Matt Eyer is the owner, founder, and creative director of Wear Liberty, a graphic t-shirt brand that is influenced and inspired by the art, history, and culture of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Previous to starting his brand, he was the Art Director of the Ropeadope Design Collective, a graphic t-shirt line put out through Ropeadope Records. Matt also writes about and reviews t-shirts for the most popular/read t-shirt blog in the world, Hide Your Arms.
Aside from t-shirts, he is obsessed with pugs. Matt has a 6 year old pug named Oliver that lives with him in South Philly. He also got a pug tattoo at the 2013 Philadelphia Tattoo Convention. Ask him to see it!
Art Star: Did you go to art school? If so, where did you study?
Matt Eyer: I did not. I did live in Germany for a year in between high school and college though, and I think my experience there definitely plays into my inspiration.
AS: What types of items will you be selling at the bazaar?
ME: T-shirts! My brand is centered around graphic t-shirts. I have a few hoodies too.
AS: What materials do you work with?
ME: T-shirts! haha. and inks to print on them. I mostly use American Apparel shirts, as they are great to print on and very comfy to wear. I use 100% cotton, a 50/50 Poly-Cotton blend, and a super soft Tri-Blend shirt.
AS: How are your items made? Describe your process.
ME: All my designs are my ideas that start in my head and sometimes on paper with a very rough sketch. I then share these ideas with the artists and designers I work with and they beautifully craft them into print-ready designs. When the finished pieces are set to go, they are hand screen printed onto t-shirts and then I have custom hem tags that I sew on myself.
AS: Are you able to make your work full-time? If not, what do you do for your day job?
ME: Not yet, unfortunately. Hopefully soon though! My “day job” is actually a night job. I’m a server at one of Philly’s most delicious Mexican restaurants, La Calaca Feliz. If you like Mexican and margaritas, I highly recommend coming in. And ask for me of course.
AS: Who are some of your favorite artists?
ME: Wotto is definitely one of my all time favorites. He has an incredible style that you can always recognize as soon as you see one of his designs. Yema Yema is also at the top of my list. She creates some of the best characters I’ve ever seen. (She designed my Ben Franklin tee and I will have a new one from her this year!) againstbound is another favorite. He has a very unique style that stands out from the crowd. And one of my more recent favorites is Colus. (He just released is first ever dunny with kidrobot!)
AS: What are you reading/listening to right now?
ME: Always listening! Local Natives, Tame Impala, Beach House, Father John Misty, Vacationer. All those bands have released really awesome records over the past year and you should definitely check them out.
AS: Where would you like to see yourself and your art/craft business in the next 10 years?
ME: 10 years is a long time from now…but in the next few years, I would like to get my shirts into more stores and shops in Philadelphia and hopefully open my own store one day! I’m also planning on creating a Wear Liberty pet line for all of your Philly loving cats and dogs.
AS: Are there any bazaar participants that you are excited to check out this year?
ME: Gnome Enterprises always has some awesome shirts, so I’ll have to check them out. All the stuff from Mad Knits, Gearforms, and Cutesy but not Cutesy looks great (especially the dog monster hoodie!), so I’ll definitely be stopping by all of their booths. And one of these days, I’m gonna have to pick up one of Jordan Elise’s Horrible Adorables. They’re just too awesome not to.
This is Matt’s second year doing the Art Star Craft Bazaar and he is super excited! He will be releasing 5 new designs, which is the most he’s ever done at once with his own brand.
He was featured on Comcast/Xfinity On Demand for the month of February for an interview he did with the website Philly In Focus. Each month, their top 3 most popular videos are featured on On Demand under the “Get Local” section. Check it out here