Comic Con-versation with Matthew Lin

Matt Lin is an artist, illustrator and designer.
Matt has always drawn, always. When he was 15 he decided he wanted to be a graphic designer (like his Aunt Aleena), and so his path was set. He is still drawing, not men going to the moon and animals eating people so much these days….

Could you describe your journey as an artist/creator ?

My journey- I started in graphic design, as I felt this would be a way to be artistic and make a decent wage - I wasn't confident enough to be what I thought at the time a true artist was.

I started my first job as a junior designer at an photography / advertising agency in 1993. After another 4 full time jobs working for other companies I decided in 2004 to go Freelance.

I feel that my true artistic creative journey really only started to kick in around 2012.

I think it was because I was finally confident in myself and that I was stepping onto my true path and that I was also open to what might just happen to come along! I'm being open to various possibilities!

Art for you is about play, about the experience, about discussion. Can you elaborate on this?

Before I started to follow this statement I use to think to much about my art, or put myself under too much pressure. I was too focused on the end result, I was very serious - I used to be extremely driven, I still am, but in a more playful way, which I believe is more true to myself.

Since I've been more playful in my work - I've actually been producing better pieces, I believe that they have more life. Sometimes the best things I have done or learnt from is during the creative experience - the final piece might seem terrible, but the process of doing it has been extremely rewarding.

What are your tools of the trade? Do you work in traditional media as well as digital?

My main digital tools are : mac computer, photoshop, indesign, illustrator, tablet. I'm planning on playing around with a few other programs like ZBrush and Studio Paint Pro

My main traditional tools are : markers (Copic, Mepxy), my trusty pencil, my black ball point pen (Kilometrico), I like to play around with ink and ink washes, I like gauche and when I have the time I like to paint in acrylics. I'm not very good with oils - because I need more practice and I don't have the patience for the drying time or the smell!

Do you have any advice for aspiring comic artists that you wish you had been told?

Copying is good, especially for training and learning. See how the professionals / artists that inspire you, do things, how they compose their picture, the way they colour, their style. Use that to inspire you, and eventually over time you'll tweak it and create your own style.

Make lots of mistakes, don't put too much pressure on yourself, play if you can! Obviously practice! Natural talent can only get you so far!

Study human anatomy, this will give you great foundation for drawing people and animals!

And if you do want to get into comics, be prepared to draw the same character(s) every day! If you become bored with drawing the same character all the time, then maybe comics aren't for you.

What's next?

My main project at the moment is to finish writing my script for my picture book and a few sample pieces of art - which I can then submit to the publishers.

Then once that is done, I want to get into my manga - The Fish Boy and Squid Chronicles. I also want to put out a colouring book this year and a few other things!

Find out more on Matt Lin's website  and Facebook pages.

This event is part of Comic Con-versation 2016. Comic Con-versation is an annual week long festival celebrating the best of local comic culture with events, talks, workshops, panel sessions, readings and exhibitions across Sydney libraries.

You can check out all the amazing upcoming ‪#‎ccv16 events and activities here