In this week’s Feature!, we’ll be talking to artist Matt Hamblen. He’s a self-taught large scale landscape artist who works with palette knife and impasto techniques to create stunning one of a kind works.
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
My name is Matt Hamblen, and my main shop is on Etsy at http://www.mattsart.etsy.com
I paint original large scale landscape paintings, am a self taught artist, and have been one all my life.
What got you started initially, and what helped you refine your style to the professional level it’s at today?
Painting is just what I do, as it’s in my family lineage going back for many generations. I grew up going from art show to art show with my father being a fine artist and Mom running the business, so it’s just ‘in my blood’ to do this. I started doing art as a toddler, and haven’t stopped yet!
That’s amazing! I think that in many ways men can feel challenged to embrace their artist-identity and openly create, so you are really lucky to have such a supportive family and such a great history backing you up!
When people buy your work and hang it in their homes, offices, or businesses, what are you giving them that nobody else can?
I feel I offer a style you won’t find anywhere else. It’s not for everyone, but those who enjoy my work tend to be passionate about it. I think they see that I’m passionate about creating these pieces, and they respond in kind.
I also feel that my prices are very reasonable for such large paintings, as they’re a fraction of what one would pay at a gallery.
We agree! Where do you show and sell most of your work these days?
Online, Etsy, Blog, Farmer’s Markets, Craft Shows, etc. Etsy.com is my biggest hub. My online gallery and shop can be found at http://www.mattsart.etsy.com
Etsy has grown to be such a valuable resource to all artists and art lovers. The male community is growing by leaps and bounds too!
Why do you think it’s important for men to connect with the handmade and one-of-a-kind market that Etsy and some other online resources offer?
Well, I don’t know why I’ve always felt men are a minority online, as when one goes to a craft show, I’d say the sellers tend to be equally men and women, but online, it’s different. Etsy, for instance, has always been predominantly women; both the sellers and the buyers – as are many of Etsy’s surrounding sites, blogs, and promotional venues. Again, I have no idea where so many of the men are, but we really should get online more with our goods.
Definitely! That’s why Handmade Men is here. We’re like the Batman beacon for male artists!
Etsy is definitely making it easier for men to find their way to the arts and crafts scene. There are even groups on Etsy that cater to male sellers and people looking for the perfect gifts for men – so we’re coming along!
In your opinion, what makes handmade items more valuable than their mass-produced counterparts?
I’d say uniqueness more than anything. These days, no company will really bother with manufacturing anything unless there’s a built-in assurance of making lots of profit, whereas in the handmade community, people do what they do out of love and just to support themselves and their families. You will always find handmade goods that no company would produce, as the markup usually just isn’t there to support a larger company full of employees and large overhead costs.
Exactly. It’s almost a sub-culture and counter-economy in and of itself, made up of people who look beyond the surface at the people, products, and ideas they support. A real art revolution!
If you were trying to convince someone to support artisans, handmade producers, local vendors, or other ‘grass roots’ economies, what would you tell them? Why do you think it’s important that we support handmade artists?
I think I could write a book about this subject, but suffice it to say that craftspeople built this country and our present world, and we built the machines that now do the same tasks. We’re local, so we’re your friends and neighbors, and will likely be a huge part of bringing the economy back to where it was with our purchases and by employing people as we grow. We also depend on your support so that we may continue to offer unique handmade goods which make the world a more beautiful and enjoyable place to be!
Is there any wisdom or a favorite quote you’d like to present to our male readers?
I don’t know the exact quote, but it has to do with the unreasonable man changing the world instead of letting the world dictate to him how things should be.
A big part of the reason I’m doing what I do is because although I tried for many, many years, I just couldn’t find an adequate situation working for someone else where I earned a livable wage and was treated with some degree of respect for the job I did. I eventually gave up looking, and decided I needed to employ myself.
Self-sufficiency seems to be a common theme among many artists… thinking outside the box and finding new ways to give to the world.
Thank you so much for your time, Matt. We’re excited to share your story, work, and energy!
Check out Matt’s full gallery and online shop by visiting…
And don’t forget to join him on Facebook for regular updates…
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