Craft Source x Matt Griffin
Sketch Artist | Tattoo Artist
Ph: 021 0269 1670
My name is Matt Griffin, 22, and I was born and raised in Riverhead, West Auckland. I have a Bachelor of Structural Engineering and am currently a full-time Realism Charcoal artist and Tattoo artist. I did art all the way through school and started to develop my ideas in Year 13 under Kerry Arlidge at St Peters College. With my art board having a central theme around it, it taught me there was more to art than just how it looks, and from there I slowly had to develop myself as an artist.
I don't know how I established my style. It just happened I guess. I would describe it as Realism or Hyperrealism Drawing. I used to paint back in school and did a couple of paintings outside of school but I was never really set up to paint. The drawings came out better than my paintings so I stuck with that.
Compared to working with a canvas, tattooing is very different. Theres are many reasons why. But theres also similarities with realism tattoos and drawings. Not that I would consider myself an expert realism artist but thats where I want to end up. I enjoy them both, but drawing is my ultimate passion. These days I find ideas for my work everywhere. Besides my commissions, inspiration is all around me but mostly in my head...stuff that I daydream about. I have many influences, almost too many to say. Some of them are artists, some of them are my friends, but most of them are people I admire - their mindset and their determination to get their shit done. Every piece speaks to me in different ways, but its also how the viewer sees it. It doesn't matter what I think it means - it may have a completely different meaning to someone else.
When I start my process, I always start with the eyes 95% of the time. The ideal set-up is a large smooth wall in a warm room with heaps of light. Funnily enough the most indispensable item in my studio is a paintbrush. Everyday I stay passionate and keep motivated.
The most challenging piece that I've worked on would probably be the Keith Richards piece. He had an insane amount of detail in his weathered face so it was very tedious. The hardest part was to stay focused and keep that pencil on the paper. One day I hope to travel with my work to New York - that's always been my dream. New Zealand is a small nation, and the opportunities are less in comparison to more established countries so it's more of a challenge to do what you want to do which is good for me!
My advice to any aspiring creative would be "Don't be the next someone - be the first yourself."
What's next for me ? Tomorrow.
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