About

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. After watching Spongebob Squarepants, Matt was motivated further to be a storyboard artist for animated television shows.

Matt drew cartoons throughout most of 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 promptly got a job doing design work at a screen printing house in Detroit. He didn’t want to give up on his dream to work in the animation industry and decided to go back to school to get his 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 a cold 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 California with his wife, Rachael. They have three bearded dragons, Otis, Llyod, and Jasper, two leopard geckos, Tony and Havanna, and a crested gecko named Clyde.

 

EXPERIENCE

  • CW’s iZombie

  • 2015 to present
  • Freelance Digital Illustrator on iZombie

  • The FlipSide webcomic

  • 2013 to present
  • Creator 

  • Nickelodeon Animation

  • 2016
  • Freelance storyboard revisionist for Spongebob Squarepants 

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  • Herzog & Company

  • 2014
  • Illustrator – A Million Ways to Die in the Wild West DVD feature

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  • Herzog & Company

  • 2012
  • Production Assistant
  • Office management & film runner

  • Cosmic Toast Studios

  • 2012
  • Storyboard Artist/Animatic Editor

  • Thunderbean Animation

  • 2009 -2012
  • Freelance layout, inbetween, and clean up animation

  • Kinetic Post

  • 2010
  • Production Assistant
  • Office management & film runner

  • Kurt’s Kustom Promotions

  • 2006-2010
  • Graphic Designer

 

STORYBOARD TESTS

  • Nickelodeon Animation

  • 2016
  • Spongebob Squarepants

  • Warner Bros. Animation

  • 2016
  • Teen Titans GO!

  • 6 Point Harness

  • 2015 & 2016
  • Two animated series pilots

  • Nickelodeon Animation

  • 2012
  • Wallykazam

  • Rough Draft Studios

  • 2011
  • Napoleon Dynamite

EDUCATION

  • Storyboard Workshop at 6 Point Harness – 2015
  • Storyboard Workshop with Lenord Robinson – 2014
  • Storyboard Workshop with Aaron Sowd – 2014
  • College for Creative Studies, Detroit MI 2007 – 2010. BA in Entertainment Arts
  • Delta State University, Cleveland MS 2002 – 2006. BA in Graphic Design