Matthew Skiff is a talented illustrator and designer who currently works full-time for Primitive Apparel and Primitive Skateboarding. Previously, as a freelancer, he worked on projects for such clients as Marvel, Warner Brothers and Burton Snowboards.
Skiff, who hails from Denver, Colorado, has had his pieces displayed in numerous galleries, among them Gallery 1988, Spoke Art and Bottleneck Gallery. He’s drawn since early childhood, initially inspired by the shows of his youth, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Batman, and later by comic books and such movies as Ghostbusters. “I'm a pretty big nerd,” he has said. “I try to hide that I am a nerd, but I don't do a very good job hiding that.”
He lives in Burbank, California.
How would you describe your piece?
My piece is based on my favorite episode, “Arena,” depicting the epic fight scene between Kirk and the Gorn Captain. My approach to the piece was to reference the style of old Flash Gordon comics and Frank Frazetta pen and ink illustrations. And while I can’t possibly live up to those amazing artists involved in those great works of art, I tried to replicate that feeling to the best of my abilities.
How is your Star Trek artwork similar to or different from your other works?
I have been experimenting with comic book art and mixing it with other pop culture things like movies and television shows. However, this one was a little different than my past work, as there are no borders, panels or talking bubbles. I wanted to let the figures in the drawing speak for themselves.
You’ve chosen a limited color palette. What went into that decision?
Sometimes too much color can cause a distraction. More times than not, I prefer my line art over the colored version, so I made a compromise and limited it. And if you look at some of the art from older comic books, limited color palettes were used. So it was another way to reference that time in art.