Matthew Paquette

Artist: Pen & Ink

"Even if it's just one drawing a week, I need to do something. It's almost like a nervous tick at this point. I don't know what drives me to make art, I just make it."

Matthew Paquette has the soul of an artist and all of the quirkiness and unadulterated talent that goes along with it. He reminded us a bit of a young Salvador Dalí with his highly imaginative manner, in combination with the otherworldly, striking original images he creates. It was an afternoon of drawing, mandolins, hookahs, insight….and did we say fun?

“I started off as a shy and awkward kid, and I drew kind of good. I could look at a picture of a flower and add a bunch of teeth and eyes because I liked gruesome shit. Looking back and being totally honest, art was a thing I was good at.

I always like the mentality of collecting things and the idea of my art being collecting my thoughts. To make something I enjoy and that I want to see that can’t exist anywhere else; me being me as the only me that exists, or me making a drawing that’s only going to exist in itself. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

I don’t think there is one reason I like ink. It’s visceral; you have to dip the brush and you have to really kind of breathe life into that line, as stupid and pretentious as that sounds and again, one of those things I’m regretting saying now that I’ve said it. I’m a 22 year old making art and I haven’t had time to think where my art comes from. I’ve had to just get pissed off when they say ‘you can’t use your young as an excuse, Picasso was making realist drawings at eight.’ That’s fucking good for Picasso! I don’t know where my art is coming from, I don’t know why I make the work I make; I just end up making work. Maybe one day I’ll step back and I’ll be able to say, oh I know exactly what I was doing and I was an idiot when I was 22, ‘cause yeah, I’m an idiot who just got out of college. And that’s where the work comes from, I guess.

I’m a bit narcissistic. I am very into myself, and I think it’s a slippery slope getting really into yourself if you can’t step back and be a little self-deprecating sometimes. My need to have control over my art comes from me being uncomfortable with the idea of not having control. Control is safe and important and not scary, but chaos is terrifying and fun and hilarious. And I need that. If I were just chaotic I would probably be in jail, but if I were all control, I’d be boring, so it’s finding a happy balance.

I’ve probably had the worst luck in roommates. She made my house a total shithole. She was out one day and I just got puking drunk and made a terrible piece. My teacher liked it because it was really raw and human and I thought it was shit. Wailing on that canvas and putting burning cigarette butts, carving into it, and me overreacting like an idiot, made the most grotesque, vulgar piece. I’m not proud of making that kind of vulgar piece, which was much more well received than these pieces are ever going to be. That was not me.

I have no idea how a Matt that doesn’t make art would behave, because I have no idea what that other me did to fill his time. Maybe that person got into artisanal teas or learned to play more instruments and how to compose.

There are some tropes about being a person and the need to create something is one of those tropes. I make work because I want to and because I want it to look the way it does. It’s about me, it’s selfish.”

Click Here For Full Interview