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From studies to suitcases for Illustration alumni

A Middlesex University Illustration alumnus has recently undertaken a unique project involving an x-ray scanner, a pair of flip flops and a lot of imagination

Family selfieMatt Oxborrow, Art Director at 3.81, completed the project for luxury travel brand Club Med, who challenged him to tell a story about a family holiday through the medium of an x-ray baggage scanner.

We caught up with Matt to find out more about the project and how life after Middlesex led him to take it on.

Where are you based these days?

I'm currently at 3.81 on a little mews street behind Rathbone place. Some call it Noho...I call it almost Soho.

What have you been up to since you left Middlesex?

Work-wise, I fell into animation almost immediately doing character design and animation. Then, later, direction and scriptwriting. My current job title is Art Director, but I get involved in the concept, writing and production stages too. In the other part of my life I ride bikes, ski, travel, cook and build things. I've just taught myself plumbing, which is something I never thought I'd be able to say.

How did you get involved in making the video?

I was originally approached and asked if I knew of anyone who might be able to do the job. They were very mysterious about the project, but eventually I managed to draw out the information from the team. When I found out there was an x-ray machine there was no way I was missing out on an opportunity to play with it for a week, so I got a pitch together and we won.

What inspired the X-ray theme, and how did you get access to a machine?

That was the client's idea. I guess it was an interesting medium that is immediately associable with holidays so worked on that level. Plus the aesthetic is really pleasing. Apparently anyone can rent these things, so if you've got the cash and the inclination you can play x-ray!

What were your personal highlights of making the video, and what was most challenging?

It's an x-ray machine, so that's pretty exciting in itself! You feel like a scientist! I loved just putting things through and seeing what they look like inside. It becomes a kind of memory collage game as you try and make compositions based on what you remember them looking like through the scanner. I loved making the aeroplane, and testing the machine on some of the people I worked with at the agency was great fun!

What can we expect from you in the future?

I'm enjoying directing at the moment so that's going to continue for a while. I've also just started some really satisfying work illustrating the labels for Hackney Brewery: one of my favourite brewers. I certainly won't be closing any avenues but it would be nice to get back to some more analogue work. I always loved screen printing, so I imagine there will be some new ones of those appearing soon.

You can see the finished product here. We'll be keeping our eyes peeled for more of Matt's work in the coming months!

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