I hope you have been enjoying my collection of inspirational female artists so far this week on the blog - there are six feature illustrators as chosen by me in the latest Curvy book, but there are also many talented photographers, fashion designers and other artists too, so be sure to take your copy home here. My forth artist was possibly a selfish choice, but I hope that you appreciate why I am so fascinated by her work. Martine Johanna must have admirable patience (despite what she claims below) to complete such intricately detailed pieces. I am fascinated by her almost rhythmic line work, solemn faces, and of course it wouldn't be my artist selection without at least one artist with a female subject focus:)
You artworks are beautifully intricate, you obviously are a very patient artist. Do you work up the full page evenly or do you prefer to focus on one part at a time? What is your process?
It might seem that I am patient but I'm not at all. I usually work one day on a big piece like A3. I have to make quick hand movements while drawing because my hand isn't steady. Also when I get an image in my mind I can't stop drawing until it is finished. Sometimes it feels wrong and is a disappointment from the start to what I wanted it to be, and I destroy it. I need to see it finished. So largely I set up basic shapes and draw from any point that is my favorite or just on the whole thing. I don't make that much, lots of the process goes on in my head, most of my development is in my head as well. It is the way of looking at my work and see what I can improve the next time. I'm never really satisfied and always aim for the improved version of my skills and expression.
Many of your illustrations have quite a magical feel to them. As an outsider viewing your work it appears to include reference from astronomy and possibly witchcraft. What is it that inspires you about these things?
I sometimes use old symbolism that was used long before it was associated by modern day occultism. What I find fascinating is how universal symbols came to use on different continents at a similar time period. It is a very intuitive way of communication and expression. I have no affiliation with any cult movements that have adopted these symbols for their profile. I don't use it much anymore, it tends to happen when you use elements a lot you kind of drift away from it again. I am however for ever obsessed with the complex feminine self that carries her own mysticism.
What would your dream project involve?
To create a museum exhibition with a selection of contemporary female artist that have the same drive in their work. That work in large proportions and are not scared to walk the lines of beauty and discomfort.
If you could choose 3 items to draw with for the rest of your life what would they be?
Hahha, fun question. Soft graphite filler pencils, large scale paper and a shapeable eraser. (Shopping in an art supply store is one of my favorite things to do!)
What is your favourite thing about being an artist?
That, even though my future is always uncertain, I can shape the world with love and fascination in just the way I want it to be. That's how I was as a child and how I am today.