We're finally getting to the last of our initial creators. In this post, we talk to Matt McGrillen, the artist of Not Our Eden, and one half of the company. Click read more to see the full post.
As before, the questions we asked are in italics, and the answers are in normal type.
Tell us a bit about yourself?I'm a born a raised country lad. I grew up in country New South Wales Australia and moved to Melbourne as a young adult to study a Degree in Graphic Design. A location I've called home for over 10 years now.
When did you start drawing? When did you start drawing comics?
About from 8 years old. From about that time I became interested in drawing, painting and all forms of illustration. The first time I started comics was not too long after that. Around 10 or so. I had these two homeless characters I made comic strips about. My dad was an important part of their conception, creating scenarios for them to which I would draw. My first collab of sorts I guess, ha ha.
What was the first thing you ever drew?
My earliest recollection is around 8 years old. I drew a platypus free hand from reference. Something I have kept to this day thanks to my mum preserving it!
What's your favorite graphic novel?
Oohhh... I don't think if you appreciate the art form you can say there is one fave.
I like a few writer/artist team ups such as Frank Miller & David Mazzucchelli, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Some works from Brian K. Vaughn I have enjoyed reading. Always excited to see what the home grown scene has to offer too!
Where did the idea for Not Our EDEN come from?
Writer Brad Castles and I wanted to challenge ourselves and team up to produce a graphic novel (as opposed to a standard size comic). Sci-fi has never been my strong point so I asked if Brad wanted to write something in that space and from there NOE was born.
Which creatives influenced you most in drawing Not Our EDEN?
None specifically. A lot of artists inspire me in trying to develop and shape my style, but none have been a focus directly on crafting NOE. I think I looked to references that best suited what was going on in the panels. Nature and plant life is something I looked at. Overgrowth plays a big part in the scenery of NOE.
Any advice for other artists?
I don't think I have the portfolio to be offering advice, but what I feel is helping me develop as an artist is a couple of things. 1.) Take note of what you see, be observant and focus on what makes something take it's shape and form. In other words study. That mixed in with;
2.) Keep drawing. This has been given to me as advice many times and it seems to be working. As I have moved along with NOE, I noticed a change in the quality of work I put out. The more you draw the more you get comfortable and confident with each line you draw. Some poses, forms etc start to become second nature and things start to come together a lot quicker.
Anything you wish you could tell non-artists about the realities of drawing?
It's something that comes from the mind and soul, something a robot can't replicate (thankfully not yet anyways!). So please be thoughtful and respect the craft. People put a lot of time and energy into it and it's not something you just pluck from a clip art library.
Anything you wish you could tell other artists working with a writer to bring their graphic novel to life?
Communication is key. Keep the conversation between each other strong and be mindful and respectful of each other's skill sets. But above all, put aside egos etc for the sake of the story. Because after all it's work and you are there to get the job done, and done right!
Anything else you'd like to add?
Happy to connect and share experiences to anyone in or wants to get into the comic or storytelling scene. I can be found on Instagram as mattmcgrillen and on facebook.
Thanks for your time Matt.
No problem. :-)