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Art & Life with Matt Iozia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matt Iozia.

Matt, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’m 26 years old, grew up in northern New Jersey, and moved to North Carolina for high school. I’ve always had an interest in art and design, but I never thought it was something I could make any real money with or even be any good at. So, seeing college as the only realistic option after I graduated, I enrolled in a North Carolina university to study biology. I ended up completely losing interest and dropping out after just a couple of semesters, so in search of some excitement and a little bit of discipline, I made a huge leap and joined the Marine Corps in 2012. After flying all over the world as a crew chief and being deployed to the middle east twice, I think I got what I asked for. Being an east coast native, I considered myself lucky for getting orders to San Diego as I had always wanted to experience the west coast. Needless to say, I fell in love with it and I think living here really helped to initially spark and foster my creativity and overall interest in art.

Upon reaching my goal of five years in the military, it was back to the drawing board. Initially, I had planned to stay in the aviation industry and go to school to become a pilot. But it took me enrolling in a flight school and attending it for just two weeks to realize that line of work just wasn’t for me anymore. So, I left it.

Being independent and thousands of miles from most of my family, I knew I needed to find a career path I could get into and stay interested in. I needed to stay afloat in CA. I no longer cared about making tons of money, I simply wanted to enjoy and sustain my life. So, my interest in art, design, and photography, I was realizing, might be the answer. I turned to a friend I served with in the Marines, Christian Villareal, and he told me about the design school he was attending. I enrolled there, and in just a year’s time, my graphic design skills really took off. Finally, I had found what I loved to do, largely thanks to some of Platt College San Diego’s great instructors and my highly supportive peer group. Currently, I’m working freelance for several different clients and simultaneously searching for a full-time career where I can put my specialized skill set to use.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My graphic design work is relatively wide-ranging, though I’d have to say my favorite projects involve branding and visual identity. I love the art of conceptualizing and creating the face of a brand or product. Whether it’s package design, logos, labels, or a style guide, it’s such an honor when clients trust me to bring their products to life. Ever since I was a child, packaging, and logos, etc. always interested me. So, to see my idea of what a product should look and feel like transcend into something tangible and purposeful is a great reward. It’s an even greater reward when people like the designs I put out.

My goal is always to make a lasting impression on the consumer of the product or artwork. To successfully do that, I must figure out how to design something so that it conveys specific emotions relative to the brand or subject matter. The whole process is really highly psychological, both on my end and the customer’s, and I think that’s the coolest part about being a designer. I’m responsible for generating emotion and feeling with purpose, and I’m constantly searching for inspiration and working to improve on that.

I use Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign heavily for just about everything I make. I’d be lying, though, if I said that I didn’t love and use Illustrator most of all. The majority of my personal designs and illustrations are born in Illustrator, then brought into Photoshop and InDesign for additional details or placement into something else. For photography, I use LightRoom and occasionally some quality mobile apps like VSCO to finely tune images to my style. My go-to camera is a Nikon D750 and “nifty-fifty” 50mm lens.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
Overall, I think the wide spectrum of good and bad experiences, interactions with people, and interests I’ve had in my life this far fuel the creativity I tap into as a designer. The amount of responsibility I’ve taken on now as a freelancer feels like it increases every day, and being multi-faceted while keeping an open mind is, to me, the key to being able to effectively design anything for anyone. You have to understand what makes people tick. And to do so, you need to get out there and soak up as many different human experiences as you can. Especially, when they scare you.

The main lesson I’ve learned along my journey thus far, corny or not, is to follow your heart. Not everything will pan out the way you may have initially planned, but it will surely lead you in the right direction.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My work can be viewed on my website or my Instagram, listed below. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments or requests. I’m always interested in taking on new challenges!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photo of myself by Christian Villareal // @keepitvillareal

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