There’s something about London-based illustrator and skateboarder Matt Bromley‘s style that is immediately familiar. Bromley himself describes it as ‘non-linear’, and says that old children’s books are one of his main influences: a concept that’s easy to understand when looking at the simple, fun characters that populate his work, and his deliberate use of only two or three colours. Although it’s only a couple of years since he graduated, Matt’s been rapidly making a name for himself, with a recent, large-scale show at the Queen of Hoxton pub in East London, as well as countless other private and commercial commissions. We caught up with Matt prior to his inclusion into our art show at Newquay Boardmasters 2012. Here’s what he had to say…
Your work comprises a range of styles – graphics, cartoon, humour, Japanese influenced maybe? How would you describe it to someone who’s never seen a madebybromley piece?
Ha ha that’s a tricky one. I guess I could use some ‘buzz words’ to help explain…Fun, silly, playful, clean, bold, limited colour, non-linear, goblins, pixies, skulls, flowers, tube socks, pink brick walls, genie lamps. That sort of stuff.
Who were your early influences?
Being a skateboarder theres tons to inspire you, when I was a teenager I was so inspired by anything Fos would do with Heroin Skateboards it would get me soooo excited! I went back home to my parents a few months back and went in the loft to look at my old art sketch books and found loads of print-outs of Fos’s drawings, Heroin adverts and also a ton of French’s drawings too. I was so into all that horror, punk, 80s hardcore and Morrissey. Basically anything Fos seemed to be into.
What’s your most prestigious achievement as an artist?
Well I’m only twenty-three, so I guess I haven’t had much time to prove myself yet. I did a children’s book called GNARBUNGA which I’m pretty proud of. It’s about a character called GNARBUNGA who is made of sludge and he doesn’t know what to do with himself and goes around annoying everybody until he finds skateboarding. It’s just been published in USA and is coming out in the UK in September. (Editor’s note: GNARBUNGA is now available for order on Amazon). I want kids everywhere to shout “GNARBUNGA!!!!!” which if they did might be my most prestigious achievement so far.
Do you own anything by other artists? And if not, whose art would you love to have?
Yeah! I love collecting stuff from other artists and illustrators and friends. I have some original drawings and paintings from people like James Jarvis, Fos, Jon Boam, Lucas, Malarky, Mr. Gauky, Kyle Platts, Tom Slater, Evgenia Barinova, Jay wright and my personal favorite Marcus Oakley. It would be a dream to one day own an original Mark Gonzales drawing or painting.
Can you describe the piece you’ve done for the Newquay show?
As I write this I haven’t even started on the piece yet, so I cant really describe what I’ve done but can describe what I plan to do, which might sound interesting? Lately I’ve been painting green goblins popping over or through pink walls and I’m feeling like a bit of a change and I also draw these organ pixies doing silly things. So it’s the pixies time to shine, they’ll be wearing tube socks, there will probably be a skull in there somewhere, maybe even a dinosaur, I like them a lot lately. I also like limiting my colour pallet to maybe three colours against the natural wood grain it should look lovely jubbley Rodney!
What would you like people to think when they look at it?
I would like people to just smile I guess, sounds cheesy I know but its all a bit of fun really. I love it when kids look at my work, they always point out a character and say something like, “ohh look daddy that green thing looks like you” or go crazy because their favourite colour is orange and as my work is very blocky they just shout out the word ORANGE! or PINK!
What inspired it?
I get a lot of inspiration from children’s books. I collect them and my collection is growing. There are a lot of crap kids books out there but there are some true gems out there, really interesting compositions, use of colours and technique, characters and the story. I have this Dr. Seuss picture dictionary which teaches you English to French and it’s amazing, full of ideas!
Finally – What other projects do you have on the go – where might we see more of your work?
Gee, not sure! I just finished up a load of stuff with Anorak Magazine which I’m really proud to be part of. We just made an activity book called ‘Goober the Goblin’ that was really fun. And in December 2012 I will be taking part in a group show in the contemporary art gallery in Frankfurt which will be super fun. But the thing I’m most excited to tell you is that I’m starting a skateboard company-slash-project called BLAST SKATES. All I can say is that you can expect amazing artwork, shaped boards and fun skateboarding!Tweet