Matang Gonzales is a 4th generation artist who works out of his studio in Bethlehem CT. After graduating from Western Connecticut State University with a BA in Graphic Design, He went on to pursue a career in illustration and fine arts, while also apprenticing with several established artists in the area. He began experimenting with mixed media and kinetic sculpture and showed numerous times around CT and in NYC, adding a favorable review in the CT section of the New York Times to his accomplishments. His interests in technology and mechanisms, and his experience doing installation work led him to a position creating special effects at StageFright Studios, where he eventually became Art Director. Gonzales says "I have been extremely lucky to work and learn from so many talented people. StageFright was an incredible, high energy think tank. I am still amazed by the things we put together".
When StageFright changed owners, Gonzales moved on, taking several Graphic Design positions before immersing himself in the world of Toys. He began working for Design Innovation Inc. in Avon CT, where he got another opportunity to learn from a team of seasoned, high level designers in the Toy Industry. "It was like learning to draw all over again. I learned to draw in the bold, conceptual artist style, using sweeps and curves". This new skill set led to a product design position at Amscan Inc. in Elmsford NY, where he designed hundreds of consumer products while also getting a chance to practice his illustration.
Due to his previous success designing a magnetic playset for Marvel Toys, then known as ToyBiz, he could not pass up the opportunity when offered the position of Design Director of their Toy Division. "It was an amazing experience where I got to study and learn from some of the most creative people on the planet". When the Master toy license was sold to Hasbro in 2008, Gonzales decided it was time to leave the city, and raise his family in the rural country side where he grew up. "It all seems like a blur now. It was easy for me to re-adapt to the slower pace of a small town". From his desk by a picture window, a small stream winds around his studio, and beyond it, an expanse of woods, with not a house in sight. Several large canvases and various sculptures are dispersed around the room, and oh yes,... there are toys in there as well.
- Cecelia Nelson