Take 5 With Matt Stewart Creative

Today I'm talking all things art and social media with renowned Brisbane artist (and one of my favs) Matt Stewart.... Let's get straight to it!

 1.  So Matt, tell us a little about yourself, your business, your art and what sets your soul on fire? 

My career background was originally in graphic design which then lead into a strong marketing and branding background where I worked for several premium brands. It was during these full-time roles that I built my art business up as a side project and in 2010 turned it into my full-time career. My work has been described as “Sexy. Raw. Demanding.” which I guess sums it up.  It’s kind of a pop art with a street art edge. Although not having a street-art background, my use of aerosols and acrylics gives the artworks a grittiness and sets them apart from my peers.  I have a busy weekly schedule, with early starts on-site (and at the airport) for murals both locally and interstate, so I love nothing more than just relaxing and chilling out on weekends and during my time off. Sitting in my hammock, reading a great book, is literally what I look forward to the most. 

2.  As an artist, do you have a muse that is a major influence for your art? 

I don’t have one particular muse, as I really like to work on different subjects. Definitely Fashion! It's just another type of artform, so it makes sense to include it in my works. It really interests me and as I create concepts, I try to include all types of fashion that really inspire me.  My style of works lend themselves to bold colour blocking and long, flowing lines, so it’s a perfect match!  I take this inspiration from everywhere.... I read (flip through) all of the current fashion and design magazines and follow dozens of relevant people on social media. Female figures and nature both feature strongly in my works, so they would be my major influences. I also love architecture, design, and just creativity being born from people’s ideas.    

3. What is your favourite piece that you have produce and why?

 Probably the 8 metre tall pillars that I painted for Cirque Du Soleil a few years back.  They were a gift from the performance company to the city of Brisbane, so the fusion of the elements of the performance ‘TOTEM’ and local natural wildlife was one that worked well.  Also, the sheer size of the surface that I painted onto and the logistics in making scale, perspective and detail work, was something that I am still proud of.  I drive past them at least once a week, and still smile at how they’ve transformed the landscape.

You can check out the production video here: https://vimeo.com/208282117

4.  Being a veteran in the social media space, and based on the current climate of social media  Eg. the algorithm, changes etc.,how has this impacted your business? 

URGHHHHHH! Absolutely!! Social Media is definitely a LOVE/HATE part of my business and something that (like everyone) I am always trying to figure it out.  Anyone who uses it for business purposes, will know that the goal posts keep getting moved. You just figure out what works the best for marketing, then BOOM, it doesn’t anymore, so back to the drawing board.

It has impacted my business over the past 18 months from both an organic and paid promotion angle. Organic delivery rates have dropped and paid advertising just keeps increasing in $$’s for delivery.  Plus, I think that people are so bombarded with cool imagery, that once a ‘WOW Artwork Image’ will now just become another image in the newsfeed. It is frustrating, but something that comes with the territory, so I just keep on pushing through and working with it, not against it.  

5.  What steps are you taking as an independent artist to adapt to these social media challenges? 

To be honest, not a LOT up until very recently. I am a little lazy when it comes for being really proactive with my social media and online presence.  However, I have realised that I need to step up my game, so am re-invigorating my Pinterest and Linkedin accounts to have more of an overall presence.   More often posting on Facebook and Instagram have helped also. I’ve never really bought my personal side/life into my page too much, as it has always been able to function well on just the artwork alone. However, I know that my followers would love to see more of ME and what I get up to, so moving-forward, this will start to feature.  

6.  What advice would you give to the up and coming Australian artists and creatives? 

If artists are wanting to pursue their passion as a full-time career, treat it like a business that you want to succeed in. Know your demographic..... after all, you’re selling a product....you! People buy art for the art as well as for the artist.

  • Who are you selling to?
  • What do they love (not just art, but everything in their lives)?
  • What do people love most about your art? 

Once you know your buyer well, then you’ll know how to direct your concepts to produce beautiful artworks that will resonate with them.

7.  Cheeky question....Any secret squirrel business happening for you and your art in the near future? 

I have several large projects coming up in the next few months. All of these I still have to keep quiet about, but all will be revealed soon. In addition to these, I have a waiting list for both private and corporate mural jobs, as well as a 9-10 week wait for canvas artwork commission orders. I am also looking into a couple of other homewares/fashion products to add to my range. Life just keeps getting busier, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

 

Get social with Matt

W:   www.mattstewartart.com

I:  @mattstewartcreative

F:  @mattstewartcreative

P: www.pinterest.com.au/AusArtist

 

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From Kreo Home To Kreo Inc.

So what the hell is going on Kreo?! 

Yes, we have taken some much needed time out, not only to chill from the hustle that a small business delivers, but also to complete our house reno (can't believe my marriage has survived it! ha ha), have quality family time and of course launching into the Kreo Inc world of becoming a digital agency!

The Kreo Story

Kreo began its journey in 2013 as an online homewares store and blog which represented the Australian handmade market. It quickly became a platform for Australian creatives and small business owners to share and sell their work. 

Kreo Home is about to embark on its fifth year of trading. What started as an online homewares store, blog, supporters of Australian made, it evolved into many different things in its short journey. We created an array of awesome projects, we were nominated for countless awards and made many memories along the way. Today we stand here proud as we look back on all our achievements.

However the time has come to say goodbye to our retail side of the business in order to continue with our passion of helping, supporting and advising small business in all industries. Kreo Home as you know it, has undergone a massive makeover and restructure and will now be known as Kreo inc.

So what is Kreo Inc all about?

Kreo inc will focus on the needs of business. It will offer workshops, one on one coaching, advertising opportunities, informative blogs, business resources, public speaking, technical support, social media coaching and much more.

Over the years of working in the homewares and social media industries it became apparent to us that our awesome creatives we have supported over the years needed more guidance and support on their business journeys. We wanted to free their time up so they can keep creating while we take out all the guess work in the social media and business realm. We figured, why not share this knowledge? We should all be growing together and celebrating each other's wins! So we came up with a list of affordable products and services to do just that and it's something we are extremely proud and excited about. You can click here to check it all out.

We would like to take the time to thank our amazing suppliers, followers, blog contributors, supporters, family, friends and mentors for their ongoing support, encouragement, advice and long term friendships. Without you all, none of this was possible. We look forward to sharing our new journey with you all.

M xx