Matt Hayward – Chovy Art

BD Outdoors would like to introduce you to Matt Hayward of Chovy Art.  His fun style of art is a pleasure to see and he shares his story with us.

Matt Hayward

BD:Where do you live?

Matt Hayward:I grew up in Agoura Hills, CA and moved to San Diego for college. After getting married I lived in Encinitas, CA for 6 years before eventually ending up in Point Loma, San Diego, CA.

marine art

BD:What mediums do you work in and what is your favorite?

Matt Hayward:Acrylic, paint pen, spray paint and marker on canvas.

matt hayward

BD:What are your other hobbies, and are they related to your artwork?

chovy art

Matt Hayward:I have always been drawn to the ocean. I grew up surfing and that will always be a big part of my life.  But lately I have been spending more time on my 1978 Sea Craft the “Chovy”. Fishing has basically consumed my free time over the last few years, especially with the El Nino events along the west coast. I try to project elements of my experiences and emotions from my time on the water into my work. While I love being on the water as much as possible, running a small business with my wife and raising two young boys has me on land most of the time these days and gives me more time to paint.

yellowtail painting chovy art

BD:How did you get started and what was the evolution of your style?

Matt Hayward:The first time I stepped foot into a tunnel I was 13 years old. I was in awe seeing art on the walls of such a bleak and empty place. I spent much of my youth skateboarding in these hidden tunnels and dried up river beds decorated with colorful art. It was here, in places I wasn’t supposed to be that I developed an appreciation for art.

whale painting chovy artMy first real experiences with paint were about 7-8 years ago when I began painting background designs on my surfboards with mostly bright colors, repetitive designs, lines and shapes.  This led to my painting a new mural every month on my entire patio.

marine artistsA few years ago I picked up a canvas and combined my surfboard style backgrounds with ocean scenes and creatures ranging from jellyfish, octopus, whales and a variety of local fish. I dubbed my new venture “Chovy Art” and an obsession was born. I spent hours painting on canvases and then painting over them.  This drove family members crazy but it really enabled me to develop my own style and progress as an artist, while not going broke on buying new canvases.

My style has remained fairly consistent using bright colors, organic flow, and a slice of street style.

marine art

BD:What goals do you have for your artwork, what does the future hold?

Matt Hayward:My goal is to spend more time covered in paint rather than behind a computer doing my “real” job. My ultimate success would be to break through in the fishing world and continue to spread my work across the walls of the fisherman and ocean enthusiast.

dorado painting

BD:Is there a message or theme behind your artwork?

Matt Hayward:To respect and enjoy the ocean and all of nature. Take the time to take it all in, get out there and enjoy it.

Also, to just have fun. I express the beauty of the ocean in my own way, a way that is fun for me to paint. I try to not be too serious and focus more on the enjoyment side.

ocean scene painting

BD:What or who inspires you?

Matt Hayward:My biggest inspiration has been those who have reacted positively towards my artwork and encouraged me, whether it is family, friends or strangers. It’s crazy how far a few positive words can go.

My other inspiration is the ocean which is the focus of all my work. Its beauty, power, mystique, harshness and calmness all inspire me. I dig its calm perfect days equally as much as the freezing morning before the sun is up.

dorado painting by Matt HaywardI am also inspired by vibrant natural colors of the fish I catch, for example:  a “lit up” dorado or the sun glistening on the skin of a yellowtail. Using exaggerated colors I try to capture this amazing phenomenon. I also dig the natural designs on fish, especially the fins and lateral color lines.

great white shark painting

BD:What has been the hardest project, or what is the hardest aspect of you art?

Matt Hayward:I am self taught and reluctant to further educate myself by studying formal principles and techniques.  The minute I set foot into a classroom or read a book to brush up on skills it takes the fun out of it. I prefer to learn only through trial and error. There are certain skills it takes me longer to establish, which leads to frustration at times but has also helped me develop my unique style.

matt hayward art

BD:What brings you the most satisfaction or sense of accomplishment?

Matt Hayward:I thrive on seeing and hearing people’s reactions to my work. I also enjoy the connections I have made through my artwork. It has given me a chance to meet so many interesting people in the fishing industry as well as the community. My work has slowly started to spread outside of San Diego, so that’s super cool too.

Our thanks to Matt for sharing his incredible works with us.  You can follow Matt or learn more at his sites below.

Matt Hayward – Chovy Art





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