City Books welcomed Matt Holbein to City Books in Season 4. Matt is a designer, illustrator, and book artist in Pittsburgh, PA. He received his BFA in Illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology and owns a small company called The Foliage Library Co., designing and selling folding pop-up books along with fellow illustrator and RIT alum Emily Brooks.
Matt’s artistic work covers a variety of subjects, ranging from portraiture to plants; however, it is identifiable through his use of sophisticated color and vector shapes. Despite the hard-edged nature of vector art, through layering of shapes he manages to create painterly effects that make his work stand out in a unique way.
Over time as he experimented with paper, origami, and pop-ups, he began to develop a style of folding book. Made from thick paper or geometrically shaped pieces of hard board hinged together with binding cloth, his book designs generally start small and expand as each consecutive layer is folded open. After assembling the books, Matt then fills them with his illustrations to tell stories or convey information.
The Foliage Library is best know for The Bee Book and 24-Hour Flowers. Coral Reefs & Other Colorful Creatures was recently fully funded on Kickstarter and will debut in 2020.
Watch the Shelf Life interview with Matt Holbein here.