. If you feel you have found an alternative route to success, By all means take it. I know I would. Especially if it was something you love.
8-Explain about your process of creation and name your 3 favorite creation to date:
(Quick And Dirty Version:
i: I sketch out the piece in either ink or graphite. This is the longest and most intensive part of my process. Most detail work goes into this phase. Often takes months to complete.
ii: I scan the image into my computer. If the image is large, I break the image into equal parts and scan the parts separately. I would then put the separated image together in Photoshop.
iii: I transfer the sketch into either Photoshop or Illustrator, depending on my mood and desired effect.
iv: I manipulate the photo and paint it until I feel the image is complete. )
My three favorite creations:
- 빅뱅 ‘BIGBANG’ Portrait
- My Hand painted Textile Pattern
- 권지용 ‘Kwon Ji Yong’ AKA 지드래곤 ‘G DRAGON’ Portrait
9-When I look through your portfolio; one of the first things I notice is how you portray emotion in your work. How did your style develop over time?
I used to work primarily in black and white. I was forced to work outside of my comfort zone at the Governor’s School for the Arts. There I was constantly surrounded by creative energy and this helped to develop my style. It also set off my competitive spirit. Everyone there was so good I had no choice but to bring my A game.
10-What would you say are the three most important things that an artist can do or learn to help them create more detailed artwork?
I say there is only one way to develop your artwork and that is to do it. Repetition is vital.
11-Did you work with a team of other artists on a project? (How is working with a team of artists if you did.)
I worked with a team of artists when I was at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach. I worked with Actors, Actresses, Singers, and other Visual Artists. It is very interesting to see others viewpoints on certain things. It can sometimes become hectic with so many strong opinions in the room, but in the end we put our differences aside and focused on our similarities.
13-What helps you be more creative? We all find inspiration outside our “bubble” name…:
Top 5 favorite things in life:
- My house
- My room
- My bed
- My dreams
- In front of a computer watching 런닝맨 = RUNNINGMAN
- 이루펀트 = Eluphant
- Pharrell Williams
- 태양 = Taeyang
- 지드래곤 = G DRAGON
Now looking ahead…
14-Are you working on any exciting projects at the moment that you can share with our readers? Artist Mafia shared one of your works on their Instagram ! That’s amazing…wow!
Yes I am! I am working on an album entitled ‘Kansha’ It is the romanization of the Japanese character ‘感謝’, which means Appreciation and Gratitude.
15-What advice would you give to up-and-coming illustrators who want to break in?
Be yourself, and don’t be afraid to take risks!
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today and good luck
If you wanna know more about this amazing artist don`t forget to follow and check out his sites: