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Conversations | Matt Plett

Matt is an artist living in Fort Wayne, IN

Describe your work as if you're speaking to a 5 year old.

I’m making some paintings for a business to sell, so they can raise money for their programs. They help people build confidence and independence in order to connect them to a professional work placement.

Your preferred method of getting that good creative vibe going.

(not always in this order)

  1. Prepare - headphones

  2. Find alone time - sometimes hard with a small house and kids' schedules

  3. Suffer - procrastination, distraction, feelings, fear, and frustration

  4. Flow/Choice/Action - Action is sometimes the hardest part, as I do a lot of my creative work mentally for weeks before acting on it. Step 4 can sometimes be first if you're not as dramatic as I am.

A piece of art in your home that you LOVE.

I'm a sucker for all the feels. My daughter painted this when she was 5.

One living artist or designer you want to have cocktails with.

Just one? Maybe ?uestlove, The photographer JR, or maybe even Erykah Badu?

What drives you absolutely nuts about the (art) world?

Man, too many. But lately, I've been super aware of how social media is really changing me in ways I have to actively fight against. For instance, the comparison problem, where I'm comparing every one single piece I make against all the pieces everyone has ever made on the ENTIRE INTERNET! It's an impossible thing.

I also think the idea of finding one style of work and then reproducing that vibe eternally sounds insanely boring and soul-sucking to me but at the same time, I don't see many examples of people making an actual living creating diverse work and selling.

A quote or lyric that your brain won’t shake.

Discomfort is the price of admission for a meaningful life. - Susan David

Most recent song you've been listening to on repeat.

Lately, anything by SAULT, Cleo Sol, or Tourist. But recently I had a really close friend pass away and I’ve been listening to songs we loved together from way back like For Me This Is Heaven by Jimmy Eat World.

Last book you read that you couldn't put down.

Hahaha, does listening to The Lord of the Rings on audiobook count? Because I keep going back to that nerd well.

Recent life upgrade that's been a game changer.

Due to the generosity of beautiful friends we got to borrow a camper-van this summer. We took a family trip out west to Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota. Now we’re hooked on seeing places we’ve never been. - it was magic.

If you could teleport to any bar right now, which bar would it be and what would you be drinking?

Alcohol's been throwing my stomach for a loop ever since I had my gall bladder removed so I’m taking it easy nowadays. But I’d probably go back in time when The Golden in Fort Wayne was open and get some fresh mint or cucumber type drink with a cheap beer on the side with all my friends. Place was a vibe.

Advice, compliment, insult... something someone once said you that you will never forget.

One of each. Advice: Bet on yourself. And do the things that are scary or that you don’t want to do.

Compliment: Someone told me a mural I made kept them from ending their life.

Insult: I’ll keep that list to myself. But I have a list...

What podcast or show are you recommending that others may not have heard/seen?

Station Eleven, Alone, or Catastrophe all seem underrated to me.

If someone asks you to cook your "specialty" - what are you cooking?

My mom’s “Big Flat Pancakes” recipe with sausage from Hillsboro, KS. Growing up with Mennonite Brethren family on both sides. I just wish I knew how to bake Zwieback buns.

Huge shout-out to _____ for _____!

My wife and kids for supporting and loving me!

Check out more of Matt's work here.

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