"SHANTELL MARTIN was once an itinerant artist – now you could say the world is her home. After five years in Japan, the Londoner now lives in an illustrated bedroom oasis; its walls adorned with her own drawings, in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant. From performing in underground clubs in Tokyo to being featured in the New York Times, the New Yorker and TED, Shantell is in demand – an international star on the rise. Fellow seasoned traveller Paul Barbera makes a home visit.
“I’ve lived here for just over two years. When my friends bought the house they asked if I’d be interested in renting the space, which of course I said yes to. So as you see, my landlords are friends and supporters of my work… I guess they just didn’t want to see it [Shantell’s illustrations] spread too much in the communal parts of the house. When I was younger, my bedroom was more like a refuge, a place to hide and be quiet in. We moved a lot when I was younger, so then I never really had a space long enough to do much with it. I used to say home is where my futon is… I guess it’s the same but I’ve now switched to a less mobile bed. Favourite objects are a few of my smaller toys that I painted white. They belonged to my nephew. I love that he gave these to me in support of me creating more.
I moved into my studio earlier this year. It felt like a natural next step. I also thought it was important to have a space in Manhattan. You will be surprised at how many people still will not go to Brooklyn. Now there is no excuse. I’m on Broadway just south of Canal. My daily routine is: wake up early, breakfast, email, studio, lunch, drawing mixed all in between. Sometimes a meeting here and there, dinner somewhere – home. In 2014, I’ll start teaching my class “Drawing on Everything” again at ITP/NYU. There are a couple of conferences I’ll be speaking at, starting with Alpha-ville in London; you will also see a few nice brand collaborations being released. I just worked with the new Vespa 946 campaign, which has started its world tour of the Bvlgari stores starting this month in New York."
Check out the full interview with Shantell at Assemble Papers.