Matthew Chism is a local artist based out of Monrovia, CA. Matthew has been painting for roughly 15 years. He began painting in High School and it quickly became a favorite means of expression. In that time, acrylic and oil became his favorite mediums to use. During his Junior and Senior year of High School, he attended the Art Center of Pasadena’s “Saturday High Program”, which consisted of taking life drawing classes and studying the fundamentals of painting and composition. After the Art Center, Matthew attended the Animation Academy in Burbank where he focused on character design, story boarding and many other aspects of animation. After a year or so at the Animation Academy, he discovered that his favorite topic was environmental (or background) design, which still plays a big role in all of the paintings he sets out to do.
Matthew draws inspiration from many things, including some oddities, which is the case for many artists. Matthew loves rituals, religious imagery, the occult, history. Music is also a major source of inspiration for Matthew as he tends to listen to one particular genre or album until a particular piece of artwork is finished. Also, Matthew draws upon repeated mental imagery as a source of inspiration. Until he is able to begin sketching, he cannot remove the image from his mind. If there is ever a moment when he needs rest from painting, he turns to sculpting or carving for a while to regain perspective.
I asked Matthew the single most asked question he receives as an artist and his work, and he replied, “People always ask me what a painting is supposed to represent, which is almost impossible to answer for me. I have the image first, and as I paint it I try to figure out why I am painting it. Sometimes I understand it right away, sometimes not until I am done with it, and sometimes not at all. It isn’t that important really. I think if you set out to create an image with a certain message behind it, for me at least,you self-sabotage the creation. Mostly I would just like the image to hold someones attention, even after they have stopped looking at it”.