Matthew James Downs was born in Michigan where he spent most of his youth drawing cartoons, watching cartoons, reading comics, playing video games and swimming. Reading Jim Davis’ Garfield in the newspapers was one of the first things he could read on his own. By the third grade, Matt had already figured out what he wanted to be for a living: a cartoonist. After seeing Disney’s Aladdin, Matt was inspired to become an animator. After seeing Pixar’s A Bug’s Life, Matt was encouraged to be a storyboard artist.
Matt drew cartoons throughout his grade school years, coming up with his own characters and story lines. He drew for his high school newspaper and received the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association Award for one of his editorial cartoons.
After high school, Matt got his degree in Graphic Design and then decided to get a second degree in Animation. While attending classes, Matt successfully completed his senior animated short film, Camel Country, a fish-out-of-water story about a camel trying and failing to adapt to arctic environment. The film proved to be an allegory relating to Matt’s own life decisions, struggles and obstacles.
After graduating from college (again), Matt and his fiancé moved to California.
Matt now resides in Burbank as a freelance illustrator and webcomic cartoonist with his wife, Rachael.
They have a bearded dragon named Jasper, a leopard gecko named Havanna, and a crested gecko named Clyde.
Herzog & Company
Illustrator – A Million Ways to Die in the Wild West DVD feature
Herzog & Company
Office management & film runner
Cosmic Toast Studios
Storyboard Artist/ Animatic Editor/ Character Designer
Freelance layout, inbetween, and clean up animation
Kurt’s Kustom Promotions