Matthew Krawchuk still designing for local bands
Local artist Matthew Krawchuk says he didn’t always think of art as something that could be his career.
“I drew when I was a kid all the time,” Krawchuk says. “I always had a sketch pad but I never really saw it as work, I just saw it as play. I pretty much went through all of high school without passing a single art class. I felt like that wasn’t what I was supposed to do for my life to make money.”
Krawchuk says that when his mom gave him her old computer, he started creating poster designs and business cards for bars that he worked at.
Now, Krawchuk operates under his own brand, Fortune Circus, which he describes as a “one-stop shop” for anything a band would need for merchandise.
He’s worked with rapper Transit, local pop-punk band For The Weekend (who recently appeared on MuchMusic’s “Discovered”), and local rock band Go For The Eyes, among others.
He says that business is going good, but it hasn’t been overly profitable. “I’m working with a lot of bands, but typically they don’t have a bunch of money.”
Elise Roller, lead singer and keyboardist for Go For The Eyes, says that Krawchuk has designed album covers and posters for the band. “He’s just a really unique artist. He knows what he’s doing.
“We’ve worked with a few other people and you don’t always get what you want and Matt’s really good to work with. There were a few times where he’d send us something and we’d want to change part of it and he’d be totally flexible.”
In addition to Fortune Circus, Krawchuk also works full time at a print shop and twice a month as a graphic designer for a newspaper. Until recently, he was also part owner of Sleazy Apparel; a local clothing company that called it quits earlier this month.
“There was a disagreement and Jordan [Hunter, chief operating officer of Sleazy Apparel] let me know that he wasn’t going to be a part of Sleazy anymore,” he says. “I thought about keeping it going, but ultimately, there were a lot of things I wanted to do differently – and I would much rather put my energy into something that I’ve done the way I wanted to from the start.”
Hunter, who started Sleazy Apparel with Krawchuk and three other friends just over a year ago, cited “creative differences” as the reason for the split.
“It ended because there were some differences based on the direction the company was going to head,” Hunter says. “They were big enough differences that I decided to resign.”
Krawchuk says that the ending of Sleazy Apparel will give him more time to pursue other opportunities, like submitting some designs to Threadless, an online store that allows artists to submit designs. Users vote for which designs they want produced.
“I don’t know if my art’s had that much time to evolve because I haven’t been doing it that long,” Krawchuk says. “I’m always trying to get better.”