People: One Minute with Designer & Illustrator Matthew Wilson

People: One Minute with Designer & Illustrator Matthew Wilson

Name: Matthew Varah Wilson

Creative Medium: Designer and Illustrator




Twitter: @mattvarahwilson

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
I am a full time graphic designer for 'The Message' trust' christian charity in Manchester. I'm actually covering my wife's maternity leave at the moment as we are both designers which is a strange but great opportunity to have. It's been great to work for such a creative and passionate charity after being a freelance graphic designer / illustrator and an artist for 5 years as a solo.

How did you get to be doing what you are today? 
I knew from when I was at school I wanted to be a graphic designer, I just didn't know quite what they did. However after studying Graphic Design at university I got some exciting opportunities with an internship at Mcfaul Studios who at the time were working on big projects for Nikejordan and Carhartt. This not only pumped up my portfolio but also gave me further vision to where I could go as a graphic artist. Internships in different areas of design have always been key to shaping my progress.

If your portfolio could talk what would it say?
If you looked at my art, three words would some me up: Jesus, clothing textures and white backgrounds. If my design could talk, I would like it to say Graphic Artist with a passion for illustration.

What/ who inspires you?
My inspirations are Michel Gondry (Director of The Science of Sleep) who taught me to try and make every idea I have. I think that goes nicely with my other creative motto from Henri Matisse who said 'Creativity takes courage.' To be honest I get inspired by so many things and so many people. I usually find myself more interested in the artist than the art they produce. People inspire me.

What's the most exciting project you've worked on?
Probably my favourite piece of work other than the Winter Olympic Adidas ski goggles, was recent album artwork for the band Twelve24. It was a real honour to work with such a influential band with a heart to really being stretched creatively.   

What is your favourite place in the world?
Italy is my favorite. The sunshine, the olives, pizza and the beautiful sea do it for me. Sorry to rap at you.

Which gallery would you most like your work to be exhibited in?
The National Portrait Gallery in London is my favourite and most visited place by far.

What advice would you give to aspiring artists/designers?
If you are creative, you can do anything. Don't limit yourself to being 'just a graphic designer' or 'just an illustrator. You can do anything. Write songs, write poems..whatever it is you can do it. Also don't see any difference between a paid job and a free one for a mate. If you work your hardest on everything, you have more choice to show in your portfolio. Everything has the potential to be your best portfolio piece if you're willing to think hard enough about it and experiment. One last thing. Don't wait to get commissioned on your dream project, start making the work you one day want to being getting paid for now.

  • All images copyright: Matthew Varah Wilson
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