A student was having troubles forming the shapes of letters so I invented a game to find letters among the desks and chairs in the classroom.
– DAVID MATTHEWS
David Matthews has spent his entire career in photography including photojournalism and industrial commercial photography. A to Z Illusions is another extension of his creativity. Over the past few years he has enjoyed compiling a library of about 400 objects, taken from different angles to capture letters then reproducing them in sepia 4×6-inch prints.
While Matthews was a child he was bitten by the photojournalism bug when his first photograph was published in the evening issue of the Echo in England. He snapped the photograph on his 127 Brownie camera of a lorry (truck) carrying 10-ton blocks of stone that had crashed into a house.
“The photograph told the complete story and was featured on the front page, with my name. This was my first byline. That thrill and experience would be extremely satisfying. Many people tried to dissuade me from pursuing my dream, but due to my perseverance (some say stubbornness) I was able to photograph everything I wanted to, learning much about people, life and photography,” said Matthews.
“The idea is not original. It is something I did years ago for fun, while volunteering at the local school in Alexander, Manitoba with the literacy program. A student was having troubles forming the shapes of letters so I invented a game to find letters among the desks and chairs in the classroom. That was the “Ahaa” moment. I set out on a year’s mission to photograph the alphabet using natural, everyday objects without using any touching up of the photographs,” said Matthews.
Matthews also volunteers his time to help with the art program at the school.
“People’s appreciation of my work is very rewarding. Watching people at a show looking at the photographs and the expression on their faces, and exclamations of wonder when the realization
A TO Z: David Matthews with a display of his letter art photography at a craft show in Rivers.
that they are looking at a word dawns on them, is very pleasing,” said Matthews.
“If you’re going to take up photography, always have a camera with you and a constant yearning for searching for knowledge, and an open artistic eye with perseverance and willingness to listen. Always be willing to learn! I enjoy sharing the knowledge I have with others and on my website I offer a newsletter with updates on A to Z photographic tips and answer photographic questions,” said Matthews.
Matthews’ website can be found at www.atozillusions.com.He markets his Lettergraphs from his website, at craft shows and finds the best marketing tool is word of mouth from happy customers. – Joan Airey writes from Rivers, Manitoba.