For illustrator and cartoonist Matthew Pettit, an emphasis on characters has continuously inspired his practice.
“My work has always revolved around people,” says the illustrator from north Yorkshire. “I’m always really interested in creating a strong connection with the viewer or reader through a sense of commonality in relatable characters.”
Matthew’s illustrated individuals are drawn as “somewhat sad and lonely characters,” he tells It’s Nice That. “I like these characters because I feel you can better emphasise, understand and connect with someone who’s a bit more vulnerable and exposed.” Yet, his illustration style adds a more upbeat tone to the finished work. “I like to use bright colours to try and juxtapose this to leave the viewer room to interpret the characters for themselves.” As a result Matthew’s illustrations convey emotion in a signature style.
As a recent graduate, Matthew is purposefully keeping his practice broad. “I’m really interested in visual communication as a whole and the lines that can be blurred between mediums, like comics and illustration for example.” Keeping his options open allows the illustrator to develop his own sense of content. “While I have my opinions about both, like that most good comics are grounded in a strong narrative or sense of progression, I’m interested in the overlaps between mediums and exploring that in my work.”
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