1999 EMB HONORS - Grand Prize Award
1999 EMB HONORS - Jacket-Back Category - First Place
1999 IMPRESSIONS AWARDS - Single-Head Embroidery Award
June 1999 - page 22
1999 EMB Honors Grand Champion
Embroidery on Jacket Backs First Place
"IRON AGE" JACKET
Digitizer Klebber Mattos, Artworx Int'l, Inc., Germantown, Md. was fortunate enough to be at the show the day he was named grand champion. He met with representatives from Capital Automation and had the opportunity to see a demo of the prize donor's software. The grand prize, valued at nearly $31,000, includes digitizing software licenses for the Super-EDS complete edition, EDView Pro, EDView Basic, EDFormat Pro, and Fashion Art Studio, as well as a complete computer workstation and a $1,500 StitchMall certificate redeemable at www.stitchmall.com
"It is the best piece in the show," one judge commented on the evaluation of this Jacket. "The motorcycle is so good that it looks like a photo from a distance."
Klebber Mattos couldn't be more pleased with this response. "That was the idea, to make it as realistic and photographic as possible." he says. "Iron Age" was created for the contest, but with the secondary goal of sending it to a motorcycle company and proposing a line of similar designs. Mattos likes to create designs that reflect success stories, and in this case he was inspired by Harley-Davidson's rise to fame.
Mattos used ordinary rayon thread to reproduce the look of chrome in this design, which features 160,000 stitches and 14 colors. He spent 30 hours digitizing it. Mattos notes, "There are many fades and bleeds I did manually that were time consuming."
Considering the attention given to every stitch in this design, it's no surprise that Mattos describes himself as a "detail-oriented" digitizer. Some of his designs are routine logos, but one specialty is photographic images of faces. "I enjoy reproducing realistic designs," he says.
"Since I started this business four years ago, my goal was to build a reputation for quality." Mattos stresses. "My customers tell me they'd recognize my tapes anywhere, which is a nice feedback. It pays off being conscientious about the quality of the work I do."
Mattos became a digitizer almost by accident. He studied mechanical engineering for a while, then began pursuing an art degree, when he realized that was his true passion. In 1993, he decided it was time for a change and moved to Maryland, putting school on hold to start his own business.
"I made a presentation to a prospective client who was a screen printer and embroiderer," Mattos recalls. "He needed someone to digitize for him, so we worked out an agreement in which I would learn to digitize and commit to being his employee for a year."
After completing the promised year, Mattos formed Artworx International. He is the company's sole full-time digitizer, although his staff assists with bookkeeping and other tasks. "The business started as a graphic arts company," he says, "but my digitizing business has expanded to the point that it's the biggest part of what 'I do now." And Mattos likes it that way. "What other type of art can I do that uses engineering" he says.
As for the future, he says, "if you had asked me five years ago where I wanted to be in 10 years, I would have said I wanted to be a millionaire running a successful corporation. Now I believe if one pursues what he is passionate about, success will follow." Mattos wants to continue to digitize while creating lines of imprinted apparel that will bring in royalties.
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