Matt Forderer

Visual Communications

Photoshop Artist, Found Image Press
The Art Institute of Colorado

Matt Forderer

No one could have [known] the revolution coming in design. But the foundation I received—in good craftsmanship, cutting, air brushing, photography, and illustration—all helped me to easily adapt to computers. Matt Forderer , Photoshop Artist, Found Image Press Associates of Applied Science in Visual Communications/Advertising, 1986 , The Art Institute of Colorado
Matt Forderer is a Photoshop artist for Found Image Press, a company that takes old, copyright-free imagery and turns it into paper productions. He also pursues a fine art career as a collagist and painter. “I am basically the entire graphics department and am constantly restoring these images, as well as doing any custom work that comes our way,” he says. Matt has worked with the company for 16 years—and also freelances creating murals for restaurants, bio-tech buildings, and other clients in San Diego and La Jolla, California. 

Because Matt graduated prior to computers being such an integral part of the art process, he needed to adapt to new technology and software. “I fell behind. Eventually I got [a computer]. I have found that you can specialize, and have been making a career of just Photoshop.” He recommends that current students appreciate the opportunity to learn in a real-world school environment. “One of my favorite quotations is from Theodore Roosevelt, ‘Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.’”

Matt’s interest in collage stemmed from artist Max Ernst, one of the founding surrealists. He adds that he enjoys creating surrealistic imagery and is constantly inspired by nature. “I’m just doing it because I want to. I am committed to following my imagination. At work, I am faithfully restoring tens of thousands of old images that are printed on cards, calendars, and other products and scattered around the country.” 

His work as a muralist allows him to add to the design and artwork of the San Diego area. Matt admits that he truly experienced the benefits of his hard work was when he saw his first 10 x 20 wall mural installed in a La Jolla bio-tech building. One recently completed project was window graphics for an adult gaming building called Escapology in Belmont Park, San Diego. “The client had so many things they wanted to incorporate [into the mural design. This included] steam punk and modes of transportation, I had two weeks to complete it, being grilled by a team of designers.  I also had my day job. But I made my way through it, step by step. The ‘all-nighters’ I used to put in all the time at art school, helped me to deliver come crunch time.”

Matt, who in 1986 earned an Associate of Applied Science in Visual Communications/Advertising from The Art Institute of Colorado, says that while he was in school, he couldn’t have predicted the changes that would come into his career. “We were just barely beginning with computers. No one could have [known] the revolution coming in design then. But the foundation I received—in good craftsmanship, cutting, air brushing, and illustration—all helped me to easily adapt to computers.”


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