Interview Series: Matthew Williams

Illustration by Myrtle Quillamor

There is too much noise out there right now. Brands and creatives (people) should just put out quality imagery, its not the amount that’s important. The imagery should be quality and relevant. There is just too much noise. I can’t spend the time to weed through it all.


Being a creative is a title thrown around a bit too cavalierly. You, however, have helped to ignite iconic pop culture movements through your creative work. What are some of your favorite projects both personally and professionally of which you have been a part? 

MW: Kanye West’s Watch the Throne Tour, Cruel Summer Cannes Film Festival and Art Directing at SHOWstudio.

Is there anyone in particular that you have wanted to work with but have not been able to yet?

MW: Steven Meisel, Rick Owens, Bjork, Raf Simmons, Helmut Lang. There are lots more inspiring people I would love to collaborate with.

We know that you have a close relationship with Nick Knight - would it be appropriate to call him a mentor of yours?

MW: Yes, He is definitely a mentor of mine. I have learned so much about making imagery as well as life from him.

You two have collaborated a number of times - any new projects in the works for the two of you?

MW: We are always working on exciting projects at SHOWstudio. I would say the up-coming one would be an exhibition on Hip Hop we will be doing at the gallery.

In this era of mobile consumption, continuous content creation has never been more necessary. Where do most brands go wrong when creating content? What are some brands and/or artists that are doing it right?  

MW: I really feel like there is too much noise out there right now. Brands and creatives (people) should just put out quality imagery, its not the amount that’s important. The imagery should be quality and relevant. There is just too much noise. I can’t spend the time to weed through it all.  

From where do you draw your inspiration? And, is there a particular place or an era that greatly influences your aesthetic?  

MW: I would say my life, childhood, being American, California, skateboarding culture when I was growing up, emotions.

Working closely with some of the biggest names in music, fashion and media, we’re sure that your schedule has you traveling more-often than you would like. Where do you go to escape it all? 

MW: It’s funny you bring this up because I really feel like I have not been in one place for 2 weeks in 9 years. Recently, I am trying to stay put more, turn off electronics, just do email and phone an hour in the morning and night. I miss experiencing the earth and the world. I feel like I have been hunched over my phone for 5 years. Now the back lash is coming.

Was there a particular opportunity or moment when you realized that this is what you were going to do? 

MW: I knew I wanted to work in fashion since I was a young kid, like 8 or 9, I just didn’t know how.

Do you have any advice that you can share with those looking to follow a similar career path? 

MW: I don’t have much advice other than put yourself in situations to grow as a creative, especially if it’s uncomfortable. You will always grow from those moments. Don’t be afraid to fail, keep trying until you find your own voice.

What's next for you?

MW: Image making... being a husband and father.