Observer: Shantell Martin | Artist
Images by Aurelie Graillot
Interview by Crystal Hines
Spearheading a new form of digital art, visual artist Shantell Martin gave us an inside look into her self-decorated white room and her biggest influences.
What’s your AMMO?
Right now my Ammo is to take a step back and away from my work and give it some thought about how I’d like to move forward with my drawing. I’ve been charging straight ahead the last few years moving from one project to the next and now feel like I have a lot of work, ideas, projects, experiences behind; which I can have a real good look to see whats feels right moving ahead.
How did it feel being named “New York’s coolest ‘it’ girl?
This made me laugh at first. I like to think that I’m cool, but the truth is I’m a huge nerd.
What do you want your legacy to be?
A lifetime of drawing with stories, memories attached that can go on and continue to grow and inspire.
What do you feel is your responsibility as an artist?
Personally I think it’s to be as honest with your self and the world as possible and to ask questions constantly.
Any music influences?
When working love to listen to music, DJ’s, bands that my friends are in – nice reminder that I have so many talented people in my life. [Currently] Maral Salmassi, Jahcoozi, and DJ AOSAWA – really good to jump around and draw to.
You’ve had several collaborations, any one you’d love to work with next?
Would love to create visuals for the American Museum of Natural History, work with Land Rover or Jeep on some fun art cars, team up with an awesome pen brand and do something huge with lines, recreate my bedroom in the Whitney, and would love to draw on Snoop Dogg for fun!
What’s next for you?
Solo show in New York – keep an eye on this space for where and when!
If you weren’t an artist what would you do?
If I weren’t an artist I probably would have become a 200-meter sprinter.
Any great books?
This week I just finished Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit – actually a really great read and also ordered a book called On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century, published in conjunction with an exhibit that took place at MoMA.
For more from Shantell Martin go to, shantellmartin.com