about the author & illustrator
My name is Jay Matz. I was born and raised in Northeastern Wisconsin - living in Kewaunee, Two Rivers and Menasha. Fond memories of that time inspired me to create Nicholas Northwoods, with hopes of producing a series of children's books, starting with Nicholas Northwoods: An Ode to the Seasons. I hope the book will encourage my own two children and countless others to explore their world, stay active, and eliminate the phrase "I'm bored." from their vocabularies. (There's nothing wrong with boredom! It's a wonderful opportunity to expand your horizons, so take advantage!)
Thank you for your interest in my work!
about jay 2 the world
I really hit my stride in terms of finding my own artistic style by making my yearly Christmas cards. I thought it would be fun to make my own logo and wanted to play off the Christmas theme, so "Joy to the World" became "Jay to the World." When it came time to come up with a name for a publishing company I stuck with it, but changed the name to "Jay 2 the World," because, you know, using numbers instead of words is hip and edgy!
I settled into making cards that looked like Saturday Evening Post covers in the style of J.C. Leyendecker and Norman Rockwell. I'm not a painter, so I stuck with shaded pencil only. Those Christmas cards had a large influence on Nicholas Northwoods: An Ode to the Seasons. I had been experimenting with a variety of ways of drawing the book - digitally, pencil outlines or with ink. Then, after finishing my one of my shaded pencil cards, I said, "Wait a minute, THIS is my "thing." This is where the book needs to start." So, I went back to the drawing board and started from scratch, using lightly shaded pencil drawings as the base for all the artwork, which I then colored digitally.