Matt Coyle is the feature artist on Collate Culture this week. This Canberra born artist now resides in Hobart and his intricate and detailed drawings using pen on paper give viewers so much to explore. Matt was kind enough to answer some questions for Collate Culture about his work and about being an artist in the digital age. Please enjoy his work and words below.
CC: Have you had any formal training or are you a self taught artist?MC:I did go to Sydney College of the Arts straight out from school in 1990 – 91. I majored in painting but never completed the course due to my interests in producing a graphic novel – which I set out upon as soon as I left art school. My drawing technique is completely self taught.
CC: What is your favourite medium to work with and why?
MC: My favourite medium to work with is felt tip pen on paper. I love the graphic quality that comes with black pigment ink and the immediacy of the process. Although my work looks very measured there are still elements of risk every time pen is put to paper due to its unforgiving nature. Unlike paint you can’t go over the top of mistakes, so every stroke needs to count. I’ve been drawing with the same pens for about 25 years.
CC: How would you describe your earlier pen on paper works such as “Black Garden” compared to your more recent works such as “Vessel”
MC: There’s actually not a huge difference in approach or design to Back Garden or Vessel despite them being about 7 years apart. The obvious difference is the use of colour in Vessel, something I have been using quite a bit in my drawings over the last couple of years. The colour is either gouache or coloured pencil.
CC: Do you think it is easier or harder to be an artist in the digital age?
MC: I think it is certainly easier, especially for artists living away from the big art centres like Sydney and Melbourne. It allows you to have your work viewed easily and quickly cutting down on printing costs and travel in some cases.The possibility of exposure through social media is extraordinary really.
If you like what you have seen here, head to Matt’s website and take a look at the story that unfolds in his series of works called The Shades. Also make sure you visit his facebook page and follow him on instagram. Matt Coyle is represented by Anna Pappas Gallery in Melbourne and Bett Gallery in Hobart.