Mata Haggis has been painting for over twenty years. For the majority of that time he worked with a combination of abstract and figurative work, using acrylic paints and mixed-media to create the images. In 2012 he felt he had reached the limit of what he could achieve with acrylic paints and started to use oil paints. This transition of mediums brought a strong swing towards figuration in his work.
His works have a unifying sense of gravitas about them. The figures appear caught in a moment of thought, to be lonely, lost, or on the verge of action. Each of them conveys a sense of vivid and secret inner life. Typically the images have a strong light source, giving compositions where the high-contrast leads the eye over the image, each detail suggesting a slightly different expression or interpretation of the mood.
Mata Haggis also has a Ph.D. in literature and has also written scripts for multi-million selling computer games and for television programs. He has a professional background in animation and games development, and currently teaches game & narrative design at the International Game Architecture and Design (IGAD) academy at NHTV University in Breda, The Netherlands, where he is a senior lecturer and researcher.