For years, Awesome Art We’ve Found Around The Net has been about two things only – awesome art and the artists that create it. With that in mind, we thought why not take the first week of the month to showcase these awesome artists even more? Welcome to “Awesome Artist We’ve Found Around The Net.” In this column, we are focusing on one artist and the awesome art that they create, whether they be amateur, up and coming, or well established. The goal is to uncover these artists so even more people become familiar with them. We ask these artists a few questions to see their origins, influences, and more. If you are an awesome artist or know someone that should be featured, feel free to contact me at any time at [email protected].This month we are very pleased to bring you the awesome art of…
Matt Ryan Tobin
Matt Ryan Tobin is a graphic designer and illustrator hailing from the Great White North. He was raised and nurtured lovingly by the hands of the ’80s and ’90s pop culture. Enjoys Rye & Gingers and one day aspires to become an evil robot version of himself.
Matt has worked for high-profile clients such as 20th Century Fox, Universal, Paramount, Warner Bros, Sony, MGM, Marvel, DC, Lionsgate, Mondo, and many more.
JoBlo: What got you started as an artist?
Tobin: I’ve always been creative from a very young age. Drawing as far back as I can remember. However, as I got older my focus really became music. It’s still very much a part of me. I essentially dropped out of high school to go on tour and pursue music with my band Dead And Divine which was my career for over 10 years. It was actually the early days of the band that reignited my love for illustration and design. We were far too poor and too cheap in the early days to hire designers for our merch, so I took it upon myself to handle the art side of things. I had been dabbling in Photoshop from the time I was about 14. Being that you don’t make money being a musician, I was fortunate enough (through word of mouth of bands we toured with) to start designing merch on the side when I was on tour or home from tour for some pocket money. It snowballed from there until it became my full-time career.
Who were some of your favorite artists growing up?
You know, honestly – when I was young I didn’t really aspire to be an illustrator. I just loved art and comics and I never really took note of who the artists were. I just knew that I loved it. I can tell you I was obsessed with one comic cover in particular: Andrew Wildman’s cover for Venom: Carnage Unleashed #3. I attempted to draw that thing too many times to count. A few years ago I tracked down the whole 4 part series from the 90’s just so I had it again. It wasn’t until I started working in the art world where I really discovered the artists behind the work I admired. My biggest influences are honestly my friends who helped me pave my path to my art career. Notably “Ghoulish” Gary Pullin, Jason Edmiston, Justin Erickson, and James Rheem Davis. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I’m at. I’m eternally grateful for them.
Who do you really dig these days, follow on Instagram?
As far as an artist who consistently impresses me with everything they do right now I’d have to say Tula Lotay. Her work is incredible. I swear one of these days I will finally acquire one of her original pieces.
What advice would you have for budding artists today?
The same advice I was given: Keep making art. Just make it. Make it for yourself, make it without any real purpose – just for the sake of bringing an idea to life. Also – be persistent. My dad once told me If you passionately want something badly enough, for the right reasons, nothing can stop you from willing it into existence.
What should we be looking out for from you in the future?
I have some projects in the works I’m pretty ecstatic about but it’s all very hush-hush. Lots of art you can hold in your hands and put on your walls.
Being a fansite, we have to ask you… What are some of your favorite movies/TV shows of all time?
My favorite film of all time is Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. Bar none. Probably the most underrated film ever made. People are very quick to dismiss it and I wholeheartedly believe that to be because the last time most saw it was 30 years ago…or not at all. It’s a completely original, bat-shit oddity of a film. Story, design, soundtrack. There is nothing like it. It set the stage for a lot I would do in my life and I’ve been very lucky to work on art for that film multiple times.
In regards to TV, I’d have to say Twin Peaks. I was very late to the game with the show but I have immersed myself in that show more than any other. It’s brand new every time I watch it.
Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey
Child’s Play 2
Last Action Hero
The Lost Boys
Pee Wees Big Adventure
A Quiet Place
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles