The 116 Life Ep. 32 – “Capturing Beauty with Photographer and Creative Director Matthew Warren”

On this episode of The 116 Life, Matthew Warren, a talented photographer and creative director is opening up about creativity, faith and working alongside Reach Records heavy hitters, Andy Mineo, Tedashii and Trip Lee.

A Glimpse into Matthew’s Background

Matthew, born and raised on the south side of Atlanta in Clayton County, has a deep love for his hometown. He approaches it as a tourist, capturing the essence of the city through his photography. His background in art started with drawing and sketching, which later transitioned into photography and creative direction.

Growing up in Clayton County, Matthew was surrounded by local artists and musicians. He attended Riverdale High School and lived near Sierra, who later collaborated with Missy Elliott. He also lived near Waka Flocka Flame when he moved to the area.

Matthew’s interest in fashion was sparked in school where he couldn’t dress the way he wanted to. He paid close attention to what others were wearing, which later influenced his creative direction. His interest in music and beats was ignited during his time in band and drumline. This led him to start making beats and working with local rappers in the Clayton County school system.

The Creative Influence in Matthew’s Life

Matthew’s family is also artistic. His dad played bass, his grandmother was a painter, and his mother was a photographer. He credits his upbringing and exposure to art for his creative direction.

Matthew’s Collaborations and Projects

Matthew has had the opportunity to work with various artists and projects. He has collaborated with artists such as Trip Lee, Andy Mineo, Kings Kaleidoscope, and Tadashi. He has also worked on projects like 116 Merch, Citizens Music, and Limo Blaze.

Matthew’s approach to his work is unique. He likes to be involved in the creative process and listen to the music of the artists he works with. He also had the opportunity to collaborate with Reebok.

The Yeshua Collection and Matthew’s Faith

Matthew’s deep dive into his own identity and faith led him to create the Yeshua collection for In Him Apparel. The collection aims to educate and challenge the church by focusing on the true identity of Jesus. Matthew emphasizes the importance of aligning his work with his faith and being guided by the Holy Spirit in his creative process.

Matthew’s Work in the Music Industry

Matthew’s work in the music industry includes collaborations with artists such as Trip Lee, Andy Mineo, and Kings Kaleidoscope. He also mentions his involvement in projects like 116 Merch, Citizens Music, and Limo Blaze. He expresses his excitement for working with Tadashi and mentions his past work with Reebok.

Matthew believes in being open and inclusive in the art world, not limiting oneself to a specific genre or audience. As Christians, he believes they should be generous with their art and embrace diversity.

The Challenges and Responsibilities of Being a Creative Director

Matthew discusses the challenges and responsibilities that come with being talented in his field. He emphasizes the importance of carrying the unashamed mantra of 116 in his work and how it relates to his faith. Matthew is committed to accurately translating the messages of the artists he works with, as he believes their art has the power to save lives.

Wrapping Up

Matthew encourages listeners to check out his work on Instagram and support the projects he is currently working on. As we wrapped up our conversation, it was clear that Matthew’s journey is a testament to the power of creativity, faith, and dedication. His story is a reminder that art can be a powerful tool for communication and change.

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Matthew’s Background and Upbringing [00:00:58] Matthew talks about his upbringing in Atlanta, being born in Atlanta and raised on the south side.

Matthew’s Work and Collaborations [00:04:21] Matthew discusses his various projects and collaborations, including working with artists like Andy Mineo, Kings Kaleidoscope, and Tadashi.

Approach to Photography and Creative Direction [00:07:56] Matthew shares his approach to photography and creative direction, highlighting his use of unique locations and his desire to showcase lesser-known aspects of Atlanta.

Growing up in Atlanta [00:10:42] Matthew talks about his upbringing in Atlanta, mentioning famous people and local artists from his neighborhood.

Getting into creative direction [00:11:40] Matthew discusses how he got into creative direction and his early experiences with fashion and art.

Working on different projects [00:17:49] Matthew talks about his various projects, including working with Reebok and shooting album covers for artists like Andy Mineo.

The Studio Session [00:21:54] Matthew talks about going into the studio with Biz, Andy Mineo, and Del Del Juice, and the need for photos for the project.

Creating the Album Cover [00:24:33] Matthew discusses the process of creating the album cover for Andy Mineo, including setting up the shoot and the collaboration with Kevin Hackett.

In Him Apparel [00:28:43] Matthew talks about his collaboration with In Him Apparel, the faith-based apparel brand, and the purpose behind designing the Yeshua collection.

The breakdown of “if god loved us then we should also must love one another” [00:33:05] Discussion on the importance of loving one another based on the belief in the one true God.

Matthew’s experience working with Lecrae and other artists [00:35:51] Matthew’s involvement in shooting for Lecrae’s album and his journey as a creative director.

Advice for aspiring creatives [00:37:09] Matthew’s advice for aspiring creatives, emphasizing the importance of knowing oneself and finding like-minded individuals to collaborate with.

The responsibility of artists in their work [00:45:09] Matthew discusses how artists hold a responsibility to convey a message through their art form and how he takes that responsibility seriously.

The impact of gospel music [00:46:22] Matthew shares how he came to faith through gospel music and the meaningful impact it had on his life.

Matthew’s social media and projects [00:47:01] Matthew provides his Instagram handle and mentions his involvement with In Him Apparel and Citizens Music, encouraging listeners to check them out.

Related Radio Show: 116 Life