Some of you may have read The Black Flag’s review of RobotMonkeyArm’s EP “Part 3… In Memoriam to Those We’ve Lost and Those We Don’t Remember”, and if you didn’t then where have you been you losers!! Those of you who did see it will have been impressed by the awesome cover art by American Artist Matt Talbot, so we decided it was high time to have a chat to Mr Talbot and see what makes him tick.
Matt was born in Lebanon, New Hampshire, which for those of you on this side of the pond is in the North East of the United States. He developed a keen interest in art at the age of four when he discovered comic books and the super heroes that populated their pages, as well as a love for everyone’s favourite fat cat, Garfield. Now if you’re a comic book fan like Me or Mr Kleenex then you’ll know the great artists who have influenced Matt’s work, people like Jack Kirby, Todd McFarlane and Erik Larson so I was interested to know who or what else influenced Matt’s work;
“…I find I’m REALLY attracted to old, retro stuff–old matchbook covers, old stamps, old magazines. I spend a ton of time picking through flea market vinyl looking for cool old album covers. I collect old paperback books, just for the covers. Like old Doc Savage books, and stuff like that.”
Another influence in Matt’s work is the iconic artist Edward Gorey, who’s strange and macabre work featured many wonderful characters, bursting freely out of one of the most eccentric minds in modern art. If you’re reading this and you don’t know who Edward Gorey is then you should definitely stop crying into your cheap cider and have a look at his work, it is inspired madness!
Matt was an English Major in College and also took a Minor in Art. A love of art and not being sure of what he wanted to do led him into working with the college newspaper;
“…I drew a twice-weekly political-style comics for my college newspaper, which lead to me becoming a graphic designer for the student-run magazine… When they recruited me, the magazine people said, basically, you’ll take the articles and mix them with photos or drawings and make the pages look nice.”
Now Matt works for a Design Shop, designing Logos, Magazines, Websites, etc. and takes commissions from people, in his own time, such as Bands if he finds the subject interesting enough. Being able to work with people to create amazing works of art that fit the profile of the client so well is the dream of any creative natured person and Matt does it with a touch of class which is fun but pushes the boundaries of imagination.
Matt describes his art as being heavily influenced by Comic books but ultimately free of any particular style that would tie him down to one area, the style of the art is whatever happens to be necessary for the project at the time. You can see the obvious influences in Matt’s work, and although a common theme exists in the superheroes and the robots, their is a fluidity in the work that steps outside of what you’re used to seeing. When he gets the chance to have some time to do his own stuff, Matt likes to draw Robots and Zombies (see the amazing Zombie Propaganda Poster at the top) and says he’d like to work with more bands and create more of what we saw on the brilliant RobotMonkeyArm covers.
As if creating visually stunning artwork isn’t enough, Matt and his singer-songwriter wife, Jen, have a little band on the go to. Their band, The Honorable Mentions consists of the two of them, Jen on vocals and Matt on guitar playing some actually quite nice songs, so I encourage you to have a wiggle on over to their site and give it a listen.
We here at The Black Flag like anything that drops it’s strides (that’s trousers to any of our American cousins who may be reading) and takes a big dump on mainstream media by shunning the popular belief that normal is the way forward. We chant the name of artists, both Graphic and Musical who allow their minds to freely express whatever it is that happens to be bubbling away in there at the time. In Matt Talbot we find an artist who takes the strange and unusual and throws it down on the page for all to see with no hint of an apology for how different it is. You can expect to see much more work adorned with his name in the future.
The Black Flag would like to thank Matt Talbot for taking the time to talk to us when he clearly had such a busy schedule. Thanks Mate.
Are you in a band looking for cover art, or are you just in need of posters or promotional material? Then get yourself over to Matt’s website and ask him for some help.