Saturday, 9 October 2010

Sci-Fi Art Now Creator Interview: Matt Gaser

Matt Gaser is currently a freelance artist, working out of his home studio. Some of the projects he's been involved with since he started as a freelance artist have been from Warner Brothers Animation, Blizzard and other big companies, but recently he's been developing my own Ipad project with a developer. "The process has been a dream and I can’t wait to talk more about in the future," he tells us.

Before all this, Matt worked at Lucasfilm Animation, helping to create the Star Wars: The Clone Wars Animated TV Series. "Working at Skywalker Ranch was amazing, also a dream," Matt enthuses. "But, then I decided to move on and became an Art Director at a start up game company, worked for them for a few years then they lost funding (due to the economy) and I decided to work as a freelance artist in September 2009. I’ve been doing that ever since and I love it!"

SciFi Art Now: What tools do you mainly use to create your art?

'Doodle work' by Matt Gaser
Matt Gaser: I mostly use Photoshop to paint and sketch. But I still have a love for the traditional and use pen on marker paper to sketch out ideas. This link to my website shows these drawings.

I prefer to work digitally because it’s fast, and affords me more time to work on a lot of other things. Plus, if I’m responding to a client and they have revisions, in Photoshop it’s not a problem at all.

SciFi Art Now: What inspired you to become an artist?

Matt: Very early on as a child I started drawing with friends, writing fun little stories and acting them out in the forest behind my home. As grew a bit older, for Christmas my mother would gift me art books to various artists. Some of these books like Visions of the Future by Robert McCall and Expedition by Wayne Barlow shaped my influence and forged a hunger for fantasy art and creation. I remember looking at the images and wondering what was just beyond the page I wasn’t seeing. So, I used to draw images from there worlds inspired by their work.

Healthy inspiration and good feedback, encouragement from my parents helped be become an artist.

SciFi Art Now: What was the most useful piece of advice you were given when you began learning your craft?

Griffin meets the Elders
Personal work by Matt Gaser
Matt: Find a voice! I had many teachers and influences in college “Art Center College of Design” who taught us to find a voice and to make sure you stand out, not only technically, but conceptually too. Another useful tip I learned from a mentor was, reference. You are only as good as the reference around you. The imagination is a great tool, but with reference it can be even better.

SciFi Art Now: Which artists most inspire you?

Matt: James Gurney, John Berkey, Frederic Remington, John Singer Sargent, Laurence Alma Tadema, Paul Lasaine, Robert McCall, Dave McKean, etc... I mean the list could go on for days. I just love looking at beautiful art, getting inspired and going to work!

SciFi Art Now: What is the appeal to you of science fiction as an inspiration for some of your work?

Matt: I feel like Science Fiction takes us places other forms of art can’t reach. I like to dream of what life would be like in the future, or if some kind of technology became available and though science opens up new doorways and advances. When you accept this as a possibility and let the imagination take over the ideas are limitless.

SciFi Art Now: Do you have a favourite piece of work or project you have worked on?

Matt: I do have a favourite piece of work - but it's related to a project that isn't released yet, lol. So, when that becomes available I can show that stuff. I had a chance to work on a film not too long ago called Hop. I was tasked with designing the world of the Easter bunny. Wild and fun designs, I hope someday I can release that work to the public.

SciFi Art Now: In your career, have you had any bizarre experiences while creating your art?

Matt: I have a cat that is indoor – outdoor, I leave the back door to my house cracked open so she can go in and out during the day. One day, she decided to bring in a lizard still alive while I was at my desk. Then she proceeded to let it go in my studio.

The poor lizard ran around hiding behind cabinets and books, all the while my cat trying to help me catch this creature. I got a rug burn on my arm from leaping across the room, it was hilarious. I finally caught the lizard and returned it to the wild... without his tail, unfortunately. Just another day in the life of a freelance artist.

SciFi Art Now: What most frustrates you about being an artist?

Matt: Not getting paid on time!! It happens once in awhile, if I have to keep reminding a client six months after the work is due, it sucks! Also, not getting a clear vision from a client can be frustrating too, just means more revisions until they see what their looking for.

SciFi Art Now: What keeps you going despite the hopefully occasional frustrations?

Matt: Personal work, and the drive to one day just work for myself and somehow get supported. I have tons of dreams, working towards those goals keeps me going.

The Message by Matt Gaser
SciFi Art Now: What advice would you offer to anyone starting out as an artist?

Matt: Search the world for “your” inspiration and use that spark to fuel your dreams! Also, learn from others and take criticism with pride. Not everyone who talks about your work is right, but some people may have good advice worth practicing.

• Check out Matt;'s work at or his blog: His art is on sale from To contact Matt, email

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