Last week, we had the opportunity to sit down with Shantell Martin, a visual artist who will be performing at the Blackwing Experience on Tuesday, April 17th in New York City. We asked her questions about her life, her art and her preparation going into what is sure to be a fun event on Tuesday. Read on for more information about Shantell and her unique blend of visual and performing art!
Interview with Blackwing Experience Visual Artist Shantell Martin
Can you give our readers a little bit of background? Where are you from, where did you go to school, etc.?
Born in Greenwich, London and spent the first half of my life growing up in South East London until I moved to East London to be closer to School (Central Saint Martins Collage of Art and design). After school I moved to Japan and started my career as an artist/ VJ.
How were you introduced to art?
I guess we were never formally introduced, but I discover at a young age that drawing was a great way to have a conversation with myself and a way of creating my own world to explore outside the one I lived in.
How did you begin creating your unique blend of performance and visual arts?
It started while living in Tokyo a bunch of years ago. My drawing then was on a really small scale and I was invited to draw live at an event, wanting to keep to the scale I was used too I decided that I would draw under a camcorder and project the output… I think it was love at first sight…. It was amazing sharing my drawings as they were being created blown up huge on a projected wall. I’ve been working with visuals and projections ever since.
Can you briefly describe your creative process for those who are unfamiliar with your work?
Explaining my creative process is a work in progress for me… I basically put a pen on the surface that I’m going to make a mark on and draw…. I may have an idea about the theme of the drawing but the actual output and composition rarely planned.
What or who inspires you to create?
I seem to want to create more when I’m in good positive environments, meeting people that love and are obsessed with what they do, seeing friends achieve their goals, wanting to be a good role model to my young nieces and nephews, wanting to prove to myself that I can live from my lines.
You’ve drawn on walls, cars, people, paper and more. What is your favorite surface to create on?
I just love drawing, what ever its on… There is something special about drawing on people though… Seeing them smile and own who they are and give it new life.
What is your favorite tool to create with?
It was a 0.05 graphic pen for the longest time, but now that my lines are getting thicker and thicker I’m experimenting with different pens and tools….
Have you ever performed with a pencil?
I haven’t actually… I’ve always liked the permanence of pens, you can’t erase them you have to live with the mistakes you create. I’ve always felt that with a pencil you may be tempted to undo something.
How are you preparing for your performance at the Blackwing Experience?
I will be making a digital canvas and carefully select my colors and tools to mimic a pencil as much a possible… Looking forward to seeing the outcome.
Who are some of your favorite creative individuals (writers, artists, musicians, etc.)?
Anna Callner (Cellist), Kristjana Williams (Artist), Daisuke Sakaguchi (Artist), Niky Rhoke (Artist), Zach Lieberman (Super coder), Joss Ott (Visulist), Ben Watts (Photographer), Stefan Diarberl (Artist), Halina Larson (Singer), Kissy Asplund (Producer/Singer)…… I could go on…
Can you let our readers know what they can expect from you at the Blackwing Experience?
Best to just come down on the night and check it out for themselves – In the mean check out:
For more information about the Blackwing Experience, visit BlackwingExperience.com and for more information about the evening’s other entertainment, check out this guest post by Blackwing Featured Musician Christian Tamburr.