Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Muse: Shantell Martin

I can't fully recall how I've stumbled upon Shantell Martin, but it's most definitely along the lines of an online publication feature.
Her work drew me in almost immediately.
I felt a very strong connection with her bold graphical lines in black and white. 

Watching her talks and her working live, reminded me a little bit of my own style, except she was so much looser.
I really drew inspiration from her to be a lot more free in the approach to my undertakings.
I'm not sure how, but watching her work made me realised I was trying to force myself to be a "type" of artist I wasn't.

I kept imagining what it'd be like to share a studio with her and what it'd be like to pick her brains.
I just hadn't been inspired by an artist (and not just their work) in so long.
I was especially struck by her philosophy and the positivity she radiates.
I found it utterly refreshing.

I was then overwhelmed with the sensation to make a portrait of her in her element, as if pretending I had her for a studio mate.
I couldn't shake off the idea. And since I only work in black and white in my embroidery too, my hands got to it.

The background is taken from a mural she did for Y & R Global HQ, New York. I've made some tweaks to it to include all the little words I really liked.
And only after had I finished embroidering that I'd realised I've made her a leftie instead when I'd flipped her around in photoshop to make it all fit!


As I've mentioned before, embroidering portraits of strangers always made me feel a sense of closeness to them, like I know them, yet, still not.
Embroidering an artist's work conjures up an even more intimate emotion than that, which I can't quite put my finger on.
It's almost an queer awareness that this is my work, but too, not.

Should I chance upon another artist whom my soul feels akin to, I will be doing the same.
Having this embroidery now up on my new studio wall gives me a sense of company in a bizarre warm way.

I guess this qualifies as the very first fan art I've created.

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