Local Artist Column – Samuel Matson

Graffiti Wall - Samuel Matson

Samuel Matson, former Bellevue College student, is now attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in hopes to bring his art further out into the world. He focuses mainly on architectural and design work, with bits and pieces of drawing and painting on the side. “I’ve been drawing and painting since I can remember,” said Matson. He painted a graffiti wall on September 11, 2008, in honor of the World Trade Center attacks. According to Matson’s art portfolio on the web, he had the opportunity to donate a book of children’s art that was dedicated to kids who lost someone special in the catastrophe. “He has participated in many other projects using art to minister to hurting people, including a project at Ronald McDonald house, and creating art for two cancer patients and their families,” says his portfolio.

Since he was 10, he’s been selling his art through galleries and public art commissions. Matson explained, “Here in Washington, I did a mural on Duvall’s Main Street. And back in Chicago, I designed an art installation for the ceiling of the Leroy Neiman Student Center at the Art Institute of Chicago to be completed [by] fall 2011.” Matson discussed his work that is displayed in the Lightology design gallery in Chicago. “I just was part of a collaboration between my class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and IBM which culminated in a presentation with IBM and Chicago government officials.”

 His priorities are definitely straight when it comes to art. He would much rather be engaged in creativity then in the books. “In junior high, I used to spend upwards of 100 hours to finish a drawing.” Doodling is a form of art, without even knowing it. Like Matson, we doodle to kill time. Waiting for the clock to strike zero is not as beneficial as creating your own sketch pad on the back of your chemistry homework. “I never really thought about it until I had a teacher that thought I had a knack for it and taught me to turn doodling into art.”

 Matson was interested in learning about art as he grew up. “I like to think I had some natural talent, but I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t have made it far without two really influential teachers, Dianne Brudnicki and Jason Mayden. But I think I should also give some credit to Bob Ross, one of my favorite shows as a kid.”

 Matson gets joy out of designing art, but he also loves teaching others what he knows. “I’ve probably learned the most from trying to teach my art to others. A couple years ago I collaborated with my own mentor, Jason Mayden, Senior Designer for Air Jordan, to open art and design education up to at-risk Native American youth.” To Matson, art should be prevalent in the day-to-day lives of kids around the world.

 www.sammatson.com (Artist Profile)