MEET MAT VOYCE, Q&A WITH H+ ROSTER ARTIST
Mat is your friendly neighborhood type designer & animator. He specializes in 2D type animation and is mainly known for his pioneering style exploring illustrative kinetic typography. His work infuses letterforms with character and has been applied to animated GIFs, music videos & streaming titles for clients/broadcast globally.
H+: How did you first become interested in pursuing a career as a type designer & animator?
Mat Voyce: I originally began experimenting with some simple stretching type when I left my first agency job, basically I created a kinetic type post that advertised the very role I was leaving behind. At that time I discovered how to animate stretching type by pure luck as this was around the same time the trend was starting to appear. But from that initial point of realising just how much could be done with lettering when combined with motion, it became clear that not only was there so much more to learn but so many ways to give static typography character and life. There was also something special about creating an animation that has an endless loop, there's kind of a mystery as to where the loop starts and finishes. Anyway after plenty of practice I started to use the skills learnt from kinetic type to create these type led animated stickers to be used on Instagram. Thankfully the obsession with looped, kinetic type continued and I've now been able to create for dream clients, brands and agencies from around the globe.
H+: What are three words you would use to describe your creative output?
Mat Voyce: Friendly, Expressive, Alive!
H+: Where do you find motivation for your creative endeavors?
Mat Voyce: Because I have fallen into a world of design that I love, every project or personal piece doesn't feel like work or a chore…it feels like a unique expression or an emotional extension of myself, bringing type to life feels very unique and something that is so universally important for communication!
H+: What influences and inspirations do you draw upon in your work?
Mat Voyce: I think because I grew up in the era of Rayman, Ape Escape, Honey I shrunkthekids & Ghostbusters, the typography on these games/shows I was obsessed with as a kid has always had a real powerful visual effect on me. However, because I trained myself as an illustrator who loved designing static type as a side hustle, this gave me a huge skill boost when I started introducing motion to my work. Then because I learnt plenty of character animation to actually animate fun little walk cycles and emotions, the combination of my approach to give the same emotion to letterforms just became something totally new. Also one of my biggest influences comes from a site called 'Art of the Title' a site dedicated to title sequences and animated type, basically collected from pretty much any film or show.
H+: How do you balance incorporating your own personal style into commissioned work?
Mat Voyce: I always think it's important to stick to your guns, essentially if I have a strong idea that I think will solve a breif I try to run with it, or suggest it for as far as I possibly can. Normally the very reason I have been approached is that the agency or brand wants my style input on their project, which always makes it easy to keep my style within a project. I always try to provide design routes or options that are both close to my style and sometimes a little different. I do like a challenge and like to try and expand my style, providing different ideas to give both myself and the client a bit of variation.
H+: What do you hope people feel or take away from your art?
Mat Voyce: I'd like to think they see plenty of positivity and character. Bringing those letterforms to life is super important to me, so I would like to think they feel like things feel more alive and relatable. Feeling joy when seeing something move on screen is always a nice feeling and one of the reasons I started creating moving type was during COVID lockdown here in the UK was to spread a little joy when we were all stuck in our homes.
H+: What is the highlight of your day?
Mat Voyce: Having the freedom to really craft typography that lives, not only my own distinctive way but at my own pace of experimentation and expression. All of that…and walking the dog across the hills and fields near home to clear an over-stimulated animator's mind!
H+: How do you express your emotions through your art?
Mat Voyce: Sometimes I try to imprint characteristics into how a letter moves, other times I use personal pieces to show how I am feeling, especially when I work alone from home. Having some kind of output or way to get those feelings out is super important and healthy for the mind in my eyes.
H+: What challenges do you face as an artist?
Mat Voyce: Finding new ways to grow not only my skill set but to keep growing my craft as an artist. It's all too easy to fall into creating the same kind of work over & over, so finding new avenues to express moving type, be that through textures, personality or even the use of colours…it all feels very important to me to keep pushing and exploring what's possible. Plus these paths of exploration can lead to exciting and challenging new projects, which I think is super important to grow as an artist…projects that scare us can be the very best.
H+: What advice would you give to aspiring type designers and animators?
Mat Voyce: Keep practicing, it sounds typical but PRACTISE MAKES PERFECT. The more you practice the quicker you get, the quicker you get the more you can learn about your workflow and personal style. Also remember talent is the desire to practice. It may not always feel like you’re developing as a designer but as long as you keep practicing, you will get better so don’t be afraid to try something new, having a personal style doesn’t come overnight. And remember to keep yourself inspired, and surround yourself and your digital life with people/designers you admire or love the work off. Seeing something inspiring as soon as you open a laptop or a phone is a great way to kick off the design process.
H+: Can you discuss your experience working with clients and fulfilling their artistic vision?
Mat Voyce: It can be a very rewarding process, especially when it comes to projects that have had a certain challenge or have been tricky to navigate. I always try to put a positive spin on things, especially when things become difficult or heavy to work through. I believe that because I still don't see what I do as a job or task (purely a passion), it's easier to enjoy and just appreciate the process or end result.
H+: If you didn't pursue a creative career, what other path would you have chosen?
Mat Voyce: I would have loved to have gone into stunt work (yes I wanted to be a stuntman jumping from windows, crashing cars and faking deaths). I took part in every kind of sport you can imagine when I was young, but my talents pushed me towards gymnastics and trampolining, and at a point when I didn't have any clue what to do with my life, I did think maybe I could use these skills for stuntman work…
H+: What are your thoughts on parallel universes?
Mat Voyce: I like to think there is another weird version of me making those decisions and choices I either turned down or refused to let surface. It would be damn interesting to see where my life ended up if it wasn't in the creative industries!
For more information on Izzy Lawrence visit her artist page!