Quick Q with a Creative: Matthew Lord

Matthew Lord uses both his hands to roll a piece of artwork

Matthew Lord works as a freelance artist and part-time professor in the University's design department.

Matthew Lord is an illustrator from Marysville. He earned a bachelor’s in fine arts from the University of Kansas in 1999 and currently works as a freelance artist and part-time professor in the University’s design department.

I was the youngest in the family, so when my siblings were in school and I was at home by myself, I spent a lot of time at the table just drawing.

I think as I’ve grown as an artist, I’ve been naturally drawn towards nature. I take lots of trips up to the Natural History Museum. Before I really started doing art heavily, in earnest, I was a stay-at-home dad, so we’d take trips with the kids to the museum a lot. And exploring those environments got me interested in all the mystery involved in the natural world. When I sit down to draw there or have students draw there, it’s kind of like a contemplative gift you can give yourself, giving your brain a little space to explore.

With illustration, you’re often trying to take someone else’s idea for an article and make a visual representation of it. I think about that when I’m composing surrealistic things. I’m really trying to tell a story but just the intro to the story. I want people to engage with my art and think beyond the frame of the picture; it’s open to interpretation. 

I’ve been awarded the Rebuilding East Ninth Grant; several artists have been picked to do projects around town to connect downtown to the arts corridor in Lawrence. My project is called the East Lawrence Family Tree Project. Four other artists and I are drawing and painting portraits of families that live in East Lawrence, and at the end of it, we’re going to have a celebratory potluck and show the art at Art Emergency in East Lawrence. The idea behind this project is to celebrate the people who live in the neighborhood and get artwork in the hands of people who may not have the means to buy their own artwork. 

My advice if you’re pursuing art is to keep a sketchbook with you. A lot of the successes I’ve had have started off as what I call small bets. They start as small ideas and I slowly build on them, and then they start to flourish. It’s a matter of building a strong habit. I have to be consistent about shutting the noise down when I get into my artwork. I make sure that I’m drawing every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s thirty minutes or three hours. I get in a little bit every day so I don’t get rusty. Take everything in and use that stimuli to your advantage. 

Click here to view Lord’s website.

Person 1: Do you do the vegan wrap here?

Person 2: We can do the chicken wrap with no cheese?

Person 1: I’ll take the Beyond Burger please. 

Person 1: Oh my God! I feel like I know you somehow…

Person 2: Yeah, we went to high school together. 

Person 1: Oh! *walks off*

Guy 1: Is the black market even real? Has anyone ever been on it?

Guy 2: I tried once but I couldn’t figure out how to get on.

Guy 1: I stayed up until 2 am watching Disney plus

Guy 2: I told my girlfriend I fell asleep but I was actually watching the Mandalorian.

Girl 1: How long have you guys been dating?

Girl 2: Since the summer, well actually for like two years but it’s a long story.

Girl 1: Who are you looking for?

Girl 2: This guy, wait I found him. Fanny pack boy. He flipped off my professor after a test and ran out of the classroom.

Girl 1: How did you choose KU? 

Girl 2: Honestly, I flipped a coin. 

Boy 1: Did I tell you? I think I had a threesome this weekend.

Boy 2: Woah, hold up. You think?

Boy 1: I was born a Phi Delt.

Boy 2: Please don’t ever say that again.

Girl 1: How do you get your boobs to look like that?

Girl 2: I don’t ever wear a bra? I don’t know. 

Girl 1: I just really want a guy to bend me over you know?

Girl 2: How do you know? You’re a virgin!

Guy: Sometimes I wish I could just be a dog and sleep all day. 

Girl: You wake up at like three every day. 

Guy: I know.

Girl: So…

Guy: So does that make me a dog or something?

Girl 1: I wish I was a little bit taller.

Girl 2: I wish I was balder.

Girl 1: I wish I had a...wait, wait, wait balder?

Guy 1: Let’s slap dicks

Guy 2: You ever pee and it feels like throwing up?

Woman 1: *holding baby* He would have been safer at the Hawk

Woman 2: Oh absolutely.

Girl 1: I would never date that guy.

Girl 2: Well, it depends how much money he has.

Girl 1: I’m going to the doctor to see if I have bronchitis before I hook up with him again.

Girl 2: Yeah that’s smart so you don’t give it to anyone else. 

Girl 1: No I mean I want to make sure I infect him.

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Guy 2: Ight man, good luck.

Guy 1: Actually I might just start chewing

Guy 1: How was work?

Guy 2: My manager was chastising me for not dressing up in a Halloween costume, she doesn’t understand I’m strictly here to get paid.

Guy 1: I am so tired of this week, man

Guy 2: Dude it’s Monday

Guy 1: I know

Person#1: I want to be on the first ship to mars

Person#2: Not me, I doubt they have Wi-Fi

Perons#1: Yeah but at least they’re evolving up there. We’re all just devolving.

Girl 1: Um, I don’t eat pig.

Girl 2: You eat bacon all the time, bitch.

Guy 1: You better get going. 

Guy 2: Yeah, see ya. I’m off to get some Adderall.

Girl 1: Are you home right now?

Girl 2: Yeah, why?

Girl 1: I bought a cat

Girl 1: I just don't understand what fishing is for.

Girl 2: I don't know. Food, maybe?

Guy: I’m just gonna have to like carry an entire box of spiders up the hill tomorrow.

Girl: What?

Guy: Yeah, just like a hundred spiders in a box.

Guy 1: Sometimes ya just gotta give yourself a haircut.

Guy 2: Dude, you shaved half your head. That’s not a haircut, that’s a mess.

Girl 1: Can you eat fruit raw?

Girl 2: How else are you supposed to eat it?

Girl: That class is killing us. ​But they say rest is for the dead.

Guy: Well, at least we'll be rested.

Girl: She's not in class this semester

Guy: Maybe she's dead

Girl: Or studying abroad