Liviu Matei

February 13, 2009

By Coty Gonzales

Liviu Matei, better known in the design circles as Ez-kun, is a freelance artist from Cluj Napoca, Romania, who specializes in illustration and apparel design. You can find his art on MySoti, DBH and Emptees. He also recently had one of his prints featured on the daily tee site, TeeFury.

CG: On your blog you mention that you don’t consider yourself to be an artist. What do you mean by that?

LM: Mainly, there are two reasons for this affirmation: First, I look up to people I consider artists and I am nowhere near that level. Second-and very related to first-I consider being called an artist a great honor, and I would rather have others call me that than blowing my own horn.

Sure, there are certain occasions when it’s inevitable and I have to recommend myself as an artist, but deep down that’s how I feel.

CG: You were in a recent car accident in which you got injured pretty bad. Do you think that experience will influence your artwork?

LM: Yes…and no. Unfortunately, there were no sequels that would manifest themselves as an increase in my talent or skills. Which means, I am stuck with taking the long way of practice, practice, practice, in order to improve. It might change my art thematically though, considering the fact that this experience added to my great appreciation of life and all it’s aspects. Sure, no one cares for the misfortunes, but we live and learn, hopefully!

I would love to take this occasion to thank again all the nice people who cared about this accident and sent me their kind encouragements. To those of you who donated some for me…you are always in my heart, I really can’t appreciate enough having such great people around me! Yes, I know it sound cheesy, but that’s how it is.

CG: You live in Cluj Napoca, Romania, what is the art scene like there and are you active much in the art community?

LM: Now, see how I already explained I don’t consider myself an artist:)? There is a huge art scene here in Cluj Napoca, as it’s a cultural and educational center. Also, one of the top Arts and Design Faculties is located here, so the place is packed with talent. Unfortunately, I finished the Letters (Language and shit, yo!) Faculty, had almost no contact with the art scene here and I am trying to make it on my own. I had no specialty classes, so I’m pretty much self-educated when it comes to art – it’s both an advantage, but a major disadvantage too, if you want to break in a scene dominated by art-school absolvents.

CG: You work as a freelance designer, what have been some of your latest projects?

LM: I am proud to announce that i got into a pretty amazing project, but a non-disclosure agreement keeps me silenced for the moment. Don’t worry, it’s big enough that it will make a splash and yuo will know about it soon:). I’m just going to say Thanks Steve!

I am available for some custom designs, I would love to work with good art-guidance. Right now I am kind of in a tight spot with planning my time, as I have to bear the joys of a full-time job, but I always make time for what I enjoy doing. So, yeah, I will answer all e-mails.

CG: What is your favorite type of art medium to work with? Do you prefer traditional medium or are you more of a digital kind of guy?

LM: I’m a mix ’em kind of guy. I do like the digital medium better for it’s cleaner and allows me a lot of different approaches to design. But, I learned how to draw on paper, and my first love is pencil. Also, the fact that I don’t own a tablet (please stop throwing things at me:P) means I do have to draw and ink traditionally, and even if it takes forever, I am sure it’s good for my wrists:)

CG: If you could be just one color, what color would you be?

LM: Wow, that’s so “test-your-personality” like:). Red. Yup.. Bright, huge, strong RED. Just kidding. Light blue. Oh, I’m confused. White. Damn, now there are three of them. Sorry, I don’t have a favorite kid, I love them all!

CG: Sometimes working as a freelance artist can be difficult task, what advice do you have for those just starting out in freelance?

LM: Never give up. Sure, it’s really hard. But you are doing what you like, right? So don’t lose hope, it’s going to take months, maybe years, maybe not, but you must give it your best shot. And trust me, not giving up means constant learning (oh yeah, check my blog for tutorials and stuff), so eventually, when all the good designers die of old age, we will be there to take their place! Just kidding. Or am I…?

For more on Liviu Matei, check out his portfolio.

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