Photography Credits From top Right Corner: Elevators: Esoswe Shantell Martin: Bek Anderson Sneakers: Connie Tsang Fashion Meets Art: Lane Crawford
“When invited to talk at conferences and festivals about digital drawing or creativity, I like to start with showing a photograph of my younger self with my brother and sisters. In the photograph I’m about nine years old with a little afro, brown skin and Michael Jackson shorts standing next to my very blond and blue-eyed brother and four sisters, this is the beginning my story.”—Shantell Martin
The work of Shantell Martin is a meditation of lines; a language of characters, creatures and messages that invite her viewers to share a role in her creative process. Part autobiographical, and part dreamlike whimsy, Martin has created her own world that bridges fine art, commercial and the everyday.
Using her simple trademark – black ink on white surfaces, Martin’s illustrations transform everything from walls, found objects, ceramics, luxury goods, sneakers, and even faces into a visual narrative. Martin’s diverse portfolio illustrates her gift of navigating many worlds. She’s been cast as herself on quintessential New York show Gossip Girl, interviewed on CNN and appeared on Jimmy Kimme Livel. She was named by French Glamour as New York’s “coolest it girl” in 2011, and her hand-illustrated bedroom walls graced the cover of the New York Times home section in May 2012.