Each month, we are privileged to work with artists from all over the world. Their unique styles and points of view make for an especially diverse sense of inspiration in the art that arrives in our monthly Holstee Membership. From Los Angeles, California to Barcelona, Spain and everywhere in between, each piece of art is a true collector's piece. 

John Mata is a multi-talented illustrator, designer, and art director. We were especially drawn to his use of vintage imagery, texture, bold patterns, and bright colors in his work — especially in this epic illustration featured in our August print. We recently chatted about his work, life, what inspires him, and what's been making him happy lately.

H. Where is home for you?

J: Dallas, Texas

H. What was the inspiration behind this design?

J: I tried to imagine what the astronauts were feeling before they boarded a rocket to the Moon. How much fear and passion they felt. The shapes surrounding the astronauts represent the chaos of emotions they no doubt were feeling.

 

H. What is your definition of a successful life?

J: When you get to the end of the ride you have as many “life points” as you can. “Life points” can come from anywhere. Traveling, raising kids, volunteering, teaching, mentoring, giving. All these moments add up. Get as many as you can, while you can.

H. How did you get into design?

J. I have always had a passion for art. I was fortunate to have teachers who encouraged me to keep drawing, even when I would get in trouble for sketching too much. I remember my High School teacher asking me if I considered making art my college major. To be honest, at the time I had no clue what I wanted to do in college. I’m thankful for her and all my teachers along the way. I became an art major and never looked back.

H. Where do you find inspiration?

J. I'm fortunate enough to live in Dallas, where the Dallas Museum of Art is free of charge. I often go there with my wife and kids to recharge my mental battery. I also hit up vintage shops and look through old ephemera. Designers from the past did so much, with so little — it’s very inspirational.

H. What's your dream project?

J. I would love to do an Illustration for the magazine Texas Monthly since I have been a reader for many years. (Also a great source of design inspiration.) 

Or work on a movie poster for fellow Texan, Wes Anderson.

I would also like to do something my kids would think is cool, so…. Disney? 🙂

H: Which artists, writers, or thinkers influence or inspire you (or any favorites right now 😉)?

There are so many to list, but I’ll try!

Brad WoodwardKeith Davis YoungAmy and Jennifer HoodAlana LouiseLauren Dickens, and Drew Lakin.

Not only are these artists amazing, they are also extremely humble and offer feedback and encouragement to fellow artists.

H. At the moment, what is your favorite…

color? Blue- always blue.

Breakfast food? Iced Coffee

Song? I can’t stop listening to Khruangbin especially the song Maria También. Great band to see and live and great music to design to.

Snack? More Iced Coffee

H. Anything else you’d like to share with our community?

J: Thank you to Holstee for giving relatively unknown artists a chance to reach wider audiences through well-made, inspirational pieces of art.

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And a huge thanks to John for creating amazing artwork that motivates us to pursue our wildest dreams. You can follow his work on Instagram, Twitter, and Dribble

Love to write?

Every month we select a few writers to help us explore what it means to live more fully and mindfully. Reach out to write write@holstee.com to learn more about contributing.

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This article is part of our series on the theme of Passion.

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Our Themes

Distilled from our Manifesto, positive psychology, the science of mindfulness, and ancient philosophic studies we have identified twelve themes core to living both fully and mindfully. We mapped these twelve themes to each of the twelve months in a year. Together with our community we explore one each month.

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