Thursday Spotlight: Matthew Bohne


Tell us about your background.

I was born in California and it remains my home today when I’m not away at school studying at the Rhode Island School of Design. I enrolled in my first formal art class in 2004 – a charcoal, portrait drawing studio – and I have been perusing and rigorously challenging my artistic and intellectual abilities since then. I currently study Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design, with a concentration in the History of Art and Visual Culture.

Name some people, artists, artistic genres, etc. that have been influential in your work.

Artists, designers, and thinkers influence my work: from Anni Albers to Daniel Libeskind, Mies Van Der Rohe to Paul Rand, Yves Klein to Anish Kapoor and Tara Donovan, and Steve Jobs to Ray Kurzweil- I love looking beyond the realm of strictly art and design for inspiration not only in developing an aesthetic sensibility, but how to critically develop, refine, and critique my own work. There are also a few online collectives I visit everyday, which I would also say are also a great source of influence on my work. It’s fantastic to see what fellow artists, designers, and engineers and other creative people are creating each and every day.

Where and how do you get your ideas?

My ideas come from everywhere. They resonate from my interests in the minimalism art movement, technological developments, and advertising. Anything from anywhere can be a source of inspiration, it’s how we observe, process, and manipulate these sources to generate new ideas and new derivations for further exploration and realizations. One of my greatest breakthroughs as a young artist and designer was making great effort and strides from collecting ides from within. I have dealt with anxiety for years, at times debilitating, but what I had realized that it sustained a critical edge in how I formally executed my work. I strived for perfection. Over time, and only through fantastic support and motivation, I came to the realization that it would be foolish for me not to critically explore my own personality, tendencies, and intrigue years of anxiety had progressively informed and conditioned me to react and respond in a certain manner. The work I began to produce was emotionally driven, well thought out and arguably presented perfect both formally and conceptually, and the execution reflected the respect I needed to have and do have for my work and myself.

What materials do you work with? Describe your technical processes.

Throughout my education and work experience, I have been able to create a portfolio of a variety of materials and methods that allow me to develop an aesthetic sensibility that I use across a variety of platforms. I know and understand the importance of concept equally as it balances with the precise execution of the idea. I am passionate about producing work with absolute precision and a keen attention to detail – a quality I happily attribute to my arguably perfectionist personality. In any work I produce, I constantly combine many forms of art and design. One of my proudest attributes is my respect and excitement for traditional forms of communication such as drawing, photography, typesetting, bookbinding, and how those skills can harmoniously exist with my obsession with modern technology, and ever developing business and entrepreneurial skills.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of being creative? What is the best part of being creative?

For me, the most challenging part of being creative is also the best part of being creative. The creative process is both challenging and rewarding: asking questions, exploring and exploiting new and found materials, developing and idea, and executing it to a fully realized project. Constantly moving back and forth between a variety of tools and processes has required me to ask vital questions about my work.

What advice would you give to someone seeking advice about being an artist?

Always challenge yourself, and be uncomfortable. Strive not only for change, but evolution. For me when you arrive at an instance or an environment that is highly demanding, arguably competitive, and initially uncomfortable you will produce fantastic work. You’ll have to make critical decisions not only quickly, but also intuitively about your work both conceptually and formally – these can be great instances to experiment. It is also here, where I feel that self-motivation, determination, and an unwavering work ethic are most developed.

Matt’s Website
Matt’s RISD Digication Page

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