Behind the Domain Name: MJS.ART
Above: Details, Rapidograph on acid-free 120 Lb. drawing paper. Matthew Schultz.
We aim to provide short, clear, and memorable website names for our adopters to help them reinforce their digital presence. MJS.ART is a great example of a catchy web address with a creative purpose.
Art is a known healer. Artists, art lovers, and even scientists can testify that art has the ability to enhance the well-being of individuals. Our talented adopter, Matthew Schultz, has first-hand experience of art’s potent healing forces. Drawing helped him recover from a road accident and later, from a separation with his girlfriend. Today, we look at the story of art and healing that lies behind the domain of MJS.ART.
Matthew J. Schultz is 55 years old and lives in Putnam County, New York. Like many .art adopters, he is a self-taught artist and never planned to pursue a career in art. He kept his work to himself as a sort of meditation that he wanted to keep free and untouched.
I’ve been drawing on and off since I was a kid. I used to fill notebooks of drawings and lettering. But that all faded into the background about the time I discovered computers. I’ve been using Adobe Photoshop since version 2; “undo” is an amazing thing. I remember when Photoshop introduced layers; that changed everything for me. But drawing on computers has never had the same sense of tactile satisfaction as a pen on paper. Nothing can replace that for me.
Matthew went through a series of life events, some joyous and others challenging. Eventually, he lost touch with drawing, but things changed on the Labor Day weekend of 2016.
“I was involved in a motorcycle accident that I was lucky enough to walk away from with a concussion and a few bruises. Motorcycling provided me with a sense of freedom and its own form of meditation, but with that particular avenue of relaxation cut off for now, I was searching for something to replace it. A friend asked me what I did when I was younger that made me happy. And it came to me quickly: drawing.”
But I had trouble starting to draw again. Work, kids, responsibilities… they took up all of my time. Of course that was only an excuse, but it was a good one. I know myself very well; I’m goal-oriented, so I looked for a goal I could tie to drawing. That turned out to be the Art-o-mat project. In November of 2016 during a business trip to Las Vegas, I saw some Art-o-mat machines at the Cosmopolitan hotel and decided that was my goal. By December of 2016, I was accepted. And that’s how I started drawing again
Matthew says that his artistic style is ever-evolving. He points out that you can see just how much his works have changed by looking at his Instagram feed. He tries to simply follow where the art takes him, using circles, squares, spheres, and cubes as building blocks.
“Does that make me a geometric abstractionist? I don’t know… I can tell you that I started drawing on a tiny scale because of Art-o-mat. The art is dispensed in repurposed cigarette machines, so anything you do has to fit in a box the size of a cigarette pack. I was enamored by the ability to capture entire works of art in such a small space.”
I like the idea that this “tiny art” can be put in places you might not think to put art: your desk at work, your car, your dresser or nightstand; places that are the purest versions of you because they’re uniquely yours. Having my art in those incredibly personal spaces is an honor.
Matthew and his girlfriend broke up in 2018 and, once again, art helped him to overcome an incredibly stressful and difficult time.
“It devastated me in a way I had never experienced. It took everything out of me. I had nothing left. So, I committed myself to drawing and to post something on Instagram, sometimes every day, as a way to stay focused and positive. Being creative when your heart is obliterated, and you just want to get in bed and hide from the world under the covers, was staggeringly difficult. I usually turn to writing music when I’m severely depressed because emotions and music are tightly coupled for me, but I decided to draw instead because it required focus. Drawing and having to be creative when I didn’t want to, along with working through the breakup in therapy, helped tremendously.”
Matthew is confident that in the age of social media, websites are most certainly not obsolete. In fact, he feels they are indispensable to artists that want to showcase art on their own terms.
“Every artist needs something that they own that isn’t bound by someone else’s rules. Art is about expression and connection. While social media sites can be a wonderful thing, you’re bound by the site’s rules and its temporality; here today, gone tomorrow. Establishing a site provides a consistent presence in an ever-changing social media landscape. And it empowers you to present your art on your terms, which is critically important for some forms of artistic expression”.
Note the way in which Matthew uses his domain. With minimal effort, he created an online business card – making mjs.art a digital entry point that includes links to all his channels as well as his work.
I really love that .art speaks to what I’m doing and reinforces my presence. My URL – mjs.art – is short, clear, and memorable. Everything you’d want in a URL. I was stunned that it was available, so I grabbed it and now it’s the foundation of my online identity.