Monday 17 July 2017

Matthew Daley's Petite Bourgeois Revolution

Illustration maestro Matthew Daley (Shiny Pliers) recently participated in the My Petite Bourgeois Revolution art show at Northern Contemporary Gallery in Toronto.

His work is graphic, joyfully colorful and narrative. He's making a modern Canadian pictogram language through illustration, Saul Bass crossed with Tetris. Yes, he does both comics and great infographics.

I caught up with him after the show and peppered him with questions:

1) What's top of mind when your create? Composition, concept, craft, anatomy, color? What aspect fascinates you most?
Concept is what usually comes first and I flesh it out from there. Everything else comes with a certain amount of fine tuning and trial and error. I kind of love seeing how things come together and how the end result might differ from what I originally envisioned or sketched.

2) What kind of work do you usually do? Commercial, editorial, advertising, fashion, fine art?
My work is usually of the editorial/commercial variety.

2) Why did you chose the First World Problem you did?
I chose "Short Turn" because short turning or rerouted street cars have been the bane of my existence since moving to the East End. Since most events I partake in happen in either the West End or City core, there's nothing more frustrating than having to get off a streetcar while partway through a long trip home and waiting for the next one to show up or to have to deal with shuttle buses.

4) What statement do you want to make with your work?
That all Kaiju is awesome and worthy of love.

5) We often build on the backs of giants. I know I try to, and I've been influenced by the Constructivists, Symbolists, and Bauhaus. What artists and / or art movements inform / inspire your work?
My main inspiration over the past decade has been mid-20th century illustration and design, particularly the work of James Flora or Mary Blair. I’m also heavily influenced by the playful mayhem of the Dadaists and the aesthetic of Eiji Tsuburaya’s incredible monster designs in Godzilla movies and Ultraman episodes.

6) If you could cross the world to see the work of one compelling creator and visit their studio (anytime, anyplace), which one would you chose? French children’s book illustrator, Olivier Douzou.

7) Any advice for new artists, starting out in today's market?
Keep having fun. Getting started is frustrating and it may take ages to get to a point where you’re professionally satisfied, but that’s all part of the struggle.

8) What are you working on now? What’s your next big challenge?
I’m presently plugging away at a Kaiju design a day for “Kaijuly 2017” which I’m showcasing on my tumblr page and on Instagram.

Find me online at

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