The Perfect Sleepwalker
septiembre 12, 2013
The Perfect Sleepwalker. By Matt Houston.
Six dreams written by boys in Valencia, Spain.
The perfect sleepwalker
I dreamed about a truck driver who was a sleepwalker. At night he dreamed that he had a racing car and he sleepwalked and turned the truck into a racing car. Next day, there you go, a racing car! And so he became a pilot.
(Alejandro, aged 10)
El sonámbulo perfecto
He soñado con un camionero sonámbulo, que por la noche soñó que tenía un coche de carreras y se levantó y convirtió el camión en un coche de carreras. Al día siguiente, ¡toma ya, un coche de carreras! Y entonces se hizo piloto.
(Alejandro, 10 años)
Small Interview · October 2013
-If drawing is to daydream, which symbols appear naturally (unconsciously) when you draw?
Matt: Oh I’ve been thinking about this lately. I draw the same symbols and shapes a lot. I like to draw circles and tubes a lot, big curving shapes. I always draw accessories like bags and sticks and knives and hats. I love giving characters puffy little turtleneck things. Belts. Chin straps. Cloaks. I’m depressingly repetitive now that I think about it.
-One man, a thousand of styles. Looking at your body of work gives the impression that the drawings belong to different authors. Do you deliberately choose styles, shapes, concepts before starting every piece? Does your daily mood affects your style?
I don’t usually deliberately choose the style I’m going to work in, unless it’s specified by a client or something like that. Currently I’m working in pencil because I’ve been doing ink for a while and I feel like a change. I also find that working with different tools makes me draw differently and creates different results and feelings. My mood affects my style a lot. Sometimes I feel energized and precise, and sometimes I feel sloppy and depressed. This also affects the subject matter I draw.
-In your actual phase, is drawing closer to intuition (and the wise movements of your hand), or it´s closer to documentation and references?
I would say, at this point, it’s about 95% intuition. I’m learning to trust myself and to go with what I feel is right and looks good. I know how to draw realistically, but I much prefer to lean on abstractions and symbols to portray messages.
-You have a fascinating series of drawings done with your left hand. What have you discovered about working with the left hand? What qualities you like that you can´t get using your right hand?
I have been drawing with my right hand for my whole life, and at a certain point I got really tired of it! I found my lines getting more and more predictable and boring, so in a moment of frustration I started scribbling with my left hand, and it felt amazing! It was such a strange sensation to look down at my drawing and not recognize the lines! It felt like someone else was drawing, and the lack of control freed my mind to explore strange and new ideas that my precise right hand ignored. I recommend it to anyone who feels stuck in their style. It gives you this naive, vibrant, unpredictable line that is nearly impossible to achieve with your normal hand, and these “mistakes” can turn into something beautiful.
-What would be your ideal equipment for a bunker to draw nonstop for a week?
A pad of 8.5 x 11 inch printer paper, a mechanical pencil, some Micron pens, a laptop, Photoshop, and a scanner. And some watermelon and fried chicken.
-What is the most gratifying part of drawing?
Creating something I’ve never seen before, and other people liking it.
-Once you finish a drawing, is there any trace of the thrill and energy that made you start?
Yes. In the beginning of a drawing there is excitement and energy, then it can slowly turn into drudgery and work, but then as you approach the finish the energy and excitement comes back. I just have to try and survive the middle part. In fact, I normally try to work small and simply so that I can finish a drawing before I get to the middle part.
-Does looking at the finished piece excite you as much as starting to draw?
Sometimes it does. Sometimes it’s more exciting than when I start, because I don’t always start drawing with an idea of what I’m trying to make, so it’s a surprise.
-What did you like most about illustrating the dreams for “The Perfect Sleepwalker”?
It was a fun challenge making a drawing that size. It was very long, so there was a point where it was daunting and a lot of work, but once I got to the end I was very exciting! I loved drawing the unicorn dream, that one was my favorite.
-Can you share a dream of your own?
I dreamed that I shaved my head, which revealed a long, strange scar on my head.