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Nerdlocker Artist Interview: Grey Matter Art

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Obviously we like Nerdy art here at Nerdlocker. We’ve done a ton of artist interviews over the years. But we rarely peek behind the curtain and look at the companies producing the Nerdy goodness. Today we break that tradition by sitting down with Mike Gregory and Jared Dobbs, the brains behind Grey Matter Art.

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Nerdlocker (NL): So let’s just get to it, tell us about yourselves.

Mike Gregory (MG): I’m Mike, co/owner and creator of GMA. I’m a big fan of music, movies, and art. I go to concerts or gallery shows any moment I can.

Jared Dobbs (JD): About me, well I have been working in Media for the past 10 years, and really love the research side of advertising. I am fortunate to have worked with some pretty big clients. Some of my biggest passions besides Grey Matter, are going to movie conventions, attending concerts, and gallery shows in New York City.

NL: Grey Matter has been around for two years now. What inspired you to start it?

MG: Can’t believe it’s been almost 2 years already, time really flies. GMA was started more out of a feeling of being more in control of what I really wanted to see being done in the film poster world. Not that I wasn’t already into what was out there, but more or less wanting to see other things that haven’t been done quite yet by certain companies, really trying to match the right artists with the right properties.

JD: When we started up with Grey Matter, I think our biggest inspiration was our enormous passion for Art & Films, and wanting to see our favorite artists take on them. Since the beginning our drive was always to make the highest quality prints, with the best artists and licenses. We are so proud to have released 43 unique licensed posters since our launch in March 2014.

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NL: You started with a series of horror film posters. When did you decide to branch out to other genres?

MG: We are into all film genres; it just really seemed to start out that way. I think horror posters will always be one of my more favorite ones to work on, but I have fun producing posters from all different types of movies.

JD: We are such huge horror fans, so when the opportunity came up to work on titles like Cannibal Holocaust with Randy Ortiz, Evil Dead 2 with Gary Pullin, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series, we jumped at the opportunity. I feel we have had pretty diverse licensing slate from the beginning though, and we always want to surprise people and mix it up with new or obscure titles as well. We are such huge comic fans and working with Marvel is really a dream come true for us, so seemed like a perfect fit. So far we are very pleased with our Marvel releases, and hope to deliver some new great film posters this year as well, that will have us be branching out into some newer genres.

NL: Speaking of Marvel, what was it like when you found out you got an official license from Marvel?

MG: This is definitely an amazing experience to be able to work with this studio. For them to give us this great opportunity was really and still is an honor. But to answer your question, it was quite shocking at first; we really want to do them and the collectors proud. There is so much to touch on in the Marvel Universe, so I’d say we have our work cut out for us.

JD: Very exciting, but very rewarding too. I have always been a huge Marvel fan since I was a kid growing up. Iron Man and Spider-Man were my two favorite characters. It’s amazing to be part of the Marvel team, like a dream come true. Mike deserves the credit though, he was the reason we were able to work with them, and his hard work made it become a reality.

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NL: What is your dream property that you’d like to make a poster for?

MG: I think a dream property for us to work on would be The Shining. There haven’t been really any great licensed posters for that film. Something tells me that is a tricky one to get. We are actually working on one of my dream properties now that we should have ready in the next couple of months. I can’t wait to show it to everyone. It’s really going to be a great piece!

JD: The original Willy Wonka with Gene Wilder, Beastmaster, Hellraiser, and Karate Kid are some of my favorites.

NL: Why the name Grey Matter Art? What is its significance?

MG: We went through so many names in the beginning and had a really hard time choosing one, because it’s so final, but I have to give that one to Jared, that was all him. It’s a throwback to the Breaking Bad show, Walter White’s company, Grey Matter Technologies.

JD: We are such huge fans of Breaking Bad, and Walt’s company is called Grey Matter so seemed like a good fit for us. Also the fact the Grey Matter has to do with sensory perception in the brain.

NL: What’s your favorite nerd related snack? (like what do you munch on while playing video games, reading comic books, watching movies, writing, etc…)

MG: Oh wow, I think I’d have to say coffee all the way. But a late at night snack would be ice cream or chocolate.

JD: Mike & I religiously visit Starbucks, we are huge coffee drinkers! Favorite snack is definitely a good slice of NY pizza.

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NL: You have worked with some of the top artists in the alternative poster field, but is there one that you haven’t worked with that you’re really hoping to?

MG: We have been really lucky to work with so many talented artists, and cannot thank them all enough for the great work they have done. There are of course some artists out there that we would be honored to work with and hopefully overtime we can gain their trust and have them come aboard.

JD: Absolutely, there are a few. Some we are hoping to work with this year.

NL: Coy, very coy. Alright, let’s take a different approach. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

MG: This is a fun one, I would have to say invisibility would be pretty interesting.

JD: One character I always loved was Silver Surfer, exploring the universe just seems like a fun thing to do.

NL: Who are some of your favorite artists?

MG: If we were strictly speaking in the film poster world, and I am going to end up having to leave some out, otherwise I will fill up this whole interview with every artist I can think of. But off the top of my head, I would have to say Grzegorz Domaradski, Matt Ferguson, Tom Whalen,Jason Edmiston, Matt Taylor, Kilian Eng, Gary Pullin, and Francesco Francavilla are some of my favorites I have worked with and of course I am a huge fan of Laurent Durieux, Jock, Ken Taylor, Aaron Horkey,Tyler Stout, Martin Ansin, Mike Mitchell, Daniel Danger, and I have really been enjoying what Stan & Vince are doing too. I think I’ll have to stop there or I’ll keep going and going. I could talk about this all day, which is what I pretty much do anyway:)

JD: Jason Edmiston, Tom Whalen, and Gabz are some of my favorite who we have worked with. Horkey & Stout as well.

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NL: Star Wars of Star Trek? Why?

MG: Star Wars all the way. I think it tells that classic hero’s story and seems to have so many different elements that so many people find interesting or can relate to in a way.

JD: That’s a tough one, I love them both, but Star Wars has a slight edge. The original Star Trek is great, but I am a child of the 80’s.

NL: What do you do in your free time?

MG: I used to play drums in my free time. I don’t get that much time to enjoy it like I once did but I took it very seriously for a long time. Now I try and go to shows or concerts most of the time or just enjoy hanging with friends and family.

JD: Anything from video games, film and wrestling conventions, concerts, and spending time with family and friends.

NL: Give us a Nerdy secret that most people don’t know about you.

MG: I love putting together Star Wars Legos. I know it may sound kind of funny, but those things are badass, our GMA office is littered with just about everything they have put out in the past few years.

JD: I cosplayed as Obi-Wan at The Force Awakens premiere.

NL: What is your game day process, meaning when you start your day with a project, how do you get prepped/psyched?

MG: Well, I usually listen to music or some podcast on the way to our office and think about what the agenda is for the day. Who needs to be contacted, emailed, or paid…ha! Every day is so different, so we kind of take it project by project.

JD: If we are working on a film we will watch it, and take some notes or screen shots for the artists, and then we will make a proposal for them with what we would like to see on the poster. A lot of times they will have their own concepts to show us too.

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NL: If you could nerd out with anyone in history, who would you choose and why?

MG: Oh, good question, really making me think on some of these. I would have to say some of those old jazz greats like Buddy Rich or Miles Davis, totally ahead of their time.

JD: It would probably have to be Stan Lee, he is such an icon. And I would love to show him some of the Marvel posters we have released.

NL: What is your favorite movie?

MG: Wow, this is another tough one. I love the original Rocky film, Goodfellas, Casino, and The Shining, but if I had to pick just one, I think I would have to say probably Rocky.

JD: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory with Gene Wilder, it just has always has been the most nostalgic movie to me.

NL: What is your favorite video game?

MG: Always enjoyed Resident Evil 2 growing up. I would play it over and over. No matter how many times I played that game it would always freak me out even knowing exactly what was around the corner. But right now, I am totally addicted to Star Wars Battlefront.

JD: Currently Battlefront on PS4, can’t get enough Star Wars!

NL: What is your favorite comic book or comic book character?

MG: I always liked Batman as a character. The Dark Knight Returns is insane!

JD: Favorite graphic novel is Watchmen, the story and characters are incredible. Favorite character is Silver Surfer.

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NL: What are some of your upcoming projects?

MG: I can’t say exactly, but we have decided to show some exclusive teasers for you to check out. Some really cool things in the pipeline.

NL: Is there a question you’ve always wanted to be asked, but have never found the opportunity?

MG: I think you have covered them all in this interview, great questions. This was really fun.

JD: What is your favorite thing you own? Probably my Willy Wonka poster signed by all 5 original kids who I was able meet.

And there you have it, Mike Gregory and Jared Dobbs! These guys have done a ton of great work with Grey Matter Art. Check out their gallery of posters. There are still some fantastic prints available for sale – HERE.

The boys were also kind enough to tease us with some images from their upcoming releases. We can guess, but they refused to tell us more about them. Check them out and let us know what you think!

To learn more about these and future prints, follow Grey Matter Art on Twitter to get a jump on the drop.

Also, follow Grey Matter Art on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for their website newsletter for all future news & information.

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I'm a true child of the 80s from a small town near Cleveland, Ohio. My all time favorite topics are Star Wars, slasher films and Cleveland sports (despite the misery it causes). I narrowly avoided law school, instead choosing film school. I have been accused of being a walking IMDB, but I take it as a compliment!