SHANTELL MARTIN

By PHILO COHEN Illustration VISNJA MIHATOV

"There is this moment when I sense that I'm done with a piece, but my mind, my ego wants to be in-charge and would push me to ignore this feeling and continue on"

 ©Visnja Mihatov

©Visnja Mihatov

Who are you? 

The answer to this question is forever changing. Today I would say I'm an individual that has been shaped partially by the environment I've grown up in and a lot by the personality I was born with. I've been a child that was unaware of a future that could exist for myself. Now I'm a person, an artist, exploring identity, self and this journey of life through this world of lines and words.

You let the pen carry you. Where does it usually bring you? What did you discover about yourself when you started to just ‘let it go’?

When you enter the space of allowing, the space of letting go, a place of attempting to be fully present while also taking a back seat to your pen, you are able to pull things into existence for the first time that were not there before.

Your process is deeply satisfying to watch, as if you were never frustrated. When are you unsatisfied? How do you manage to end up happy with the final product?

Practice, practice, practice! How do we become really good at anything if not with the hard work we put into it. In the past drawings, it would not feel right and I did not understand why until I really started to listen to myself. There is this moment when I sense that I'm done with a piece (a very subtle body feeling), but my mind, my ego wants to be in-charge and would push me to ignore this feeling and continue on.... It has taken me a really long time to let go of this, and simply STOP when it felt like I should.

Your environment influences your lines as well as the media that you choose to use. What space/place have you never been in that you would think would be interesting for your art?

The most interesting places are unexpected. I sense that if I were to come up with ideas of where magic could happen, I might be disappointed. I have interest in all places, see the magic in wherever you draw and perform.

In your Life Of Lines project, you talk about how music can affect your art. What is your favorite music to work with? What music matches the best with your creative process?

A little similar to the last question. I'll answer by the same. It is not about what music matches, it's quite the opposite. When you listen to music you do not like or have never heard before it give your lines the chance to be something new. When I choose the music or just let the music play in my head, its comfortable, familiar and my lines respond in that way.

How is it different to work on a large canvas compare to on a small notebook?

Drawing for me is quite a physical act. I really enjoy working at a large scale as you really get to bring your whole body into it, and activate the drawing with movement. Drawing in my notebook can be fun too, but it's a different mind set.

How does the way you feel shape your line?

I am typically in a good mood when I draw, and in a funky place when I write. I've actually not thought about that before until now.  Even if I'm not in a good mood when I start drawing, after a few moments, all is great and balanced again.

What would be a media you have yet to try but that you would love to?

I'm a huge fan of old crafts, I'd love to try woodwork, quilt making and mediums like that I'm also dying to see what my work would look like as sculpture or animated. Imagine an animated short about finding yourself!

How much does being a woman affect your work?

I don't think much about it... So not much. Having cramps and having to work can really suck.

 

@shantell_martin

http://shantellmartin.art/