Matthew Hodson’s Illustrations Are Cheerful, Yet Reflective

Matthew Hodson, AKA Matthew the Horse, is a poet and illustrator, fusing together fragments of drawings with scraps of thoughts. Working as a lecturer in illustration at Leeds Arts University, and commissioned by notable clients like The GuardianNew York TimesThe Economist, and Converse, it’s sometimes hard for him to find time for what he enjoys doing most: making art.

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Snow Leopard

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“Primarily I draw,” he says in a conversation with Lecture in Progress, adding, “I like how drawing allows me to give shape to my ideas through its own visual language. Often that voice is the voice of a wally singing to his dog, or the voice of someone in the woods looking at a dead tree. I like poetry for the same reason; collecting bits of the day, trying to make sense of them.”

Working from his home studio in Leeds, he says that he enjoys his work most when he manages to achieve that creative flow, lost in the process of drawing and making. “It’s hard fought,” he says, “and something I want to explore further but when it occurs it’s really enjoyable. I’m not a naturally gifted draftsperson, I draw like a pissed robot most of the time, but there’s always intent in my hand where I’m trying to find that correct balance between control and wobble.”

The least enjoyable aspect? “Time, as it disappears. Being eaten up by admin, by obligations, by my stupid phone. I get stressed out all the time by fear, guilt, and frustration that I should be doing more, making better, pushing further. But I think I can combat this by looking at my own drawings more than my phone and spending more time thinking about nothing.”

Here are some highlights from his Instagram page.

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Tiny mouse heartbeats

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