Vectorfunk genius Matt W Moore has a newfound interest in endangered Caribbean tropical fish for the latest contribution to his ongoing wildlife series. Matt’s been working on the extended series over the last few years now.
The first phase in 2013 focused on animals native to New England, where Matt grew up, but these new vector illustrations are impressively even more brightly-coloured, and solely focused on the fish and creating their individual styles. Matt says Caribbean tropical fish are in danger as their reefs diminish, but he’s been lucky enough to snorkel dive and see the fish in their natural habitat.
“Snorkelling have become one of my favourite activities. There is so much to witness and be inspired by in the reefs,” he says.
As an artist with an iconic emphasis on graffiti art and a bold, geometric digital style that takes on an abstract aesthetic, he’s managed to incorporate this into the character and realistic nature of tropical fish.
Matt created a distinct style and expression for each fish through the use of patters, colour combinations and line making. True to the creative process for all his illustration projects, Matt identified early on what colour palettes and styling techniques would be appropriate for each subject.
"Of course they are all very vibrant and colourful, but I was striving for each to have it's own unique appearance. Some are full spectrum colour, others are more dedicated colourways. I was also mindful of the different markings, textures, and scale patterns found on these fish. This was the really fun stuff to abstract in the illustrations,” he says.
From there, Matt created pencil sketches capturing the flow and energy of each fish, such as creating lines that reflect the way the fish moves through water.
"Rather than trying to realistically depict the subject, I strive to capture their character in an abstract way, and then from this framework I build back towards a recognisable, and highly stylised, final result."
Matt continues to explore this type of realistic, representational and narrative illustration work.
"It's really nice to move around between different styles of work and techniques of working. Cross pollination is key to making new discoveries.”
He says the tropical fish series is part of a larger endangered wildlife project that is expected to launch later this year, so keep an eye out.
Matt founded MWM Graphics and dubbed his digital abstract style 'Vectorfunk' early on his career. He’s applied this to everything from murals to commercial work for Coca-Cola and Apple.
His own initiatives include clothing line Glyph Cue and home goods line Core Deco, as well as work for public spaces in Moscow, Miami and Barcelona, where he creates the entire body of work on-site. You can check out his work on Facebook and Instagram.