Explore the captivating story of Shantell Martin in our exclusive interview. Uncover her journey from Tokyo to New York, her unique approach to collaborations, and the philosophy fueling her art. Ideal for art enthusiasts and emerging artists, this conversation reveals the blend of art, business acumen, and self-discovery. Learn about Martin's impactful messages and her influential role in contemporary art.
Key Takeaways and Insights
Background and Struggles: Shantell Martin discusses her initial struggles as an artist. She believed that acquiring certain things like money, a gallery, a mentor, and a studio would make her successful. However, she realized the importance of creating her own opportunities rather than waiting for them to be presented.
Collaboration and Design Process: Martin talks about her collaboration with Puma and other design teams. She highlights the importance of a harmonious collaboration process, likening it to a dance rather than a tug-of-war.
Work with Tiffany & Co.: Martin describes her project with Tiffany & Co, which involved an installation in her studio and another version in Milan. She emphasizes the importance of documentation in her work, especially in cases where the artwork is not permanent.
Journey from Tokyo to New York: Martin shares her experiences of moving from Tokyo to New York. In Tokyo, she worked as a visual jockey, creating live visuals in clubs. Her move to New York was marked by initial struggles, including starting from scratch professionally.
New York Challenges: Upon moving to New York, Martin faced challenges like obtaining a social security number and adapting to a new cultural and professional environment. She had to rebuild her career from the ground up, facing different problems and learning to navigate the city.
Creative Process and Business Acumen: Martin talks about her gradual growth in business savvy and learning from each project and collaboration. She emphasizes the importance of legal support in her work and the gradual process of building a team.
Mentorship and Advice to Artists: She stresses the importance of mentoring other artists, especially about business aspects like contracts and collaborations. Martin advocates for artists to be independent and have their own voice.
Artistic Themes and Messages: Throughout the conversation, Martin touches on various themes in her art, such as the importance of being present ('Here Now'), self-exploration ('Are You You?'), and the power of collaboration in understanding oneself.
Overall Philosophy: Martin’s overarching message is about being nice, being present, and continuously exploring and understanding oneself through art and life experiences.
This conversation provides a deep insight into Shantell Martin's journey as an artist, her creative process, collaboration experiences, and her philosophical approach to art and life.

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