Interview with Fanboy30
Fanboy30 is a name you will most likely associate with the awesome Hello Kitty/Supernatural designs that you can purchase on T-Shirts and other items. Cast members such as Jim Beaver and Kim Rhodes are fans of the Fanboy30 designs and have been spotted wearing the T-shirts with their character SPN Kitty on.
Matt (aka Fanboy30) is an Englishman now living in Nova Scotia, Canada. A photography graduate that’s gone back to his roots as a fine artist and welcomed T-shirt design with open arms. He discovered Supernatural and it's like his world completely changed, for the better.
Cast wearing Fanboy30
Q & A
I had the opportunity to ask Matt aka Fanboy30 some questions and about his designs:
Q: How long have you been designing?
Matt: I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, for years I took it for granted that everyone could do it. It wasn’t until my art teacher took a valid interest in my talents and pushed me to specialize in painting at school that I finally knew I was good at something. My main problem with painting was that I rarely finished a single piece because I always came up with more interesting ideas during the current one that I was working on. This problem pushed me towards photography because I could execute my ideas much quicker and at the age of twenty five I applied for an Art Foundation course specializing in Photography.
I continued for a further four years at University studying Design: Photography and graduated in 2006. My work was heavily influenced by the movies and I would compose film stills from a far broader story. The work was very successful and even got featured in the ‘British Journal of Photography’ as part of a competition.
I kind of fell back into art years later while working in a quiet retail store. I had so much time on my hands that I picked up Illustrator and started to teach myself how to use it. Before long I was making simple and silly T-shirt designs that I put on sale via numerous online stores. When I got laid off from that job I decided instead of jumping straight back into retail I would give freelance a go and I’ve never looked back.
Q: What gave you the idea for Kitty/SPN shirts?
Matt: It seems like it was a happy accident actually. While watching the episode ‘Swan Song’ it got to the famous Castiel line “Hey Assbutt!” and I thought what an awesome and awkward catchphrase and it would be great on a shirt. That said I just thought it would be even funnier to mix that with a cute twist and the kitty mash up was born, substituting Hey with Hello. The fans response was insane and he became an instant hit so I thought I would at least make a few of the main characters.
This is when the fandom took over and embraced it. People wanted more and more and it felt like a 'gotta collect em all' kind of deal. To date I must have made at least 30 characters, including variations and the to do list is still growing. I really can’t believe it sometimes, I am very grateful to all the support I’ve received from the SPNFamily.
Q: What is your favorite design from your collection?
Matt: My all time favorite design is ‘Hell & Back Boys’ which mixes the Supernatural cast with the Powerpuff Girls style. What made the design so much fun was not just using Sam & Dean but finding a way to incorporate fan favorites like Castiel, Bobby and Crowley into the mix. Castiel was an obvious choice for Professor Utonium, Crowley just screamed to be Mojo Jojo which left Bobby to be the Major. At first I thought there was no way to find a suitable balance for Crowley, what with Mojo being a monkey, but I think I achieved a fun illustration where he resembles both characters. The icing on the cake was when I met Mark Sheppard at a convention and he pointed out how he loved that he was the monkey. I told him I was the designer and his face lit up in a huge smile and then he demanded a shirt for himself.
- Interview conducted by Lucy (SpnUK) September 17, 2015.
- Huge thanks to Matt "Fanboy30" for taking the time to tell us about your awesome designs!