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My Creative Hero: Martin Parr

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Somesense animator and illustrator Matt Partridge explains how British photographer Martin Parr has shaped his creative outlook

My Creative Hero: Martin Parr

Matt Partridge is an animator and illustrator with Somesense who describes himself as an extroverted introvert with a passion for comedy, film and TV.

His inspiration comes from the absurd and mundane everyday occurrences of life. He’s fascinated by people and the worlds they inhabit, often basing his characters on real people and relatable situations. Influenced by Martin Parr, much of Matt’s work is grounded in reality with a humorous twist.

Growing up, he watched a whole lot of Aardman films, learnt how they did it and then used his parents’ video camera to try it himself at home with plasticine, with varying levels of success! Since then, a degree in animation and 15 years in the industry has contributed to his methodical approach in crafting engaging animation that truly tickles your funny bones.

He’s worked with clients including Nickelodeon, Google, Disney, Headspace and BBC.

 

Who would you say is your creative hero? 

I would say one of my biggest creative heroes has to be the British documentary photographer Martin Parr.

 

How long has he been important to you and what are your first memories of meeting him or coming across his work?

I think the first time I became aware of his work was after watching the 2006 comedy documentary ‘It’s Nice up North’ which he filmed with Graham Fellows (aka John Shuttleworth). They wanted to test the theory that the further North you travel in Britain, the nicer the people get. It was a really sweet and funny film and showed off Martin Parrs eye for capturing the beauty in the mundane.


If it’s someone you personally know, how did you get to know him and how has your relationship evolved over the years? If you don’t know him, how did you go about finding to learn more about him and his work?

I’ve been to a few exhibitions of his work over the years. Most recently his show ‘Only Human’ at the National Portrait Gallery. The photos were taken after the EU referendum and are a really interesting snapshot of a very turbulent time in the country. 

 

Why is the he such an inspiration to you? 

I really love the humour in his photography. Anyone who can capture such seemingly ‘normal’ scenes and give them a new meaning, with colour or framing always grabs my attention.  

 

How does he influence you in your approach to your creative work? 

I think I share his fascination with people and the often-surreal world that surrounds them. His photos are always so full of bright and saturated colours which I also enjoy using. Britain has frequently been portrayed in film and photography as such a drab, grey, colourless country. I like to use the people I see every day in the design work I do and exaggerate them in movement and colour. Playing with these things can really resonate with people.

 

What piece or pieces of his work do you keep coming back to and why?

It would have to be the photos from his most well-known work, Last Resort. I really love British seaside towns and spent a lot of time on the beach as a kid. Some of the images he captured in that series were incredible. Whether it’s families sunbathing at the wheels of a digger or an old couple eating fish and chips next to an overflowing bin, they’re all such wonderfully funny and familiar scenes to me.


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Somesense, Thu, 08 Apr 2021 10:07:52 GMT