Many romanticize the life of an artist as the antithesis and antidote to dreary corporate life. Artists are deemed free, creative, and unbound by any rules. As with many things, the truth isn’t quite as it seems. Starving artists abound. But some artists have found ways to live the dream. Shantell Martin is not only a groundbreaking British multimedia artist, but she is also very business savvy and has become the collab queen.
USA Art News sat down with the awe-inspiring artist and philosopher.
Which of your idol artists would you like to meet?
I’d love to have tea with Bjork.
Continue the phrase: I love it when…..
I wake up and make granola in the morning.
Where does the artist’s creative obsession with this or that technique or plot come from?
I think it’s something I was born with and have been discovering and unearthing all my life.
As an artist, do you like to reflect more on the topic of positive or destructive emotions?
My work is generally positive, but overall, it’s more about the process/journey and being present.
How has your style changed over time?
It’s definitely become less detailed, and the lines have become bolder and more confident. I think it shows my evolution and finding myself within various mediums. But the thing that has been constant has been exploring and incubating new ideas.
When did you decide that you would become an artist? How did your career start?
I’m still trying to figure that out. I put one foot in front of the other and woke up as an artist one day. It just happened. It probably started way before I even realized it…
Is there any excitement about how your work will be met by the public?
Not really. I like to create spaces/work that asks questions and inspires people but also permit them to feel that they can create art. That’s why a lot of mediums that I use are those that are accessible to all of us.
What does a real artist need to be happy?
Freedom to create whatever they want, whenever they want, wherever they want. Something I’m still working towards. So maybe, I’m not a real artist yet.
How do you define an artist’s success?
It’s different for everyone. For me, it’s being able to challenge myself, grow, and work toward my bigger goal: having the most recognizable line on the planet.
Do you have artist friends? Do you support each other or compete with each other?
Yes, of course, I do! It’s always lots of love, support, and collaboration.