Matt Hirschfeld’s art takes him from UMSL to SNL
There’s no business like show business, and one University of Missouri–St. Louis graduate has found success by creating artwork with a show-business focus.
Matt Hirschfeld has two drawings displayed in “Saturday Night Live: The Exhibition,” which opened May 30 in New York City. The drawings portray different eras of the show’s Weekend Update segment, one from the 1970s with Jane Curtin and Dan Ackroyd and one with the more recent pairing of Seth Myers and Bill Hader.
Both works are also offered for sale as framed and signed editions. The exhibit gives visitors the chance to see what it’s like to be a part of Saturday Night Live, with replicas of sets and costumes.
“For someone who’s grown up loving that show it’s going to be very cool thing,” Hirschfeld said.
Hirschfeld studied graphic design at UMSL and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in general studies in 2003. After moving to Los Angeles, the St. Louis native found a niche producing celebrity caricatures in a classic, mostly black-and-white style.
“I credit UMSL with giving me more than just my art degree,” Hirschfeld said. “I had to take courses in business and marketing, and I’ve used those as tools to help me further my career.”
Hirschfeld’s clients include Walt Disney, Lionsgate and numerous Broadway productions. In 2013, NBC commissioned Hirschfeld to produce artwork for the series finale of the show “Smash.” The company’s marketing president liked Hirschfeld’s style and hired him to produce drawings of cast members from several NBC shows during the Emmy campaign that summer.
That campaign included a sketch of the SNL cast, and cast member Taran Killam contacted Hirschfeld to produce a drawing to commemorate Seth Meyers’ final episode. Meyers was part of the show from 2001 to 2014 and was known for making T-shirts to commemorate each season.
The drawing was accompanied by the words “Who will make the shirts now?” and was said to draw an emotional reaction from the comedian.
“I heard that they made him cry,” Hirschfeld said. “It was touching to hear that it meant so much to him and that I was a part of that.”
St. Louisan Al Hirschfeld (possibly a distant relation to Matt) is often credited with developing the style Matt Hirschfeld works in decades earlier. Matt Hirschfeld, though, uses technology to create his images.
“It’s all done on computer,” Hirschfeld said. “I draw with a mouse. I don’t enter a formula. A lot of artists like to use a tablet with the pen, but I grew up drawing with a mouse. It just feels natural to me.”
KSDK (Channel 5)
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