Q: MWM Graphics is a quiet powerhouse. Please let it be known, who are you and what is it that you do.
My name is Matt W. Moore and I operate as MWM Graphics. I live in Burlington, Vermont with my wife and son and work at Burton Snowboards as a web designer. We moved here 2 months ago from Portland, Maine where I was an Art Director at an agency called The VIA Group. In recent years I have done a considerable amount of freelance work as well for clients such as Nike SB, Scion, Tank Theory, Evolve2Advance, ROJO Magazine, Poketo and a grip of streetwear brands, big and small.
In my free time I am an illustrator, canvas painter, graffiti kid, and all around MacGyver type when it comes to art and design. I truly enjoy making stuff... all day, everyday. Freight train yards to fine art galleries to cyberspace... I am there.
Last year around this time I launched an international project called Wallspankers. It is magazine of black and white stickers by artists and designers from all over the world. It is also available as a free PDF download that anyone can print on sticker paper and share with their city. The project has blown up and I've really enjoyed getting to know everyone involved.
Q: Mixed media is seen throughout your portfolio, how did you pick up all of these different practices?
Well, it's like anything really... one thing leads to another. I live by the motto "Range is conducive to growth" and I feel strongest when I get to do all sorts of different projects simultaneously. Some of my favorite work came from times when I was doing day job stuff at one end of the spectrum and moonlighting at the other end, cross-pollinating ideas and aesthetics. Like all kids, I came into this world with Crayons and Play-Doh. That evolved to pencils and Sharpies, and throughout high school I always had my sketchbook and a couple markers on me. I've always been into letter forms and patterns, so graffiti has been a perfect outlet for me over the years. I've grown a lot through graffiti and mural painting. It takes serious practice and planning to rock a dope burner, and it also takes guts... and guts are important.
I was reluctant to go to college, but after a few years of real life I decided to give it a shot, fully focused. In college I studied design and illustration and fell in love with vector graphics. Adobe Illustrator took Sharpie doodles to the next level! And I got a good foundation in visual history... and history is important. Most kids in art school either go the art route or the design route. I decided to do both and just not sleep. It definitely worked out, and somewhere along the way I found my groove and haven't skipped a beat since.
Q: What do you do when you are not creating something?
Well, I'm a family man so we have all sorts of fun doing outdoorsy stuff. My wife and I both love camping, fishing, snowboarding and the beach. And now Malachi is five so we can do lots of activities as a family. There is nothing more rewarding than time with wifey and little one. We also watch hella movies. One every night. We like to think of ourselves as a younger, more contemporary Siskel and Ebert. Constantly bickering about holes in plot lines and metaphoric scenes, it's great! I also love to go to the magazine stand every month to do the "60 magazines in an hour" marathon.
Q: List some websites that you watch on a regular basis.
Wow, there are a grip of them. It really depends on how much time I have to relax, but on a normal super-busy day I definitely surf through PSFK.com, SlamXHype.com, Formatmag.com, IllustrationMundo.com, CPLUV.com, Netdiver.net, TheCoolhunter.net, and a few minutes a day accepting friend requests on Myspace.com. Oh yeah, the homies blog at Proof7.com is always good times too. Where else can you get sound investing advice, streetwear news and celebrity burn sessions?
Q: Whats the future of MWM Graphics, B/W BANGERS and Wallspankers?
I'm in it for the long haul, across the board. I will continue to grow MWM Graphics in all directions, personal and professional. One of these days I might even update my portfolio with the really cool stuff I've done, haha! My 5-year plan is ambitious, but I think I can pull it off. In the last year I have made some crucial alliances, so as long as I can keep coming up with new ideas and keep moving shapes and colors around, MWM Graphics and Knuckle Sandwich Press will continue to grow.
My personal book series B/W Bangers is a lifelong project too. A book a year for life YO... I promise. As I look back over the first three of them it brings a huge grin to my face thinking about what an entire bookshelf of them will look like in 50 years.
And Wallspankers is just growing exponentially. I have no idea what it will be in a year, but I'm really excited about it. I need interns man, I've done literally everything on the curating and production end myself. The website, the updates, the magazine layout and design, the promoting, and the printing on this end. But it is great because the distribution is global as soon as I launch it! 5 minutes after an issue goes live there are kids all over the globe printing it on sticker paper ready to crush their town! It is a labor of love, and I have always wanted to be behind a project like this. I'm always down for a helping hand though, so if you think it is a fly idea, get at me.
Q: I see you have a taste for 'underground' hiphop. What is your take on the current state of this genre of music?
For sure! I love "underground" hiphop... although the lines have really blurred for me lately. I'm not sure if it because I have grown out of the "lowbrow" loop a bit or if the music industry has changed or what. Probably a little of each. I pay attention to a bunch of rap that the kid next to me at the red light bumping The Game has never heard of... but I also listen to everything that is right under the limelight. I mean, my Nano has range dude! Hov, Ghostface, Aesop Rock, El-P, Mr. Lif, Vast Aire, you know... New York shit! Lately I've been way into Lil' Wayne stuff too, that dude is dialed! He's like the Kool Keith of the Dirty South, I love it. I also enjoy listening to female singers, you know, to calm the nerves. MJB, Beyonce, Gwen Stefani. I can't wait for Rihanna's new album.
Q: What individual's out there do you consider making a significant push in new media and pop culture?
Honestly, I don't even know how to answer this without leaving out major players. I know that on some level, everyone in the KDU is pushing the envelope, either aesthetically or strategically. It is an honor to be a part of this movement! If anyone wants to learn more about the people and organizations that I respect, peep my blog and the extensive links section on my website.
Q: Any last words? Shout Outs?
Big up to my family, I wouldn't be where I am today without you. Big thanks to everyone that I have collaborated or done work with , it has been a lot of fun and I have definitely grown through our interaction. Huge thanks to everyone who has commissioned fine art and murals and bought my books, you've inspire me to continue grinding, even when I can hardly stay awake. And of course, Big up to The Keystone Design Union. Lets keep making big moves!
INTERVIEW BY: SON / SOMETHINOFNOTHIN