Matt Asefaw. Firsts.

“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.” ― Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

My name is Matt Asefaw and I am a 22 year old illustrator based in Mississauga, Ontario. I've been drawing since I was in kindergarten and have been inspired by art for as long as I can remember. My mission in my creative journey is to create pieces that capture the thoughts and feelings I have trapped in my head and further my experience and technical style I've developed over the years.

I decided to name my website "Firsts" because I feel that during the course of my stay at the Foundations Design Course, I've been doing a lot of things for the first time. Before George Brown, my artistic career had been limited to drawing on things I shouldn't be drawing on. I felt like I had the ability but I never tried to cultivate it in any way because I didn't think that art would take me anywhere. I was under the impression that art could only be a viable career option for those 13 year old contemporary proteges you'd sometimes see on TV. After I joined G108, I realized that I did in fact have some talent and for the first time, caught a glimpse of what I can do.

"I felt like I had the ability but I never tried to cultivate it in any way because I didn't think that art would take me anywhere."
Superhero GUM (JetSetRadio) 2013

This piece is one of my favorites because it was one of my first experiences with working purely with digital media (Adobe Illustrator). I remember the work process distinctly because It was one of the most difficult undertakings I had done thus far. The majority of the design portion was done in a trial-and-error style due to my limited amount of experience with Illustrator.

Untitled - 2017

For this piece, I wanted to explore a medium of collage to create an interesting contrast of color and texture. I wanted there to be a distinct difference in style but still having something in common. I was inspired by the DADA movement and wanted to try and replicate the same excitement and movement.

untitled - 2016

This piece is definitely one of the best examples of my love for pen and ink. When I was in high school, one of my favorite ways to drown out the sound of a boring math lecture was to draw random lines and swirls, slowly build up into a giant organic blob of texture. This piece hold a lot of sentimental value for me because it's kind of a shout-out to my high school self. I wouldn't have ever thought I'd be able to use such a technique and create something I can actually be proud of.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." -Winston Churchill

Apart from working with illustration, I also like to dabble in audio and video manipulation in my spare time. These are 3 different experimental video projects that I've worked on in the past couple of months. The usual process begins with me finding a song that I enjoy, taking it into Audacity. I look for footage that matches the feeling or the sound of the audio and put them both together.

In conclusion, as an aspiring artist, I feel that my time in art school has impacted me greatly. I learned about many different art styles and techniques and was able to expand the scope of my interest and understanding of art. I enjoyed the fact that there were many opportunities for me to fully explore different ideas and techniques that I've always wanted to like ink wash and paper cut outs. All in all, I feel like my time here has allowed me to grow as an artist and a person. I learned to be more confident about my work,

"I am still learning." - Michelangelo


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