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.



Renegade Animation


“Tom and Jerry Cowboy Up!”
Prop Designer

Pocket the Private Eye (Book Series)

2018 to present
Book Illustrator

CW’s iZombie

2015 to 2019
Assistant Digital Illustrator on iZombie

Nickelodeon Animation

Freelance storyboard revisionist for Spongebob Squarepants


Herzog & Company

Illustrator – A Million Ways to Die in the Wild West DVD feature


Herzog & Company

Production Assistant
Office management & film runner

Cosmic Toast Studios

Storyboard Artist/ Animatic Editor/ Character Designer

Thunderbean Animation

Freelance layout, inbetween, and clean up animation

Kurt’s Kustom Promotions

Graphic Designer


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