For as long as I can remember, I've loved drawing. I mean, I've always loved any sort of creative act — woodworking, sculpture, painting, music, building Lego sets. Making Logo The Turtle draw basic shapes on an Apple II in the computer lab in elementary school. Outfitting my wagon train with supplies for my virtual trek along the Oregon Trail®. We always died of dysentery, because of course we did. This is what happens when you let ten year olds plan cross-country expeditions.
I dabbled in a lot of interests as I grew up: various sports, assorted musical instruments, the full range of humanities majors, etc., but nothing ever flowed out of me as easily as illustration.
I studied Graphic Design at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, spent a few years making myself crazy working for other people in Baltimore, and then my champion/muse/co-founder/wife Meredith told me to stop whining and try to make the hobby we'd been working on in our free time up to that point a full-time job. That hobby was called Ex-Boyfriend*, and eventually I did just that.
*We've since shut down Ex-Boyfriend because running TWO brands is difficult and at our core we are lazy, but don't worry — we've moved all the Ex-Boyfriend stuff over to Boredwalk, you lucky so-and-so!
At the time — 2009 — there weren't nearly as many graphic apparel brands on the web as there are today. Learning how to design for t-shirts was a new challenge, and I like to think I've become better at it since then. I mean, I know I have, but I'm trying to be modest here!
That said, creative types are restless by nature, and as Ex-Boyfriend progressed, so did the complexity of the designs. Instead of taking hours to take a design from conception to completion, they began to take days — sometimes weeks. We needed a way to offer more stuff in less time. I had to simplify and un-learn everything I had been building toward with Ex-Boyfriend.
But doing that meant creating a new home for my less detailed, more trend-driven design work — the new stuff we were coming up with didn't really "fit" the increasingly cohesive feel of Ex-Boyfriend. It needed its own name and home on the web. Thus, Boredwalk was born shortly after we moved our business, our cats, and ourselves to Los Angeles.
We no longer differentiate between Ex-Boyfriend and Boredwalk — mostly because of the aforementioned hassle of keeping them separate, but also because over the last few years I've improved enough as a designer that I've been able to derive creative fulfillment across a broader and more nuanced spectrum of styles and —
Ugh, this is getting sappy. Nothing causes my eyes to roll quite like bullshirt* "artist's statements."
*No, that's not a typo. If you don't watch The Good Place, you're not going to get it. That's OK, though. It's still a pretty sweet bull illustration that would look fly AF on your bod. But I do wonder about your television viewing choices.
Here's the deal: We want to provide you with a high-quality product, peerless customer service, and a warm, welcoming shopping experience. We also want to bring a smile into your life, to get you a compliment from a stranger on your excellent taste, and to make you and those around you laugh a little.
And that's how we want you to feel when you shop with us — that we're friends, and that you're always welcome to drop by and share a laugh or smile with us!
Matt & Meredith
2. We're vegan, but not pushy about it. Haters welcome.