Based in a leafy suburb of Leeds, Matthew Robson has always had a passion for illustration, animation and film. One of his mottos is ‘the geekier the better’ and he loves old science fiction programmes like Blake’s 7 and Doctor Who. Saul Bass, Ralf Steadman and Terry Gilliam are some of his favourite creatives – he particularly enjoys artists who’ve married animation with their work.
Matthew is a kung fu expert and he thinks he’d like to have a goat for a pet. Sometimes, he visits the tropical gardens in Leeds where he watches creatures such as meerkats, bats and baby crocodiles, studying how they move, which then informs his art and animation work.
Matthew went to the Jacob Kramer Art College (now the Leeds College of Art) before working in several video production and animation companies. He built up his drawing, character design, graphic design and animation skills on the job and eventually became a freelance illustrator.
Usually, he starts with strong blocks of colour, building up a composition and the point of interest, before moving on to the detail. He loves colour, and uses it to affect focus and depth. Matthew nearly always works with vector graphics on his computer.
Whether still or animated, Matthew’s style is strong and graphic, and often quite cheerful and fun. He trained in the late 1980s when lots of shading was frowned upon, and so his work is generally stark and clean, with strong lines and colours. However, he does like to bring in some texture and lighting to add more depth to a piece.
A huge number of influences are rolled into his work – most recently Manga and working with type have opened new creative corridors for him. Asterix comics, Warner Bros cartoons, Rupert the Bear… his list goes on and on.