We're back with another edition of FOUND featuring Nashville native Matthew Sharer, a man of many hats, most notably known as bassist of Ranch Ghost, creator of Shurrrr Designs, and silkscreen mastermind and designer with Grand Palace. We've teamed up with Matthew on some of our favorite projects, including our Pioneer Prints series, and most recently, collaborating on the yet-to-be-released Silkscreen guitar straps (coming soon!).
We're excited that he's joined us in this month's issue of our magazine to talk about his work, influences, upcoming projects, and why he does what he does. Check out our interview below and be sure to visit his website shurrrr.com to purchase his work. Find him on instagram @matthewshurrrr to see what he's up to.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Matthew Reed Sharer and I try to wear a bunch of hats.
What’s your background? Where are you from?
I am actually one of the rare Nashville natives. I was born at Baptist hospital downtown, grew up in Antioch, then moved out to Mount Juliet for high school, but always spent my time downtown going to shows and skateboarding.
When did you become interested in making art?
I guess I have always drawn and tried to make art, but it wasn’t until high school that I discovered what I really liked to do as far as creating visual things.
What came first, music, art, or skateboarding? Which one influences your work most?
I was always into drawing and doing things like that for fun, but once I started skateboarding, I was introduced to new art and music that opened up a world that was exciting in both realms. Skateboarding was kind of the catalyst to where I’ve ended up in the music and art spectrum. As far as influencing my work, I feel like they all kind of cyclically influence each other. If I’m working on a design, or drawing, and it’s getting frustrating, I can go skateboard, or play some tunes with people. It clears my mind and helps me get a better grip on that design when I get back to it.
What was the first piece of work you designed? Did that solidify your trajectory into this field, or did your interest come later?
Well, the first actual thing I designed that was produced would have been a pretty bad t-shirt for the skate shop I ride for, probably close to 13 years ago now. I’d say it definitely lit a fire under my ass to get better at getting out what I wanted to show. It was also all done on the computer, and I think that’s mainly what I wanted to change. So, I started trying to find ways to incorporate hand drawn elements into the digital world.
Where do you get your inspiration from? Who/what are some of your major influences that we should know about?
A lot of my inspiration comes from nature. I also find a lot of inspiration in really old graphic design. There’s something about the limitations that people used to work with to get across such a vast message, and were more than successful creating beautiful logos and packaging using only a few colors. There are so many great artists and people who, through their words or music, inspire me. It’s kinda like a “pick your favorite song” dilemma. Although in the end, I’d say my biggest influence is probably just positivity. I try to create things that promote positivity. The world is in a weird place and it’s nice to be able to momentarily attach yourself to a nice image or thought.
What’s your creative process like? What’s your favorite part?
I am constantly doodling and sketching throughout the days. So, if I have a design I’ll be working on soon, I’ll sketch ideas for that in my sketchbook. Once I kind of settle on the final idea, I’ll work on a final drawing. Once I draw it all, it goes into computer land and gets colored and shaped into something ready to screen print. The best part is probably just the meditative state you get into just drawing. That state of being totally present with a brush, pen, or pencil on paper, creating lines is very calming and a positive place to be.
What was your go-to doodle in school?
In high school, I was really into graffiti culture and typography, so lots of that kind of stuff. Also, I was always drawing different ramps and skateboards spots that I was trying to will into existence.
What’s the biggest challenge you face with your work?
My biggest challenge is for sure my own mind. I’m getting better at letting things happen lately, but I can be real bad about designing something over, and over, and over again, second-guessing myself. When the stuff I end up most proud of are things that happened and came out the first round.
If you didn’t work at Grand Palace, what would you be doing? Where would you be?
Oh man, I try not to think about these things too much. Who knows really, there are a lot of alternate dimensions out there to think about. I’d definitely be doing something hands-on, where the end means something to be created.
Any work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
One of the things I’ve done recently that I’m really happy about was a new shirt design I made for Grand Palace. We’re working on getting a new site going and they will all be up there for people to grab.
Any favorite collaborations you’ve done recently?
I’m really stoked on the straps and things I’ve been working on with you guys. It’s always fun to get to see your work on things that you’ve never been a part of making before.
Why Bo Diddley for our Pioneer Prints series?
Bo Diddley is one of the reasons that rock and roll exists. He’s also just a stylish guy.
What do you have coming up?
I am currently working on releasing my own skateboard brand. The stuff I’ve been getting together for that feels really good and natural. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a really long time and now is the time to do it.
Where can we find more of your work?
I have a site that I’m pretty bad about keeping updated, it’s www.shurrrr.com. That’s 4 R’s, haha.
Any favorite galleries or secret spots in Nashville?
My roommate and I just put together a Calendar art show in the front room of Fond Object, on the east side, and it’s looking like we will be putting more of those together in the future. It’s a nice little space for shows and it’s connected to a record store, so that’s pretty rad. Not sure about the timeline on this, but the show will be hanging with prints for sale until the end of January.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Stay positive, hang out with people who make you happy, and inspire you. Remember there are people out there to help you. Drink more maté.
All artwork by Matthew Sharer. Cover image by Julie Bee.
FOUND is a monthly series by Original Fuzz Magazine. We aim to discover visual artists from every corner of the world, no matter the background or creative vision. We believe it's not just what you do, but how you do it. All art is as important to our culture as music, words, news, science, even religion. FOUND celebrates the visual and those who create it, serving as a platform for the creative pioneers who embody Original Fuzz and our products.