Thursday, October 20, 2016

STUDIO SPACE: Matthew Scholle

Matthew Scholle is a mostly self-taught artist and author.  He primarily uses pen and ink or pencil as his medium, but occasionally he explores with charcoal, oil pastel, watercolor, or mixture of them all.  He also works in digital formats creating promotional art.

Most recently, Matthew has completed a children’s book that he wrote and illustrated.   The book, Story of a Robot Man, is being sold on and there is an opening reception with him at Gallery Veronique in The Shops at Harper’s Point on October 21st from 5-8:30pm and on the 22nd from noon to 4pm.

Location: Bright, Indiana
On the Drawing Table: Commission Piece (Pen and Ink Tree)
Last completed project: Story of a Robot Man (Link:
Coming out soon: Good Question….

How did you get your start as a professional artist?
Well, here is my story.  I used to draw all the time when I was young.  I would hang out with friends and we would draw comics or whatever.  But after I graduated and started working I rarely drew.  I may have drawn once or twice a year, maybe less, other than the occasional doodle at work or something.

Then, when my son was very little, he and I would draw at the kitchen table.  It wasn’t long until I remembered my drawing past time and I started to use it as a stress reliever.

In 2008 I met a local gallery owner and we became friends.   Then an Artist friend of mine was doing some really amazing work so I took some of his work into the gallery.  The owner liked his work, but for some reason the owner was more interested in my work.   One thing led to another and about a year later I found my drawings hanging on the walls of the gallery.   It literally changed my world, I couldn’t believe that I was in an art gallery, and when the art started selling I was really shocked.  

Describe your work.
I will tell you about what I want in my pieces.  My number one goal is to strike the feeling of nostalgia in you when you see it.  I don’t think I hit my goals very often, but that’s not really for me to judge.  I guess I think about the illustrations from the old classics (books), when you leaf through the pages and you see these etchings depicting the text.  I love looking at all the details and each stroke of ink, and that’s what I want others to do when they see my work.

But back to the question; I would describe my work as pen and ink drawings; mostly monochrome and focusing on the smallest details.

Tell about your workspace.
Like most things in life, my studio space is a work in progress.  I like creating art in an inspirational place, so I have designed it the best I can to do that. I am going for a “Sherlock Holmes” look.

A few things to note: 
My drafting table.   I have wanted one of these from the time I was like 10 or 11 years old. 
I had the top built from a local lumber yard, brought it home and finished it.  I designed the top with a series of rare-earth magnets, so I can hold down the papers with long steel bars.

 I used to use a kitchen table, but my back would start to hurt pretty quickly. Drawing sessions only lasted 30 minutes before I had to stop.  My new studio is much more comfortable.

It’s definitely my favorite part of the studio.

To the right is my supplies shelf, complete with some books, a vintage radio, and a chest full of art supplies.  I feel like a treasure chest, like this one, is a must; remember Dan Mihuta art chest show on PBS?

To the left is the long term storage cabinet.   I used to store larger pieces under the bed, but dust, and the possibility that it could get damaged, kept me up at night.  I really wanted a blue print cabinet (map cabinet) but they are so expensive and take up a good deal of room.  So I started designing my own solution just how I wanted it. I had a local craftsman build the cabinet and then I painted it and built the filing system inside.

Separate from the main space, is a very messy photo studio for dignifying my work. The soft boxes and such are completely homemade, as you can clearly see, but they work.

Photo Studio

What are your favorite materials digital and traditional?
My favorite materials are definitely paper, pen and ink.   Although I do like to play with digital art.
I end up doing a lot of digital these days….

What’s your typical workday/work session like?
I usually draw on weekends and occasionally on week nights if I have time.  Generally 1 hour sessions at a sitting on the weekends, and up to 3 of them.   I am pretty good at just sitting down and getting right back to where I left off, prepping my supplies and cleaning up.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated as you work?
Not really sure what drives me to keep doing this.  I like seeing the work afterwards I guess.  I think maybe what motives me is the love of doing it, and just getting my mind off other things.

What is your dream job?
I used to think there was a “Dream Job” out there, but I am not so sure these days.  Finding my “Dream Job” has been like a rollercoaster. “I’m all over the place” Every time I think I know what I want to be when I grow up, I change my mind.  I do like telling stories, so if I could make a living doing that, I would.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I do…   but I am not very consistent at keeping it up and I switch between books all the time, drawing in the one that I feel like playing in at the time.


What do you listen to while you work?
Mostly movie soundtracks and that feels like a nerdy answer. Usually I try to find some fitting music to the scene that I am working on.

My son is a pianist so he is my other form of listening pleasure.   His piano is in the studio space. You can’t go wrong with live music.
What are you reading/listening to on Audible?
Currently…   Nothing.

Who are your artistic influences?
Hmm…    Ok here is my list:

What do you do that is not art related that inspires you?
I am the father of a really, really great son. He is very much my inspiration. Also, I’m inspired by memories of my childhood, nature, and stories.

What was the best advice you got in your career so far?
In regards to art, someone once told me: “You are not everyone else; no one creates exactly like you. So stop comparing yourself to everyone else.” 

I think for a new artist, and artist’s trying to make a living at it, or just doing it for fun, could use this advice. It’s hard to not look around at everyone else’s work and think…. “I’m not good enough” or “Mine doesn’t look like that”   We all need to remember, you are not everyone else, and you have your own unique perspective to offer.   

What is your favorite color?

Olive Green

How can we best follow your art online/on social media?

Two Ways: 

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