An Interview with the Graphic Designer Matt Bucknall in London
For the last few years I've been keeping an eye on the technicolour career of this talented designer. He's at the top of his game, with a broad spectrum of interesting projects underway - so I couldn't resist seeking him out for an interview. Our first meeting was over a pot of tea in the National Gallery, to see what makes him tick and discuss our shared passions - mind maps included. Matt graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2007 with 1st Class Honours. Since then he has worked across the design industry in a variety of disciplines including publishing, fashion and advertising. Throughout this time he has worked on projects for Nike, Ninja Tune, Glastonbury Festival, Tate Galleries, Arcadia Group, Samsung and The Times. Investing time in arts education, Matt has taught Summer design schools and evening classes in design at Central Saint Martins as well as third year design at the University of East London. He currently runs his own practice alongside freelancing as a designer / art director with a beautiful website to boot. http://mattbucknall.co.uk
Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your passion?
I’m not entirely sure that moment has come yet! But I guess I’d say when I was about 17 or 18 doing A levels with some very inspiring people. I was also encourages by a great teacher at secondary school who had confidence in me and made me realise a creative career was a possibility.
What piece of your work would you like to be remembered for?
That’s difficult, Hopefully I haven't made this yet. But if I were to die tomorrow I’d say the art books I’ve designed.
If you could be born in another period of history, when would it be?
I’d probably say Victorian, the age of discovery and invention.
How would you define beauty in 140 characters or less?
Something which pleases and captivates.
Do you have a favourite book, film or painting, which inspires you?
No not really.
What is your greatest indulgence in life?
Dinners out and foreign travel. Often combined!
What fictional character from literature or film would you like to meet?
Withnail from Withal & I
Do you believe that true creative expression can exist in the digital world?
What do you wish every child were taught?
A second language different to their native tongue.
Have you ever had a moment when you questioned your career entirely?
Yes quite frequently.
What is your favourite museum or art gallery and why?
I think the British Museum is great, both architecturally and the in the vastness of the collection. So many fascinating objects!
Who would you most like to collaborate with and why?
I’d love to do something with Rei Kawakubo, the founder of Comme des Garçons. She is innovative, inspirational and still working in her 70s.
What is your daily routine when working?
It depends where I am, I’m often freelancing from different offices / studios so my routine is dependent on the routine they have in place.
What has been your most inspiring travel experience?
Spending 3 months away from home in the USA was great, mainly in Los Angeles, but I travelled to Mexico, San Francisco and Palm Springs. All were different and unique in there own right, the bredth of things I saw on that trip was incredible.
What advice would you give to a young person following in your footsteps?
Don’t give up, prepare to work very hard and stand your ground, not everyone who is older or more experienced is always right.
Why do you love what you do?
Because of the variety of projects that being a designer gives you. One week you could be doing a flyer for a mates club the next designing a book or new identity. There really are some many facets to being a designer that it has the potential to keep fresh and interesting if you want it to be. You also get to learn a great range of skills and work with and meet some very talented and inspiring people.
Written by Flora Alexandra Ogilvy, founder of Arteviste.com