Matt Irie Teaches Painting as a Way to Communicate Visually
When speaking about drawing or painting from observation, MCC art instructor Matt Irie said, “You don’t really know a thing until you’ve drawn or painted it.”
Irie has been teaching at MCC since 2008, which allows him to share his passion of the arts with students every day. “My job is exposing students to things that I think are really cool—it fits my personality,” he said.
As an instructor of drawing, painting, and 2D Design, Irie strives to inspire students to observe the world around them visually and critically in order to see things in new and different ways.
“Painting is a way of communicating visually. Some people communicate better visually than with words—that’s what painting is all about.” Any topics can come into play in a drawing or a painting, including science, sociology, politics, history, humor, etc.
“I think my enthusiasm about art and working with the students as artist peers in the studio helps to engage them and hopefully foster a love for art”
Irie has always loved music and art and has played in bands since junior high. While a freshman in college he aspired to be an illustrator, but strong mentors inspired him to pursue fine art and become an art instructor. He began his career as adjunct art instructor at MCC, Harper, and the Illinois Institute of Art in Schaumburg. Before coming to MCC full-time he taught and worked as a studio technician at Northwestern University.
For students having trouble coming up with ideas in his drawing, painting or design classes, he suggests they look through contemporary art books and magazines and then asks them, ‘What are you drawn to?’ “I tell them to make something in a similar style and then evolve or progress into their own unique one. Good art comes from good art,” he said.