We’re excited to announce the launch of our new Double IPA “Call To Adventure” next week, brewed in collaboration with Manchester’s Beatnikz Republic. And you will surely be able to spot a new artistic theme developing, as we’ve brought the wonderful Theodore Matthews on board for our next artwork series. We chatted to Theo to learn a little more about his creative processes and the inspiration behind his detailed and inventive scenes…
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself – what’s your background and how did you first get into doing what you do?
I’ve always liked to draw but never felt it should be something I pursue what with art being a hard career path to follow (not to mention being quite colour-blind). Despite that I continued to occasionally draw and doodling in school became a large percentage of my academic effort, luckily my teachers were sympathetic and encouraged me to actually go for it and try out doing art. I did a foundation year at UCA not knowing what I wanted to do till my tutor said to me ‘you’re an illustrator’, that was a big moment for me and I followed up my foundation and got my BA in Illustration 3 years later. This is my first commercial work and I’m grateful to the Abbeydale team for bringing me in for this series, I hope everyone enjoys!
2. How would you describe your own style?
All I know is that people seem to know when something is my work, which I guess means it must be distinctive. I think the most unifying traits of my illustrations are content based: my work tends towards fantasy or science fiction and a sure-fire way to know that something is mine is if there are big swirling clouds around a prominent character. If there’s someone holding a sword and standing in some cloudy wasteland then there’s a good chance I drew it. I mentioned earlier that I’m colour-blind and how that discouraged me from doing art and for a long time I never used colour in my drawing, it wasn’t till I went to university that I made a conscious effort to use colour as much as possible, I’ve still got a lot to learn and experience to get using colour effectively but I am determined to overcome my natural disfunction.
3. What are the main inspirations behind your ideas?
First and foremost I’m inspired by other artists, I love all kinds of illustrations but I think that the clearest source of inspiration for the art I’ve done for Abbeydale is early 20th century British illustration, the likes of Arthur Rackham and Harry Clarke. Illustration covers a wide range of subjects but I’m most interested in narrative: I think storytelling is important and I try to bring that into my illustrations as much as I can.
4. Are you a beer drinker yourself? If so – what’s your favourite beer style?
In complete honesty I don’t drink beer very often, but when I do I tend to like something that you can enjoy with food, usually something like a pilsner or IPA. Nothing too complicated I must admit, though I expect this series to convert me!
Call To Adventure is released next week in keg and can. Keep your eyes peeled over the coming months as there is plenty more to come from Theo!