Wedding Sketch Artist
"We were blown away with what you created. The sketches have a quality to them that a photo could never achieve! So thoughtful, cheeky, romantic. We’ve loved spotting our friends and family in all of them. They are such a great impression of them, you’ve done a fab job at nailing the individual characters in the day - we’ve had such a giggle sharing them all!
It’s so special to have a sketch book of the original drawings, it truly tells the story of our day start to finish!" HW, June 2023
A promotional flier is now available: click here
UPDATE September 2023:
I will be exhibiting at the following Wedding Fairs:
Putteridge Bury Evening Wedding Fair: Wednesday 27 September 2023, 5.30pm-9pm.
The Premier Hertfordshire Wedding Fair, Alban Arena, on Sunday 8 October 2023, 11am-3pm.
The Conservatory, Luton Hoo Walled Garden: Saturday 4 November 2023, 11am-3pm.
Any Events in the West Worcestershire/Teme Valley Area will not incur travel or or accommodation charges.
Do please contact me if you are in any way interested in what I am offering.
My charge is around £500* for a full day’s attendance.
This would cover my attendance from, for example, late-morning to mid-evening.
Travel may be charged extra.
I am based in Luton, Bedfordshire.
(*Please do contact me for a proper quote - your special day is important to you!)
I sketch quickly, not always bound by detail or accuracy. It is intuitive, loose and lively. If you want something accurate, formal, serious, rude or inappropriate DO NOT BOOK ME.
I DO NOT do posed caricatures or portraits. I work for the CLIENT, NOT the guests.
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING FAQs CAREFULLY.
I know there is a lot to read but I want to enjoy your special day as much as you do and celebrate it with you. I just want to make life easier for us all and avoid problems or time wasting.
Who are you?
I am a professional graphic designer and illustrator with a particular interest in urban sketching, greeting card design and iPad illustration. I have a day job designing Christmas products for a multi-national company.
What are you offering?
My aim is to provide you with a series of very quick, spontaneous, intuitive sketches drawn on the spot. The styles may vary over the image set as I work differently depending on what I see before me. I would expect to do around 30+ sketches on a good day. My sketches are fun and quirky and should bear some resemblance to the person I am drawing but sometimes I can get a little creative!
What do I get?
A USB stick of all images in digital format.
A framed collage of all the images.
A warm glowing sense of amusement and pleasure!
How do you work?
Usually, I would use an iPad to provide full colour digital images. This is my prefered way of working as it allows me to bring life and character to my unique style of sketching.
My alternative is to use fountain pens, ink and watercolour (black and white with a grey wash) in an A4 hardback wire bound sketchbook. If I am in bright sunshine, the iPad screen is difficult to see and, if hot, can overheat. The sketchbook provides actual hand-created artwork for you to keep. Colour sketchbook images would take too long to create and carrying lots of paint around at a wedding is not ideal. If you have a preference for these hand drawn sketches, please say so.
By the very nature of using real pens, inks, brushes and paint the sketchbook may well include various additional artworks in the form of ink splatters, splodges, smudges, fingerprints, spots of mud, squashed wedding cake crumbs, wine stains etc. These you will get to keep as well as they can appear unexpectedly and add to the uniqueness of the sketches - and, anyway, they won’t rub off the paper. Sometimes I may start a sketch and it all goes horribly wrong - you’ll get to keep that too!
If it is pouring with rain I will take photos and work up sketches after the event.
Will you use an iPad, a sketchbook or both?
The iPad is my preferred choice and you will get more digital images, but I would normally plan do a mixture of both depending on the weather and circumstances.
Some of the pictures aren’t very neat, they look a bit scrappy?
Drawing quickly is why I am a ‘Sketch’ Artist. I am NOT trying to create neat pieces of artwork. Lines go wrong, people have a habit of moving the moment I’ve started drawing them, pen nibs don’t always behave, etc. I am often having to rely on my memory of what I saw a few seconds ago before my subject walked away.
I will tidy up a few images afterwards (e.g. a check for colour balance, minor errors, etc). I may also take photographs at the event to help me later clarify any detail I have missed. After the event I will send you the final digital images and the sketchbook. Any extra images I draw after the event from photos will be at my discretion. Any amends or editing requested by you will be charged extra.
Are your people instantly recognisable and why have you drawn her nose so big?
Some people are ‘more interesting’ to draw than others! I am not always after an exact likeness as I am only sketching and yes, because they are like caricatures, I may take artistic licence and be a little creative with my artwork. I would not intentionally set out to create a negative impression of someone. If you want my work, then you may have to accept the odd big nose or exaggerated posture. That is what I do.
What can I do with the artwork?
Whatever you want, as long as it is for your non-commercial use i.e. you cannot sell or make products out of the work for onward sale. The sketchbook pages could be removed and framed as original artwork or scanned to digital files. The high-res digital iPad JPGs could be used for making photo books, Christmas cards, thank you notes, framed prints, prints on canvas, mugs, tea towels, cushions etc. There are many options available on the internet. Please note that the copyright remains with me, the creator, so please credit www.matthewslater.art where possible.
Will you create a photo book for us by scanning in all the drawings and adding in all the digital images?
No. I am not offering any post production/design/printing work at the moment. This can take quite a lot of time and energy to organise: finding printers, getting quotes, finding websites, emailing people, getting things approved, editing photos, rearranging photos, adding text, invoicing, admin, etc. I know. I do it everyday at work and I’d rather not spend my evenings doing it as well.
Do you do posed caricatures and portraits?
I do not do posed portraits or caricatures as they can lose the freedom I give to my work - and it is not my thing anyway. Other artists can do that for you.
It must be nice and relaxing drawing people?
NO it is not! Doing what I do takes a huge amount of energy and concentration. I work fast and I have to carefully balance engaging with curious people wanting to have a peek and doing what I am being paid to do. It is hard mental work, believe it or not!
I want you to draw me and my mates/Grandma/kids/dog/girlfriend
I will not be held responsible for people complaining I have not drawn them. I will do what I can - it depends on how the event progresses. I will not be able to draw everyone. I don’t usually draw on request. I will aim to draw key people present at some stage during the day.
Will you go to any wedding or event?
I think my work would be more suited to informal/rustic/countryside/alternative weddings but.... as long as there are plenty of decorations, flowers, cakes, food, wine, drink, interesting people and space to move around I should get some good compositions.
My wedding venue will be small, dark and very crowded, is that OK?
No. I like space to move around freely without people being too conscious I am there or bumping into me the whole time. If it is small, overcrowded and poorly lit that will limit what I can do as I need to see people and not be right in their face! If I am fumbling around in a dark and crowded disco/club with people wildly dancing or shouting then I’ll find a room with more subdued guests - or leave.
Where will you travel to?
I live in Luton, Bedfordshire, England, UK. I am happy to travel further afield but there will be additional travel costs if over 30 miles away. In some cases I may need accommodation which will be charged unless you can arrange accommodation for me.
I do have links with the wedding venue at The White Pheasant, Orleton Court Farm in Worcestershire
(www.thewhitepheasant.co.uk). Travel and accommodation will not be charged if you hold a wedding there.
What happens on the day?
For weddings, I would like to be present from the ceremony itself until mid-evening. Hopefully that will be from mid morning onwards, depending on the schedule. I will arrive at the initial venue well in advance so that I can get prepared and see how the land lies. I will then move around throughout the day drawing what and where I can without interfering with anyone or the proceedings as much as possible. If possible, I may visit any venue(s) in advance to get a feel for the location(s). A brief schedule would be good to have.
How will you deal with any inappropriate behaviour towards you (drunks, rudeness, etc)?
I will leave and expect a note of apology with a little gift. There will be no refund.
Your work reminds me of that guy who does children’s books...
People often say my work reminds them of Quentin Blake. This is quite unintentional. It is just how it sometimes turns out when I am working quickly. My drawing can float round in style depending on what I see in front of me and the time I have.
You’ve drawn my husband flirting with a bridesmaid!
I draw what I see and won’t know who anyone is. If I cause a family riot I am not responsible.
Who are you, mate? You’re not on the list?
You have invited me so please, if possible, make sure my attendance is known, respected and your guests know I am going to be there. I will wear a badge that clearly states I am a ‘Wedding Sketch Artist’.
You won’t draw me, will you?
I understand some people may not wish to be drawn or, indeed, may not like what I do. I will not know that. You will have to remove any images I finally send you if that is the case.
Can I see what you are drawing as the event progresses?
Yes, I can show you or anyone else, but my work is best seen as a whole finished portfolio. I’d rather not spend all day chatting to people or I’ll get nothing done.
Will I need a photographer as well?
I cannot replace a professional photographer and the work they do recording the event. I am an added extra.
Would you like a few drinks from the bar, a plate of food or to help yourself from the buffet?
Yes. Thank you very much. I am working hard and a bit of thought for me will make me very happy. I may not have eaten for many hours.
If we send you photos of our wedding will you draw us from them?
No, not at the moment.
What are your payment terms and conditions?
These will be sent with the Booking Pack.
Do you have Public Liability Insurance?
Do you do birthday or other parties?
I might, possibly, be happy to do a significant party.
Can you do a children’s/teenager’s party?
No. People may not be happy with me drawing young people, unless it is in the context of an adult event. I am also there to work, not to be a children’s entertainer. Other people can do that. Older people are much more interesting to draw and more appreciative of my sort of work.
How do I book you?
If you are interested in booking me, please email me giving details of the event, date and location. I will then check my availability. If all is well, I will email you my Booking Pack.
Version 1.8 26 August 2023