q)Please tell us your name and where you practice.
a)My name is Paul Matthews. I’m from Wales in the U.K though now live in Japan.
q) Why do you make art?
a)Because I wasn’t very good at maths in school.
q) How do you work?
a)Draw a face in my sketch book, sometimes colour it in with pencil crayons. Scan it into my computer and play with it on Photoshop until I think it looks nice.
q) What´s your background?
a)I started to draw lots in my early teens. Did a 2 year fine art course in college when I was 16 then I went to University when I was 18 to do a BA(hons) Fine Art… I got a 2-1. My dissertation was a bit shit.
q) What role does the artist have in society?
a)Nobody likes blank walls.
q) What was a seminal experience for you?
a)Sitting in the back of my parents’ car when I was a kid, I remember watching my older brother draw over a pencil drawing with a pen.
q) Has your practice changed over time?
a)It has simplified.
q) What art do you most identify with?
a)I’m a sucker for anything with a funny face.
q) What´s your strongest memory of your childhood?
a)Strongest? I think I have lot’s on similar levels.
a)Going to Eurodisney for my 10th birthday is a good memory. Putting a clothes peg on my cats’ ear is a bad memory. I still feel bad about it now, I have been nice to animals ever since.
q) What themes do you pursue?
a)People, they’re fascinating.
q) Describe a real life experience that inspired you.
a)Working in an office, realised it wasn’t for me.
q) What´s your most embarrassing moment?
a)I was on a dance floor in a club. I thought I saw a lone flip flop on the floor. I started scraping it towards me and I stamped on it. I then looked up to see a girl screaming at me with her angry boyfriend. The flip flop was not alone. I gave her my half-drunk bottle of beer and all was forgotten.
q) What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
a)I worked in an office for a year. I’m currently an English teacher in Japan, as well as making art.
q) What responses have you had to your work?
a)Quite positive so far, perhaps the people with the negative feedback can’t be bothered to waste their time in telling me. Maybe they will after this…
q) What do you dislike about the art world?
a)I was going to say that it is controlled by money, though what isn’t? And I probably wouldn’t say that if I had more money.
q) What research do you do?
a)I’m quite observant when looking at people, bit of a hobby/habit.
q) What is your dream project?
a)I just want my art to keep evolving and hopefully get seen by more people.
q) What´s the best piece of advice you have been given?
a)Go with the flow.
q) What couldn’t you do without?
q) What makes you angry?
q) What is your worst quality?
a)Speaking before I’ve finished thinking. Though I think I may be paranoid.
q) Dogs or Cats?
a)¾ cat ¼ dog, I’m a big fan of animals.
q) Making art is a lot like being on lsd. Know what I mean?
a)Some paintings I’ve seen on Christmas cards in Japan look like they may have a hint of LSD about them.
q) What does “copy” mean to you?
a)Depends in what sense, if I’m photocopying worksheets for my students then it’s to reproduce. If someone is copying someone else’s work/art/music then it’s taking the piss. Unless they copy something but make it better.
q) What´s your favorite cuss word?
a)A gentleman never tells.