We had a wonderful opportunity to meet Men’s Fashion Illustrator Matthew Miller, creative and founder of Sunflowerman. His signature fashion illustration has a watercolor feel that is easily identifiable, vibrant and full of life.
Can you please tell us how you got into menswear illustrations?
The work sort of found me. It’s strange. I dropped out of art school (I can go on a separate tirade all about that) and so I was left to wonder, who am I outside of school?
Life was all about following the steps laid out- get up, go to school, finish homework, go to church, do it all again. Elementary, Middle, High School, then University. After that you fall into a job and work that forever, have kids, retire etc.
Before I dropped out of art school I hadn’t considered my future. After art school my passion was still clear, I had to draw and paint.
Eventually, after some time of experimentation I fell into painting men’s fashion, In 2012 I realized no one was focusing their work on menswear and that I could be that person.
How would you describe your style of illustrations?
Sunflowerman illustrations contemporary works or art rooted in tradition.
What has been the highlight of your experience so far?
As an illustrator, the highlight is always meeting new people. Often I take the opportunity to feature some of the great men in the industry and that becomes an introduction to so many interesting people. Not only the men that I am painting, but their friends and friends’ friends. Drawing and painting has always been an excused for me to meet people and it’s still the main driver of my work today.
Who would you like to collaborate with?
That list is growing every day. I’m telling you there are so many amazing artisans in this world and I want to work with too many of them. It’s like being an avid book reader. The problem is that you can never read them all.
I just discovered this watch maker in Japan, via my Father in Law. Masahiro Kikuno hand tools most of the parts on his watches except for a few key pieces like the hairspring, averaging about 1 watch per year. I recently have fallen in love with the work of the Spanish clothier, Oteyza and hope to do some illustrations with them. As you know I recently crossed paths with Parajumpers at Pitti and had a good time spending some time with the team and sketching. I hope we can build on that for the future.
Of course there’s Brunello Cucinelli, A. Lange & Sohne, Liverano and Liverano, Nomos, Aquascutum, Holland and Sherry, Harris Tweed and like I said, the list goes on.
What are you looking forward to working on this year?
This year is a building year. I’m really looking forward to making new connections and new friends in the industry. For the first time ever I attended Pitti Uomo and had a great partner in Luciano Barbera at the show. That was an amazing project I enjoyed this year. In personal projects I will be exhibiting at a cafe in Paris and visiting London for the first time.