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The Q&A: Matt Booker

By Peggy Roalf   Monday January 30, 2017

Q: Originally from a Medieval city in Cambridgeshire, what are some of your favorite things about living and working in London?

A: I am originally from a small city called Peterborough and, having lived and worked in London for the past 6 years, I am now temporarily back in Peterborough working on a residency. I enjoy Peterborough a lot and I find it makes a nice change from the fast paced relentlessness of London life. I have a small studio space in the city centre, which is really cosy. I also like the countryside around it, I do a lot of cycling around, visiting people, and it's nice to be out in the open surrounded by fields and not tower blocks! 

Q: Do you keep a sketchbook? What is the balance between art you create on paper [or other analog medium] versus in the computer?

A: I do keep a sketchbook, yes, or usually quite a few sketchbooks at the same time. I'd love to say I draw when I'm out and about every day, but I sometimes get lazy; however I do still draw a lot. I try and work by hand as much as possibly and only use the computer when I have to; I like to keep the balance. For commercial work I tend to use a computer but for other work I use a lot of printmaking and drawing. I've also started using film and moving image more, and sound too, to make work. Trying to keep in diverse!

 

 

Q: What is the most important item in your studio?

A: The kettle.

Q: How do you know when the art is finished?

A: When I look at it and don't notice anything else that I need to do to it and when it excites me on some level.

Q: What elements of daily life exert the most influence on your work practice?

A: I think I've always been an observer of people and a lot of my work is about finding interest in the everyday, mundane side of life, which is why I hope people can relate to it. I think observing how people relate to one another and small but meaningful contrasts and contradictions in the world around me are what influences my practice the most.

 

Q: What was your favorite book as a child? What is the best book you’ve recently read?

A: I loved Tintin when I was young. I think it's one of the only comics that I've ever been into. I think I liked the sense of adventure...and the pictures. I've recently read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, which I got really into. It's about an elderly man in search some more meaning who goes on a long and spontaneous walk across the country to see an old friend. I was hooked and I think what made it was the courage of the main character and what the walk symbolised. Would recommend it!

Q: If you had to choose one medium to work in for an entire year, eliminating all others, what medium would you choose?

A: Etching, it's got a whole world to it! 

Q: If you could spend an entire day away from work and deadlines, what would you do and where?

A: Skateboarding with friends, it's what I try and do as much as possible still and has kept me going since I was a nipper. 

Q: What was the [Thunderbolt] painting or drawing or film or otherwise that most affected your approach to art? 

A: It might be a cliché, but that's fine: I think Quentin Blake's work has and still does get me going. It just looks so effortless and universal and is a constant joy. Also David Hockney’s prints.

Q: What would be your last supper?

A: Something with pesto in it!

 

Matt Booker is a London based visual artist and illustrator, having recently finished on a scholarship to study at the Royal Drawing School. He works in a diverse way, involving printmaking, illustration, drawing and filmaking to create work finding interest in the everyday. For more work and information please visit www.mattbooker.co.uk

Booker’s next solo show will be the result of a residency looking at public spaces in Peterborough, supported by Arts Council England and METAL culture, it will open March 27th in the shopping centre in Peterborough. 
Website: http://www.mattbooker.co.uk/

 

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