Matthew James Downs was born in Michigan where he spent most of his youth drawing, watching cartoons, reading comics, playing video games, riding bikes and swimming. Reading Jim Davis’ Garfield in newspapers was one of the first things he could read on his own. By third grade, Matt had already figured out that he wanted to be a cartoonist, thanks to inspiration from properties like Looney Tunes, Ninja Turtles, and animated films of the 80s and 90s.
Matt drew cartoons throughout his grade school years, coming up with his own characters and stories. He drew for his high school newspaper and received the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association Award for one of his editorial cartoons.
Matt went to college and earned a degree in Graphic Design, and shortly after decided to go back to school and get a second degree in Animation. He 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 struggles and obstacles as an artist during his 20s.
After graduating from college (again), Matt moved to California and now resides in Burbank as an animation artist, and illustrator with his wife, Rachael. They have a bearded dragon named Jasper, a leopard gecko named Havanna, and a crested gecko named Clyde.
Matt still draws his own comics in his spare time.