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FRIENDLY FIRE INTERVIEW: ARTIST MATT STIKKER

Hey Matt! Hows it going?
Pretty good man, hanging in there. Staying busy with art so I can't complain!

You're located in Portland and Portland has to be one of the best cities for music, skating and having a good time - whats your favourite thing about Portland that people might not know about?
There are a couple of really awesome historic cemeteries, and a huge mausoleum in Sellwood that's open to the public...so if that's your kinda party definitely don't miss em. Lots of good metal shows here too, at least in the Before Times, and hopefully will be again sometime.

Do you like pizza?
I worked for a pizza place here for about seven years and have never gotten tired of it. It's the perfect food. I'll never draw it again though.

Find what you love and let it kill you…for a little bit, then move on. Has it been 100% working for yourself since then?
Yeah I'm 100% freelance right now, I get to work with a variety of clients and projects and I really enjoy it.


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You switch it up between pen and ink, acrylic and digital. Does what youre working on affect the medium?
Yeah most of my work is on commission so I'm really driven by what my clients are into. I love ink so I try to work analog wherever possible, but the flexibility that editing and coloring digitally provides is really key to keeping my head above water with a busy commission schedule. I love painting but it's almost its own little corner of my work ecosystem since it's more time consuming and such a different process. I always appreciate getting to paint even if it's not the bulk of my output.

Whats the weirdest thing you’ve ever drawn?
Haha I have no idea. Something really mundane I guess, since so much of my work involves the fantastic or supernatural.

Fav horror/cult movie?
Too many to name...Suspiria, Scanners, Cemetery Man, The Wicker Man, Messiah of Evil...not counting all the obvious classics like Alien, The Thing, The Shining, TCM, Halloween, etc etc etc. Also not a horror movie but gotta mention Repo Man.

Any new(ish) ones that have come out recently that youre into?
Mandy, Hereditary, The VVitch, The Void, It Follows, Deathgasm, probably a bunch that I'm forgetting...I don't keep up with everything that comes out but I try to see the good stuff, eventually.

Is music a big part of your drawing process, do you listen to music when you're working? Is it usually metal or do you have any guilty aural pleasures you want to reveal?
Yeah I'm always listening to something while I'm working, I can't work in silence. About half and half music and podcasts, depending on what I'm working on and what part of my brain I'm using. I've probably listened to every episode of Last Podcast on the Left multiple times. But music-wise it's a mix of stuff, obviously I love metal but I listen to a pretty broad range of genres...punk, country and folk, 80s alternative/goth, rap, prog, jazz, I mix it up. No guilty pleasures! Darkthrone and Bob James can coexist on the same playlist.

Thats an eclectic mix. Fenriz and Bob would be a pretty amazing collaboration on keys. Does your taste in art follow that eclectic appreciation?
I always try to keep an open mind when it comes to appreciating different types of art but I'm definitely drawn to a more particular milieu when it comes to visual art. I definitely dig plenty of stuff that's pretty well outside my stylistic wheelhouse, maybe like Rothko, Richard Serra, Louise Bourgeois, but then again maybe not far outside my thematic wheelhouse haha. I'm not sure how much of an influence you might see of that in my visual art, but I don't play country music either and I listen to plenty of Townes.


"I MIX IT UP. NO GUILTY PLEASURES.
DARKTHRONE AND BOB JAMES
CAN COEXIST ON THE SAME PLAYLIST."

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Worst slam on a skateboard?
I haven't skated since I was a teenager and I was no good, but not too long ago I fucked up my back by lying down on it weird so yeah. Getting old, physically, that's the worst slam haha.

What are you working on at the moment?
It's always a mix of stuff, right now some skate art, couple album covers, band shirt, tabletop RPG book cover, beer label...pretty much covering all the bases! Who needs sleep when you have plenty of coffee.

Damn dude! We’ll let you get back to it then.
Appreciate the chance to talk about my work, thanks man.

You can check out more of Matt's work at https://www.instagram.com/bargainbinblasphemy/ and buy originals at https://mattstikker.bigcartel.com

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Matt Stikker - ARTIST SERIES

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