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Tag Archives: Matthew Langille

Matthew Langille – Artist

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Matthew is a New York-based artist. His work has been shown at galleries around the world and featured in numerous publications. He has created images for many global fashion and design houses including Marc Jacobs, Adidas and Swatch.

Hailing from an artistic family – it was no surprise that Matthew followed in their footsteps in the pursuit of finding his own artistic path and unique drawing style.

Aside from the art, Matthew also runs his own full service design firm (Matthew Langille Design) – specializing in graphics, patterns, drawings, and prints for global fashion houses, design firms and fortune 500′s.

Matthew’s firm also provides any and all design needs such as art direction, consulting, brand identity development, corporate identity development, logo development, and all areas of graphic design.

Check out some of Matthew’s work here – http://www.matthewlangille.com

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Q&A:

1) You reside in New York and have been working with an amazing bunch of clients from around the world over the years. Your work for Swatch was pretty epic. What has been the most creatively rewarding (or successful) project you’ve done to date?

I have some things in progress, which may compete, but Swatch was epic. I mean I was 29 and the watch release coincided with my first wedding anniversary and the Swatch Artist Series was being launched in Venice Italy. So they flew my wife and I both out first class and put us up in the Hotel Danieli, which was amazing. Upon arriving they had a private boat take us to our hotel. When we got to the Island of Venice there was a huge ad for our collection in the Piazza San Marco, which just blew me away.

So for me that whole event, the size of it all just blew me away. I had to do over fifty interviews and a Press Conference in front of global media which was streaming to over ten million people and to which the President of Swatch came up to me after and asked if I was okay cause it was seriously transparent I was so nervous. That’s just the tip of the iceberg but we’d need a radio station for me to explain it all. Oh… and they rented out a small island off of Venice for the after party… no big deal.

It was a project I will never forget and to be honest the most amazing thing to happen to me to date. Having billboards with my name on them and my designs in every country was just surreal. I even had a billboard up in Times Square. So that was insane.

2) Who have been some of your greatest creative influences whilst growing up?

My family really. They are all artists. My mother is a well-known fiber artist judylangille.com and she was, and still remains to be an amazing art teacher and now a docent at the amazing Princeton University Museum.

My brother Jesse is such a talent and he is constantly setting the art bar of excellence that I always strive so hard to reach. His paintings are amazing jesselangille.blogspot.com

And then my grandfather, Harold Krisel, who passed away when I was only 13, but really influenced me, and even more so after his death. Harold was the person who made my mother and Aunt into artists; and my brother and I followed only having my oldest brother depart down another road where he is now an attorney. BUT, it’s good to have one grounded individual to help us out of binds – haha.

With all that being said my parents always exposed us to culture and museums and traveling etc. I know about so much art because it was instilled in me growing up. This gives me a huge advantage in many senses so I certainly credit my family completely for my being artistic.

3) How would you describe your particular creative style, and do you feel it has changed over the years as you’ve grown as an artist?

Changed? Haha Oh yes it has changed! I was a glassblower studying Venetian glass from age 11-19. Glass and ceramics were my passion. Until I was in college and I stopped blowing glass because all the guys in the program were kinda dicks and all the cute girls were in the printmaking classes so I cleverly switched gears. haha and eventually I met my wife in the design department. So good move on my part.

But around my junior year I really had an ‘ah ha’ moment and I realized I wanted to make images. Being a gregarious kidder and class clown I had no shortage of ideas. My work started with silhouette works being influenced by Kara Walker’s work. I designed birds with added appendages, chickens with penises, dogs going after cats etc. Then I began to draw.

I embraced the fact that if I drew a person they were not going to look like a person. Their hands were not going to be shown because I was, and still am terrified of drawing hands. Once I embraced my style and the naive childish look of it I realized that this was it. This was the direction I needed to take it. Screw being able to draw like everyone else and be a ‘typical illustrator’. I still don’t know what I’d call myself. I was gonna run with my odd characters and Egon Schiele lines and color them with crayons and print them huge on 30×40 inch Arches paper.

And lastly, I was gonna put my images on everything I could. I printed tees, on underwear, curtains, you name it and people responded to the point that daily kids around my college would be rocking my designs.

So I went from a glassblower to a designer with a focus on drawing. I marketed my drawings and they worked because everyone else’s work did – and still often does look the same. So my shirts looked different from all the others etc.

4) You have worked with some pretty major fashion and youth labels. One being Marc Jacobs. Did you get to meet him? And if so, what was he like? If not, how did this collaboration come about?

Never met him but went to a couple of shows were I saw him – haha. But that wasn’t a thing for me. If I did meet him what would I say?

This collaboration came about because someone in the design department liked the feel of my drawings and threw me a bone. I didn’t do loads of work with Marc-by-Marc Jacobs in the end but enough to get some traction for a business.

5) What do you love most about your work? / What are the biggest challenges for you as a graphic artist?

What I love most is the humor of my work. The light heartedness. I HATE intense graphics. I love simple stuff. Like Burton, Seuss, Oldenburg.

I HATE SKULLS and I don’t care if the world knows it. They repulse me and I simply will often refuse to draw them. I don’t get that shit do you?

Biggest challenges as a graphic artist is watching my ass. Making sure I’ve crossed my i’s and t’s in a business sense. I am often a collection agent part time too because it’s not easy to get paid in a timely manner as a freelancer. So that is a big challenge.

And then it’s just about staying fresh and inspired which takes time.

6) What are some of your favorite hang outs in NY for good food / coffee / music / fashion / art? As a New Yorker, can you share any insights into any hidden local gems that an outsider may love to experience that otherwise they could miss as a run of the mill tourist? (Cultural, touristy, food or other)

Heavy question: I will do a list:

Best Pizza Ever: Lombardi’s in little Italy

Best Burgers: JG Melons and Corner Bistro

Best Team: NY KNICKS (not this season)

Best Steakhouse: Peter Lugars

Best Gallery: Neue Gallery close to the Metropolitan

Best Tip: While visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art and some other Museums pay attention because you can pay what you want to get in even if it is lint and a penny (I have done this). The payment for a ticket is only suggested. I see huge families coming from other countries who are shelling out hundred of bucks to get their whole family in and they could just kick them 5 bucks and be in.

Best Neighborhood: SOHO Walk around and check out Fred Perry, Paul Smith, Adidas Originals, Issey Miyake etc.

There’s more but you have to buy me a drink to get anything more.

7) What do you do for kicks and leisure when you’re not working?

Love Basketball, movies, friends and leisure really aren’t that common as I have a two-year-old boy!

8) As a creative person – who and what inspire you or are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about everything. Instagram is inspiring me now actually a lot! Follow me! But it really gives you insight into what is trending and what is cool. You can follow some amazing artists and have a really intimate look into their work.

Richard Prince inspires me. Stupid, silly and amazing movies inspire me like The Flintstones, Pee Wee’s playhouse, anything Burton and old Dr. Suess movies . . . all that stuff.

9) If you could work on any brand, creative project/collab in the world – what would that possibly look like for you?

Another heavy question – haha. So I will name a few: Prada: Louis Vuitton: Paul Smith: Hermes: Chanel…

Are my standards too high? haha. I’d see my fun designs on their garments. I’d see rolls of fun fabrics with lavish patterns and clever imagery. I’d love that.

10) What next – any other interesting projects or collabs you’d like to plug/mention?

I’m releasing work with The Shrunks as we speak theshrunks.com who make awesome inflatable beds for toddlers and kids.

I’m designing prints for recycled leather goods for paperthinks.com out of Hong Kong and London.

I’m designing new characters for zuny.info out of Taiwan.

I’ve been designing the whole collection of graphics for a pretty big company now but I can’t disclose whom – but it’s been fun.

And I have just finished a website for my grandfather Harold Krisel – Haroldkrisel.com

I’m sure I’m missing stuff but hey, it’s close to holiday season, and my mind is shot! Looking forward to 2014!

Follow me on instagram http://instagram.com/matthewlangille

Join my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Matthew-Langille/102019924272?ref=nf and check out my website now and again.

I’m actually gonna revamp it over the holidays if I can get my son to stop jumping on me.