One of the more interesting contemporary illustrators that I’ve come across recently is Matte Stephens, a lover of mid-century illustration and design and a talented artist in his own right. Matte’s love of the 1940s, 50s and 60s geometrically influenced illustration techniques is very clear when you view his work. His images call into mind those left behind by such talents like illustrators Richard Scary, Gustaf Tenggren and Mary Blair, as well as animator Ward Kimball.
Much more than simply copying their styles, however, Matte’s drawings, paintings and sculptures give nod to their pedigree while adding a definite modern touch. There are intentionally whimsical elements that verge on the surreal; massive snails perusing museums, giant foxes waving hello to bright yellow-orange busses and (my favorite) smiling lions that appear to be nothing more than curious, friendly beasts.
I encourage everyone to check out Matte’s website at http://www.matteart.net/matte_stephens.html to find out more on this wonderful talent.