Through the years we employed him, we thoroughly enjoyed the visual journey our in house artist Matt Beard took us on through his imaginative approach to our industry, and we know by the feedback we regularly receive that many of you have enjoyed those visuals as well. Whether it’s product labeling, marketing materials, print ads, or well… anything we came up with that has a visual component, it ran through him first. We recently sat down with him to find out a bit more of what goes on in his creative sphere.
HN: Tell us a bit about your background, how you got into making art, influences etc…
Beard: I moved to Humboldt in 1993 to go to school and major in oceanography. Within one semester, that plan derailed and I followed my passion for making art instead. Early on I was very inspired by the 60’s psychedelic poster art movement centered around San Francisco, CA. Particularly the work of Rick Griffin, phenomenal stuff there. Later on, because much of my life has been spent traveling up and down the California coast in search of waves, I became rather inspired by the early California Impressionists of the 1920’s. Artists like William Wendt could transport me to places in California the way no photograph in a surf magazine ever could and I wanted to develop more of that natural sense of place in my art.
HN: Our product labels were very different than anyone else’s in the market when you began creating for us, tell us how those came about…
Beard: When I was originally approached for the label artwork for Humboldt Nutrients back around 2007 or so, I saw a great opportunity to dive into those early psychedelic art influences head first. The act of growing plants from a seed to harvest is by nature a wildly cosmic thing when you give it a bit of thought. What better launching pad for a series of art that visually explores the more esoteric themes of plant life? We ran with it and the market responded. I never really gave it much thought at the time as to whether the visual identity I was creating would stand out from the other brands in the market, but in retrospect, yeah, there was a lot of very scientific, sterile visuals out there. Like a lot of the graphic designers in the industry were moonlighting as hospital sanitation engineers or something. That to me seemed like a disconnect with a customer base that was passionate for growing plants that feed both bodies and minds. It’s been fun to see a lot of marketing in the industry shift to a far more visually imaginative direction in the years that followed. There’s been some really cool visuals created out there by our competitors. I’m stoked to be a part of making the world a bit more colorful.
HN: Any advice for up and coming artists wanting to get involved in this industry?
Beard: Go out to your garden and watch plants grow. If you can’t get inspired by them or something along the way, maybe it’s the wrong industry for you.
HN: Where can our customers see more of you art?
Beard: The best place to see my latest fine art work and browse everything all at once is my website: mattbeardart.com.
I’m also active on social media- beardart on Instagram, and Matt Stanton Beard on Facebook.