2 JUN 2024

Artist Catch-up: Lately with Matt Bailey

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We caught up with illustrator & tattoo artist Matt Bailey to discuss his latest shenanigans, what he's been up to recently and his upcoming release. Let’s hop into our exclusive interview!

Hi Matt! Hope you’ve been doing well, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to do our interview. We saw on IG that it’s your birthday recently so, before we start on anything, Happy Birthday to you! How’s life been treating you recently?

Haha, thank you! I'm very lucky, life has been good to me so far. If God struck me down tomorrow, I'd have no complaints. 

How’s the tattoo business going; are you still actively tattooing?

Business is good. I'm getting lazier as I get older, so I'm tattooing a little less, taking more days off. Until I realise that I need some money, then it's back to working furiously until I can afford to be lazy again.

What are some projects or art pieces that you’ve been working on recently? Do share a few of them with us!

I'm always working on a few projects at once, otherwise I get bored. Being bored is the worst thing, creatively speaking. At the moment, I'm working on new merch, and preparing some new artwork for tattoo work that I have coming up later this month. 

What’s your creative process when it comes to banging out new sketches of a new punny pose? An example would be for Fucktober last year, how many puns and positions do you gotta have in the back of your head to churn out so many witty artworks? Damn!

Some days are worse than others. One day I might sit down and bash out a piece within 2 hours, but the next day it will take me the same amount of time to even decide on a pose to work from.

Thankfully you don't have to be very witty to do a one line pun, so my lack of real writing prowess has never been revealed!

Have you explored any new art styles techniques/mediums in your work lately?

Yes I have! I'm always buying new pens or paper. A lot of the time they will sit on my desk unused for months, until I have an idea of what to do with them. I don't want to reveal too much though, I'm not sure what I'll put out when.

Some of your older artworks have tons of color in them while most of them are usually in black & white. How do you decide if an artwork of yours lives on the color spectrum or not?

I'm very, very, very bad at colour. It's something I'm actively working on improving, but my eye for it has never been good. I have friends who I try to learn (steal) from, like Crom or Gavin Dias. Just being around them helps a lot.

Have you ever felt fatigue creatively? And how would you get out of that rut?

All the time. Drawing is so hard!! If I'm having a really bad week, I'll make myself take a day or two off and watch a movie, or paint some warhammer. Something where I'm not actively trying to be productive. All of my good ideas come to me when I'm away from my desk.

Apart from your muse, what inspires you creatively these days?

Watching my friends make such great art! Making artwork, for me, is like playing competitive solitaire. When I see someone do something really cool, it makes me want to do something even cooler. But really, you're just playing against yourself. There's no high score.

We’re so excited for this upcoming launch of “New Me”. Your artworks that have translated into art collectibles have been a staple for our Mighty Jaxx fans. What’s going through your mind when you created this original artwork?

Usually it's something like "Oh god I'm a fraud, I've got to come up with something, oh god oh god" and then I make the next one. I'm very lucky that the excellent sculptors at Mighty Jaxx can make my work into such beautiful pieces. They are the real heroes. 

Your fans and followers are the best! They are so supportive with all your merch, sharing them on social and even sending ya twerking clips. What are some of the craziest/funniest feedback you’ve received so far from your fans?

This definitely goes back to me being a lucky sod. The feedback is always the same, they just want more. I try to supply their demands. 

Do you think you still have some goals (as an artist) that you have yet to achieve?

Definitely! I want to retire around age 50, and only work on passion projects and more merch releases. 

Looking towards the future, what are some artistic goals or projects you hope to explore next?

I haven't released a proper book in a while, so that's something that is nagging at me currently. I have so much more I want to do, but I'm so lazy!! 

Any advice for budding artists out there?

Draw a lot, even when you really hate it. Your worst ideas will do the best. The things you love and spend time on will fail horridly. Keep drawing, keep making, listen to your audience. 

Be sure to set your reminders for the New Me by Matt Bailey launching on 8 June 2024, 9AM ET / 9PM SGT.

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