Artist Series – Mary Matson

This Summer we partnered with Venice based artist/illustrator/daydreamer Mary Matson on our Illustrated Canvas Tote Series, an initiative in support of our Healthcare Heroes. For every tote that was sold we donated another one to a healthcare worker at a partnering hospital. Just a small way to help bring joy to those on the frontlines.

We asked Mary to tell us a bit about herself, her process, and how she created "Big Hug" (something we could all use right now...)
Can you tell us a little bit about your creative process?

I draw a lot - unconsciously - it's like a puzzle and a feeling.
If something excites me or seems curious I focus on that and see where the path goes.

What’s your favorite part of what you do?

Not knowing what will unfold in the studio

The most challenging?

Not knowing what will unfold in the studio

How did you developed the "BIG HUG" illustration?

Big Hug came out of this process. A discarded drawing becomes something more. The best things come from just doodling. I first designed this motif in 2017.
During the beginning quarantine I wanted to reach out to friends - so
I sent 100 cards with an optimistic message. It really helped me get through the anxiety of the first week of our collectively experienced isolation. It was also fun to get messages back.

Any new quarantine pastimes/hobbies?

I think we are all going to come out of this better cooks.
I already really love to cook and bake. Now we have more time to make a recipe - that might have taken a while - before. I have never really pickled or made a lot of jam. I am enjoying using everything that comes into the kitchen which is very stratifying, too.

Suggestions for a day indoors?

Make more playlists. More time to dive into discovering new music. I've been listening to a lot of Brazilian especially Bossa Nova. Trying to keep the studio upbeat. Mood is essential.

I have also taken up a small garden of herbs growing in our living room.

What does style mean to you?

My style is my aesthetic. Clean, colorful, classic. I have always gravitated towards certain things - intuitive. White shirts - Camel coats - Wallabies. My style has evolved but it's consistent. I used to borrow my father's clothes - in high school. I loved his shaggy dog sweater and izod shirts. I loved them oversized & still do!

As I get older my uniform has become my identity. It's nice to mix in new things to the uniform. When you buy well it ages well and has a history too.

What are you reading right now?

Brassai "Conversations with Picasso" Filled with excellent tidbits.

What’s the last song you listened to?

Jorge Ben Jor Samba Esquema Novo album. Morning soundtrack.

What are you looking forward to?

Sharing and Hugs

Help Spread Joy