Matthias, a young football fan designer, transforms jerseys into works of art – Edition du soir Ouest-France

Matthias Hamzaoui, 25, is a designer near Rennes (Ille-et-Vilaine). His niche? Draw the portrait of football players on jerseys, and transform them into real works of art. A talent that is a hit with individuals, football professionals and brands alike. Portrait.

(Map: West-France)

“I am careful that it does not exceed. » Leaning over his work table at home, in Bruz, 10 km from Rennes (Ille-et-Vilaine), Matthias Hamzaoui is concentrated. He meticulously lays a flat gray color on the jersey of the Norwegian football team. The gesture is sure and precise. Between « 20 and 30 hours of work » later his drawing will be finished. At just 25 years old, the one who is better known on social networks under the pseudonym of “Mats Drawing” has gold in his hands. For a little over two years, this e-marketing graduate, originally from Saint-Pons-de-Thomières, in Hérault, has been portraying football stars on professional club shirts.

Matthias Hamzaoui hard at work in his apartment in Bruz. (Photo: West-France)

“The concept is very simple. It’s about painting one or more players on a shirt, he explains to us, in the living room of his apartment. There are three main stages. The first, I put a base of white paint. Then I sketch the players. Then I tackle the details: the shadows and the lights, with felt-tip or pencil. It’s my favorite part. The one where I have the most fun! » Mohamed Salah, Karim Benzema, Didier Drogba… Matthias Hamzaoui has already drawn dozens of football professionals with an impressive sense of detail and realism.

True works of art, which seduce the general public, but also brands and athletes themselves. At the beginning of June 2022, the work of this adopted Breton was even shared by the Real Madrid football club’s Twitter account.

From manga to football shirts

Matthias Hamazoui contracted the drawing virus very early. « I’ve been drawing since kindergarten. In CP, I had fun redoing the characters of children’s reading books ratus. » Self-taught, the young man, who has never taken an art course in his life, never stops sketching. He embarked on the adventure of drawing in 2017 alongside his studies. His first idea? Drawing manga characters on denim jackets and posting them on social media. « I made some drawings that I sold from time to time, it made me a little money, but it was not much… » An investment that, however, allows him to build a solid community of subscribers on the Instagram social network.

Before drawing the portrait of football players, Matthias Hamzaoui drew manga characters. (Photo: West-France)

In 2019, Matthias made his first football portrait on a shirt. For this trial run, he chose the Ivorian Didier Drogba, former player of the English club Chelsea. Many others will follow. A year later, the young designer is a guest of the show Pop corn on the Twitch streaming platform. Lucky coincidence, the legend of Brazilian football Ronaldinho shares at the same time one of his drawings with a message of support. “It had an immediate impact. This boost put my concept in the spotlight, and my orders started to take off,” remembers the young man.

“I love doing what I love”

Little by little, the talent of the young entrepreneur is attracting the attention of brands and players. Professional clubs like “Nantes, Toulouse”, Monaco or Newcastle contact him to place an order. More recently, the equipment manufacturer Puma called on his services « to design a jersey celebrating Italy’s victory at the last Euro ». At the end of May 2022, one of his jerseys was given to one of his favorite players: the striker of the German club Bayern Munich Robert Lewandowski.

 » I have been very lucky. In January 2022, after having made his portrait, I send the jersey to the club. I only had an answer at the end of May, when I discovered it on Lewandowski’s social networks!recalls Matthias Hamzaoui. When I saw that, I jumped all over my apartment! I felt a lot of pride. Afterwards, I’m lucky, I had the right contact and the timing was perfect too. »

Between « 500 and 1,000 € » the jersey

Today, Matthias Hamzaoui devotes himself exclusively to his career as a designer of football shirts. He sells his pieces between “€500 and €1,000”. “It’s 100% my job, I don’t do anything else on the side. I like to work from home without having a boss. I love doing what I love. »

Among his many projects, this gifted man is working with the Puma brand on « two special jerseys for the Women’s Euro and also for a jersey with Lewis Hamilton the F1 driver ». He would also like to be able to exhibit his jerseys in the medium term: “In Rennes or in Paris, I am closed to nothing. »

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