Digital Drawings by Shantell Martin

Pick of the week #89

 

photo by Jason Leiva

 

This week we introduce you to the work of Shantell Martin, an illustrator and pioneer of digital drawing.

“Artist Shantell Martin collaborates with her surroundings, translating into glyphs, lines, recurring characters, and words the newspaper someone is reading across the way, say, or a pair of shoes walking by, a thought she had, the sky, something overheard. Her universe is flexible, multi-dimensional, surreal, a constellation of small observations that spill from one medium to the next.”

 

photo by Jennifer Causey

 

Martin studied at Central St Martins in London and went on to live in Japan and New York. Her Drawing style comes from a mixture of nature and nurture as she used her illustrations to capture her feelings about her surroundings. While they began as graffiti and small paper doodles, they went on to cover entire walls, shoes, jeans and jumpers. Martin also uses the medium of live drawing using open frameworks and projection.

“If you were to look back on my older works the style if still very similar, but you can definitely see that over the past years my style and lines have grown in their confidence and recently also in size.”

 

shantell martin

 

In regards to using digital as a medium, Martin explains “After graduating from Central Saint Martin in 2003, I moved to Japan where there is technology and visuals everywhere. In a way I kind of fell in to it. First the very inderground/avant guard Japanese music scene and then the minimal techno scene where I became a VJ, creating live drawn visuals to DJ’s and musicians.”

“I teach a class at NYU called Drawing On Everything and I feel like that about sums it up for me. I’ll draw on everything and with everything be it code, drawing software, with pens on wall, cars people and so on. Let the canvas be limitless.”

 

light drawing

 

Martin recently gave a talk at PSFK and has completed a wall drawing for them in their offices. “Back in late 2008, early 2009 PSFK started giving me a lot of blog love. They wrote about some of the digital projects I was working on in Japan and also the drawing on people stuff too. So when I finally visited New York for the first time I got in touch with them and asked to pop by the office to say hi. It’s been a nice creative friendship since.”

 

 

Martin also has plenty planned for 2013. “I’ll be working with the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, drawing a mural in the new global head quarters of Y&R advertising, doing an artist residency at Clack Collage in Vancouver Washington State, collaborating with women’s wear brand SUNO, working with the hip product design company Aruliden on their award wining Glasscape fishbowl… I could go on but I leave it there for now.”

 

Martin’s talk at Eyeo Festival 2012

 

Shantell’s website can be found here

 

Full Interview Below —————————————————————————————————————

1. How did you reach your drawing style?

If you were to look back on my older works the style if still very similar, but you can defiantly see that over the past years my style and lines have grown in their confidence and recently also in size.

2. What led you to the digital side of your work – mainly your light drawings?

After graduating from Central Saint Martin in 2003, I moved to Japan where there is technology and visuals everywhere. In a way I kind of fell in to it. First the very inderground/avant guard Japanese music scene and then the minimal techno scene where I became a VJ, creating live drawn visuals to DJ’s and musicians.

3. Your work is made in lots of different mediums, I notice you have some coding experiments. Do you try to explore every possible medium with your drawing?

I teach a class at NYU called Drawing On Everything and I feel like that about sums it up for me. I’ll draw on everything and with everything be it code, drawing software, with pens on wall, cars people and so on. Let the canvas be limitless.

4. How did you get involved with PSFK?

Back in late 2008, early 2009 PSFK started giving me a lot of blog love. They wrote about some of the digital projects I was working on in japan and also the drawing on people stuff too. So when I finally visited New York for the first time I got in touch with them and asked to pop by the office to say hi. It’s been a nice creative friendship since.

5. What future projects do you have planned?

Have a bunch of really nice projects coming up this year. I’ll be working with the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, drawing a mural in the new global head quarters of Y&R advertising, doing an artist residency at Clack Collage in Vancouver Washington State, collaborating with women’s wear brand SUNO, working with the hip product design company Aruliden on their award wining Glasscape fishbowl… I could go on but I leave it there for now.