Matt Williams on making a profession change

Previously a footwear designer, Williams made the shift into illustration four years ago and is now working for clients including Nike and Vogue. He talks about the challenges he’s faced and the changes he’d like to see in the industry

For Matt Williams being a footwear designer in the fashion industry was a creative yet challenging experience. “I grew a lot from being productive within the design process and enjoyed seeing my designs be sampled and sold on shelves. It was also incredibly intense with a non-stop demand to juggle overlapping fashion seasons,” he says.

“After almost seven years as a footwear designer I had to be honest with myself that I wasn’t happy or creatively satisfied the further I’d advanced. The Monday drag of knowing I wasn’t inspired was a steady reminder. I escaped through competitive sports, subway sketching, figure drawing, and continuing classes.”

The more Williams looked into illustration the more he felt excited about embarking on a new path. So he took the plunge and spent ten months of nights and weekends building his illustration portfolio to apply to the masters programme and the School of Visual Arts in New York. In 2019 he graduated with an MFA. 

All images: Matt Williams

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