Artist profile: Matt Clayburn

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The North Carolina artist is on the rise

Most artist consider a repost from an influencer such as Indya Marie a coming of age sort of feel, one that separates them from their peers and gains them much needed exposure. Matt Clayburn earned just that, as the popular model put his work on the display of her 780k followers. One of which was our writer Terrelle Lue who decided to seek out Clayburn and get to the bottom of his story & unique talent. The college bound artist told us all about his creative process, and his hopes for the future. Check it out!


1. I wanna start off by saying we love your work. Your style of illustration is realistic and I love that concept. In a world where illustrators are mostly cartoonist , its great to see someone with their own flare. I have to ask, how’d you stumble on illustration?

Thanks, that means so much! As far as how I came across illustration, I’ve always had a desire to draw. It’s just something that I enjoy doing more than anything else. When I was a student at Enloe Highschool in Raleigh, North Carolina I began to develop a passion for art. I found that the people around me and the things I enjoy impact my art a lot. The realism comes across because of the level of rendering I do to each of my drawings. I hope to one day capture realism and cartoonish aspects to get something that I can truly call a style of my own.


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2. I discovered your instagram when Indya.Marie reposted your illustration of her. Was that your first time having a “celeb” highlight your work? If not, can you describe how you felt when you first received recognition and who did it?

I actually had no idea she posted it. I just recently figured out that I was featured on her page. The first “famous” person to post my work was UNC basketball point guard Marcus Paige. I messaged a lot of people and he was one of the first people that replied. I freaked out! I’m a huge Carolina basketball fan and that night I ended up starting and finishing one of my first digital paintings that was reposted the next day by the star point guard. It was the best feeling in the world to be reposted by him, he loved the artwork and encouraged me to keep working.


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3. Which one of your illustrations is your favorite thus far in your career and Why?

That is such a hard question to answer! I feel like I get better every time I do a drawing, so my most recent works are probably at the top of my list. Learning new tricks and how to be more efficient about my work is the most important thing to me. I’ve accepted that nothing is ever going to be perfect but rather it can be extremely appealing to viewers.


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4. Today technology is taking over and I see you seem to edit using your ipad/tablet often. Do you balance between Free hand work and technology?

Yeah, ideally I would say it’s 50/50 but I have definitely been using my iPad a bit more lately just because it’s more efficient for me where I am as an artist. I start back at school soon so that will probably change in the coming weeks. I try to keep a sketchbook and pencil on me at all times but when I’m able to manipulate everything about my artwork at the click of a button, why wouldn’t I? Ya know?


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5. What can all your fans look forward to in the near future?

Well I start back at school very soon, and I have no idea what to expect from my illustration classes. You can expect a lot of growth from me as an artist in the upcoming months. I expect to learn a lot at UNC Charlotte and apply whatever I learn to what I am already doing! I will continue to reach out to people and building connections where I can. Also Basketball season is coming up sooner than we think. I’m trying to find a way to monetize my sports artwork without running into issues with the NCAA. But, that’s another story.
I’m just extremely excited to grow into whatever I am supposed to be. I’m looking forward to all the lessons I will learn on the way.

Interview by Terrelle Lue


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