Meet Our Monster of an Illustrator: Matt Labyk

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The challenge? To draw something amazing – and as much of it as you can – on the spot in just one hour. All under the watchful eyes of fellow artists and other admirers – nudging for a better look, gushing with compliments and asking nearly 101 questions (no joke). It’s chaotic. It’s quirky. And, for WhiteSpace illustrator Matt Labyk, it’s downright fun.

SPACES Monster Drawing Rally


The SPACES Monster Drawing Rally is an annual art-making spectacle featuring some 100 Cleveland-area craftsmen. For one night only, these artisans work in three one-hour rounds (at 6, 7 and 8 p.m.) to produce as much artwork as possible in their allotted time. Each of the completed pieces is available for sale as soon as it’s hung up on the wall (first come, first served) for a flat price of $75. Proceeds support SPACES, a local contemporary art venue dedicated to artists who explore and experiment.

Cleveland’s seventh-annual Monster Drawing Rally was held last Saturday, April 22, at the new SPACES art gallery on the west side of downtown Cleveland. It was Matt’s first drawing rally, yet definitely not his last. “I knew some local artists who did it last year, so I jumped at the chance when I heard the open call for artists.”

Turns out, the term “drawing” rally is used pretty loosely. That’s one of the things Matt enjoyed most about the event. “There were all kinds of artists there – illustrators, painters, collagers (is that a word?). Even someone drawing on antlers,” said Matt. “It was neat to see so many different approaches all in one room, all at one time.”

Creative Thinker and Difference Maker


Matt has been the talent behind many WhiteSpace client illustrations, from infographics to social graphics and spot illustrations. He’s been drawing since he was a wee little one – always doodling at school, drawing on notebooks and, once he discovered skateboarding, obsessing over skateboard logos. “I like creating things that make me and others laugh. That’s why I’ve stuck with a cartoon style,” explained Matt. “Cartoons can convey so much through simple gestures. Think about it, a lot of kids learn by watching cartoons. They can make a huge impact.”

Making an impact is important to Matt. In fact, next month he’s participating in Inspire 2017, a collaboration of Cleveland’s artists and young poets for the benefit of America SCORES Cleveland. He’s creating original art inspired by a selected poem from the organization's Student Poetry Collection. The artwork will be displayed alongside the original poem, and sold at a silent auction on June 10 at smARTspace. Proceeds will provide much-needed funding for the SCORES afterschool program.

You may want to consider bidding on Matt’s work. From what we’ve seen, its value is only going up!

Chances are that your audience is suffering from information overload. An illustrative style may help cut through the clutter. Contact the creative minds at WhiteSpace and see what kind of story we can draw for you!

Click here to see Cleveland Scene’s photos from the SPACES Monster Drawing Rally.


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