With a brief walk across the stage, one chapter ends and a new one begins. It is hard to believe that two years has passed by so quickly. While it is a deeply bittersweet moment, one must not dwell too heavily on the past. After all, there is plenty of work to be done.

On graduation day I returned back home to the endless miles of baron cornfields; an environment that I once loathed as a kid, but now find deep meaningful comfort in as an adult. After spending so much of my time amidst the concrete, advertisements, and congestion of a city, I have become more humble toward my upbringing within the sticks. This country lifestyle, one that is filled with bouts of extreme boredom and solace, has been the primary influence on my artistic practice throughout the years. Its’ impact has granted me the ability to produce artwork with literally next to nothing at my disposal, and work within a space no bigger than a standard closet. I do not need a lot to thrive, and I take pride in this accomplishment.

Upon returning home I took the liberty of gutting my bedroom and converting it into a makeshift studio space. Countless garbage bags of junk and old wooden furniture were happily tossed on to our burn pile in order to make room. Believe it or not, a majority of the artwork that I submitted within my CCAD MFA application was produced in my bedroom, so I know the space will be sufficient enough for me to work with. While I will not have the capability to produce large-scale work anytime soon, I have been diving back into illustrating; my first true love and my dominant hand as an artist. Illustrating got me through many tough moments in my life, and I look forward to getting back on the horse and experimenting with it again. Lets see what this country boy can do.


Matthew Dangler, Tooth & Nail 1, ink on canvas board, 2011.