Friday, June 8, 2012

Matt Rota@Nuts & Bolts Conference 2012

Matt Rota

I first met Matt when he was still a student at SVA in their master’s program. He was our intern for almost a year.
He’d come once a week and sat three feet from my desk and busily logged in entries or added names to our database.

He was quiet.
And never complained even
Though it was tedious,
Boring work
And for all of this he was only getting a very small stipend.

Back then he had a ponytail and in many ways he reminded me of my college days both in appearance and attitude.
But he is so much smarter than me. But since there is very little talking in the studio I only knew him as a very talented artist back then.

Most artists are only visual. Matt is visual and verbal.
To me Matt embodies what New York is.

There is grittiness to his work,
A humane-ness that comes through on the page
And in person.

He introduced me to the world of comics.
To graphic novels.
To the work of Martin Wittfooth.
He introduces me to other artists
When we’re at society functions.
He wants everyone to know everyone else.

He’s an artist.
An illustrator.
An animator.
A comic book artist.

He’s worked in print. And in film.

He studied fine art at MICA but slowly got hooked on illustration to the point where he was sending postcards to the art director at the New York Times op-ed page.
Nothing happened.
But he kept sending mailers.
Then one day after moving to New York, it happened.
One assignment become two and pretty soon he had a dozen op-ed pieces in the New York Times.
And he was still in school.
And it hasn’t stopped.

What sets Matt apart is
He’s not an illustrator,
He’s an artist who illustrates.

Matt Rota
July 13
Nuts & Bolts Conference
Society of Illustrators, New York
Sponsored by 3x3 Magazine
Early Discount Ends June 12


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