The Artist Spotlight series aims to celebrate creators at a time when art is being consumed the most. This week features Matthew Pompey, known professionally as DesignYourSoul, a creative director with an overwhelming passion for filmmaking. Matthew is best known for his Branding, Web Development, Cinematography & Photography with over 10+ years of experience in film, television, and production.
How has the pandemic and physical distancing measures affected you and your family/your work?
It has definitely impacted my ability to travel, I’m almost never in the country more than 3 months at a time and it has severely hindered advancing my film career. During the pandemic I’ve gone back to focusing primarily on logo design & web development. Outside of that, I’ve been planning an event called “DSGN Exhibit” as well as co-founded a new business called “Noire Now”.
Tell us a bit about your DSGN exhibit and Noire Now projects.
The DSGN Exhibit is a digital exhibit / showcase centered around how to consume art in its many forms while still being interactive with other people from connecting exhibits across the world or even the comfort of your own home by phone.
Noire Now is a Google chrome extension that gives you black-owned business alternatives to whatever you’re already searching for anywhere on the internet.
Share a fact about your recent work and its inspiration for your artistic practice, lessons learned, goals etc.
Collaboration over competition. I have had the pleasure of working with several of my favourite icons of all time. All of which were brought on by connections I made through helping others. While I’ve worked with the likes of Issa Rae, Wale, Jidenna, Ussain Bolt and Erykah Badu. Most recently I had the honour and pleasure of working with Lauryn Hill doing social media content as well as tour visuals. This all probably wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a fellow creative of mine (Dwayne Holeness) because he put my name forward to work on her world tour with her as he was already working with her documenting her 2020 world tour. The funny thing about this is that Dwayne and I use to be competitive over projects in our younger days until we finally met each other and were just great collaborators and shared projects and experiences from that point on. Something I drastically wish I did younger was not try to say yes to everything but to build up a team of creatives earlier that would help me succeed like I do now.
How do you envision the future of in person events such as live music shows and art exhibitions given physical distancing is the future digital?
In a perfect world we’d have mandatory helmets designed to isolate at least the heads of all patrons inside enclosed public spaces. But seeing as how that is counter intuitive the average person’s vanity I would say less intrusive portable masks.
How do you envision the future of your field?
While I’m not sure about most of my fields, I am certain the digital media is going to be pushed to the forefront. Live streaming has taken a huge leap in how our lives are shared with one another. I have been creating live interactive experiences now for birthdays, weddings, even funerals. No matter what, we are a social species and will always need a way to connect.
What do you think companies and collective organizations need to be focusing on to address the ongoing systemic racial inequalities in the arts sector? How has your experience been as a black man?
Representation, in all shapes and forms. The most important thing is having black stories, black narratives, black lifestyles and black cultures at the forefront of everything really. Not as appropriation or entertainment alone, but as a normalized collective.
Any tidbits on what impact you want to make as an artist and advice you would give to a younger you?
I would definitely like to leave some sort of legacy on the design world. A dream of mine is to create some sort of function or plugin for Adobe Photoshop or Premiere Pro ecosystem that everyone wants to use. As for advice I’d give my younger self. You don’t need to help everyone. It’s okay to ask for something in return. Your time isn’t refundable. Oh and buy Tesla stocks. LOL!
Much of your work captures Black women. Is there an intentionality behind this?
I love black women. From their stories, their triumphs, their failures, even down to their curves. To me, I feel black women don’t get enough exposure as any other race and I dedicate the majority of my photography to make sure that everyone I know knows exactly the type of beauty they’re missing out on.
Checkout Matthew’s work online at designyoursoul.com, and follow him on Instagram @designyoursoul.