Interview with Matthew Beaudouin
Name: Matthew Beaudouin
Age: 21 Years
Cardistry: 5 Years
From: Paris, France
I'm best known for Streamin' with Cardists, my million and a half Erdnase Go Round variations, winning ICO Season 2, 2015 (if you want to throw it back a little) and potentially my Cardistry-Con 2017 talk.
"Would you go to every theatre and tell the audience 'oh we wanted to do this or that but we didn't have the time and we were going over budget and' No! People walk in, either see a good movie or a bad movie." - Jackie Chan
SHIVRAJ: How did you get into cardistry or where did you see it first?
MATTHEW: I recently remembered seeing ReviewXCM's review of ellusionist decks 7 years ago. So I dabbled for a while, but started taking it seriously when I met Ryuji Chua in high school.
SHIVRAJ: How would you define 'cardistry' in your own words?
MATTHEW: The artistic manipulation of cards. That definition is intentionally vague because at this point Cardistry is more of an umbrella term for all the various subsets: packet cuts, isos, fan stuff, cardestroy, etc. While they are all different and appeal to different people, in the end they're just labels to describe what people do with cards. It's all about having fun.
SHIVRAJ: Who/What inspires you the most and why?
MATTHEW: That's a tough one! I used to be heavily influenced by Ryuji, Ben You Ang and Ambrose Chi (specifically). But more recently, it's been hard to pin anyone specifically (Antoine Cormerais and Oliver Sogard come to mind). I think at this point I get inspiration from just about anyone on Instagram or in videos.
SHIVRAJ: What is your creative process of making moves?
MATTHEW: This is something that comes up on the stream a lot. Typically, there's the "playing around" methodology which involves exploring mechanics by sitting down and trying stuff, versus "realizing an idea" which is just making something in your head go through your hands. Most Cardists, including myself, do some combination of both. Because of the streams I've started thinking a lot about the topic myself. My talk at Cardistry Con had to do with a process I like to call "Evolution" in which I start with an interesting idea (a "nugget" if you will), and grow it forward and backward until I reach an opener/closer. Coming up with any opener/closer isn't that difficult, but coming up with the right one can be really tough. That being said, there's a lot more to the creative process, such as coming up with a nugget in the first place. I have yet to fully rationalize the full picture, but I'm making it my goal for this year.
SHIVRAJ: How do you overcome a 'Creative Block'?
MATTHEW: I find a new mechanic I haven't played around with much and study it to death. In that process, new ideas can pop up and become more interesting. Watching videos also helps. I've also found that doing a creative session in a new location is surprisingly effective in stimulating creativity. To me a creative block is going around in circles not doing anything new, and being in a new place helps change my mindset.
SHIVRAJ: Describe your style in one word/sentence.
SHIVRAJ: What role does the art play in your life or in simple words why do you do it?
MATTHEW: I study engineering, don't play music, nor am into any kind of art except for Cardistry. It's a great creative outlet on a personal level. More recently, the community has also been motivating me a lot, with the streams and various projects I'm working on.
SHIVRAJ: How do you think you can help in improving the field of cardistry?
MATTHEW: I hope that my material is inspiring to others, but that's not really up to me to decide. In terms of actionable things, I hope that the streams bridge a gap between the average Cardists and the "superstars". I've been slow at making them happen recently, but I have a few interesting ones planned for the near future.
SHIVRAJ: What is your favourite move by you or by someone else? What do you like about it?
MATTHEW: I absolutely love "Outpost" by Ben You. It's not just that a packet is being held between two other packets, I just love the geometry of the display, how you get into it and the closer (ie: the whole thing).
SHIVRAJ: Which is your favourite cardistry video of all time?
MATTHEW: My favourite video has to be "JETPACKETS" by Oliver Sogard (Which was also the "Video of the Year" at Cardistry-Con 2017). The moves are obviously really good and have inspired me to be more "tight" in my own cuts. But the rest of the video is also incredibly solid, I love the intro, the music, color grading, its all just really well put together.
SHIVRAJ: What do you think about the concept 'Cardestroy'?
MATTHEW: In mathematics, there's an idea that once you can solve a problem (or in order to solve it), generalizing it opens to problems and possibilities. Cardestroy is like that: by taking cards away from the 52 card deck form and just looking at their properties as, well, paper, you're generalizing what we used to consider as typical Cardistry.
SHIVRAJ: What genre of music do you mostly listen to?
MATTHEW: It depends on my mood, but I typically listen to the same set of songs over and over until I get sick of them or find new material. Nowadays it's a lot of Gorillaz, but I never mind listening good ol' rock and of course Oingo Boingo.
SHIVRAJ: What do you do other than cardistry?
MATTHEW: Well first of all, I'm studying to become an engineer, so that takes up a lot of time, but other hobbies include juggling and unicycling.
SHIVRAJ: What are you further planning to do in your life?
MATTHEW: I wish to design user experiences to improve interactions between people and machines.
SHIVRAJ: Any contest/contests you've participated in/won?
MATTHEW: Well there was that ICO Season 2, 2015 where I was placed first, so there's that.
SHIVRAJ: Any advice for the community?
MATTHEW: Have fun. Do stupid things with cards. Try to make what everyone else has been missing. Also, stay awesome.
SHIVRAJ: Any last thoughts? (If any)
MATTHEW: Cardistry is so ... weird. You might think that there's nothing special about cards that would lend their manipulation to an artform. Yet here we are today, interviewing people, writing books about creativity, etc. Cards are like a happy accident, they were intended just for use at a card table, but people found and keep finding ways to create art with them. Sometimes I take a step back and think: 'wow this is really weird, why am I spending hours upon hours placing cards in specific formations?'. Then it hits me: 'Oh right, there is legitimately space for creativity here. I have the power to do something no one has ever done'.
SHIVRAJ: Thanks a lot for your time! Have a nice day, cheers!
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