I started my career in the fashion industry designing, developing and managing product after graduating with a BA in fashion design back in 1998. My work has taken me to the States, China & Europe and if anything, fed my hunger for travel.
However, I found that I was drawing less & less and looking at spreadsheets more and more. So now I freelance. Still designing and developing collections for clients but more importantly, most of my work now is as an illustrator.I enjoy the fact that there are many strings to my bow, it keeps things interesting.
My first flirtation with a career in illustration came at the age of six when I rather enterprisingly took commissions from family friends, drawing portraits from photos.
Winning a competition for Ealing Council for designing a road safety poster should really have cemented my career, but apparently, schooling was deemed more important and so my vocation would take a backseat during which I digressed slightly, seduced by the sequins and silk of Fashion Design.
My Art covers fashion, portrait, and editorial using a combination of digital and traditional media. I also work as a visualiser for some of my clients, creating scamps and concept art for presentations.
If I haven’t got a pencil in my hand , more than likely I’ll have a spade, kitchen knife or pair of headphones. I love growing and cooking food, making and playing music. I publish podcasts and organise the occasional boat party but that is another story…
I am a member of the Association of Illustrators, a trade association who encourage professional standards and are dedicated to the professional interests of its members.
What I do
Commissioned artwork and licencing for use as required. I take on briefs from many industries whether that is creating fabric designs for product teams, fashion illustrations for labels, book cover illustrations or artwork for editorial pieces. I work closely with my clients to formulate a concrete working brief and guide them through the quotation process to ensure they arrive at a solution to match their needs and budget.
I help clients bring their concepts to life in order for them to present them to others. Visualisation or scamping is the process of creating images quickly and economically to be included in pitches or presentations. Often the concepts evolve as I the illustrations are being created which can act as a vital tool to the client’s creative process. This work is most commonly found useful to Advertising/ Creative/ PR agencies where words alone are not enough to present an idea.
I also create original art, greetings cards, and products available for sale in my store. I am also happy to take on private commissions so please get in touch if you would like to discuss a project.
Awards & Features
2016 Creative Bath Awards
Finalist: Designer Category.
2014 UK Mobile & App Design Awards
Best of Best, non-profit category: WudU? Illustrated app for Barnardos
Third Sector’s Campaign of the Week
WudU? Illustrated app for Barnardos
Images 36: Best of British Illustration
Shorlisted: Self initiated project
Creative Quarterly 27
Winner: International Professional Illustration category
Over the course of the project he input a lot into process and his experience was a great asset. Matt delivered on everything that was asked of him even with the tight time frame. Seeing the final images is evidence that Matt was able to translate the brief into illustrations that help to deliver key message and are visually stimulating.Tom Rees – Assistant Director Information Services, Barnardo’s
His illustration was an imaginative and well-considered response to the brief. He was thoroughly professional, willing to devote time and energy to getting things right, giving his time generously to add value to the project, and above all, he was a delight to work with. I can't recommend him highly enough.Fiona Smith - Project Manager, Association of Illustrators
Working with Matt is always a pleasure. A true professional that produces high end illustrations that never fail to impress. Not only to myself but also to my clients. When it comes to completing a project on time and to budget Matt Richards Illustration is the only option.Paul Ormandy Senior - Digital Lead / Designer / Developer, Indian Red
Matt is one of the best illustrators that we commission. He created amazingly beautiful artwork with a nice visual style, he is also very well organised. We are more than lucky to have his contributions for our magazine and website.Ting-Kai Chang - Designer, Eat Me Magazine
Matt did a fantastic job with the "One the Move" art trail project and we're all delighted with the outcome. Thank you so much for helping us creating a fabulous and long-lasting legacy.Amanda Parker Middleton - Creative Arts Company
Working with Matt has been seamless. He had an immediate understanding of our concept and brief, which resulted in a super efficient process. The scamps he created for our project were premium with a lovely fashion style about them, we'd happily work with Matt again in the future.Holly Bee - Senior Account Manager - LOVE
Matt created an exceptional piece of illustration work for me. I briefed him in and he was able to create 6 illustrations over night. He was flexible with amends and happy to follow my initial storyboards.
Clear communication and a high quality level of work, more than happy to work with him again.Paul Taylor - Art Director Edelman