How would you describe your work? Fun, geometric, colourful, repetitive, time consuming, therapeutic. I work mainly with watercolour on paper but like to branch out and do different things like paint murals, or make necklaces or build big geometric paper installations.
How do you come up with an idea for creating a paper installation? There’s a number of things I have to consider when it comes to an installation – space, size, time, colour, etc. I sit down and do some sketches of compositions and think about what forms will work best for the overall piece. I always consider using a variation of forms but so far have just ended up using triangular pyramids because they are so easy to make and when it comes to creating masses of them this is so helpful. Plus they slot in next to each other so easily. I guess there’s just a heap of playing around with compositions really, while considering my limitations of size and space. Whatever resonates with me the most is the winner.
What inspires you? Everyday stuff does – nature, colour, light, plants, shapes, fashion, textiles, design – but I usually spend a lot of time on the internet looking on different blogs and the work of other artists and creatives. I get a lot of my inspiration from that and a lot of my motivation from other people doing great things whether they be creatives, business owners or just downright passionate about what they are doing. I find a lot of inspiration on Pinterest and it tends to be the source of a lot of imagery I feel inspired by.
Which other artists inspire you? This list is forever changing and growing – Tara Marynowsky, Stacey Rozich, Sarah Louise Matthews, Brett Chan, Justin Lee Williams, Ana Montiel, Emma Leonard, Kevin Tran and it goes on!
Is there something special about the paper you use? I like to use something that’s going to be strong enough to create the geometric forms in the size I need but I like to keep things simple so don’t use anything very special. Just normal copy paper is fine by me.
What type of paper do you use and what is your preference? For my paper installations I use a 200gsm A4 paper which is nothing special but it works well for the structures and when in mass it’s the cheapest option as well. I would love to use a thick watercolour paper and colour it as well but when I’m creating so many forms it is just too costly. For my watercolour pieces I use a heavy Saunders Waterford paper, which is a beautiful off white paper and is great for the images I create.
What do you enjoy most about your paper installations? I really like applying the colour, which I do with spray paint. It’s great to see them all together and the way the colours layer and interact together to create a big rainbow paddlepop. It’s also a really good feeling to have the installation complete and every shape in its right place. When I am still in production stages and I have all the forms made, I lay them all out on the ground to see how they will look but it’s never the same. Installation is really the first chance I get to see the composition in it’s proper state so it’s a really exciting time.
Do you miss them when they are gone? Spending so much time creating an installation means that I make a real connection with the work so yes, I do miss them when they are gone. I’d like to create a kind of second life for the forms, not in their entirety but it would be nice to see the shapes grouped together in new and interesting environments.
Tell us about Hollie Martin for INCU? INCU prides themselves on their amazing window displays. I have always been captivated by them and last year they contacted me to do one for them. The space I had to work with was at the Men’s store in The Galeries, in the city of Sydney. The space has a huge timber wall on which I displayed a large paper composition. The wall has a real organic aura so juxtaposing this with the geometric shapes was something that I thought would work really well. The display was up for 2 months, which got me some great exposure. Unfortunately I had to bump out last month so it isn’t on display anymore. It was a really exciting (yet stressful) project to work on. I can’t wait to work on more projects like that in the future.
What have the highlights been since starting your career? Highlights would definitely be my first solo show last year at China Heights Gallery, collaborating with CAKE Wines on a label for their Pinot Grigio, doing the installation at INCU and more recently I was signed to an Illustration Agency, The Illustration Room. I feel like my career is still just beginning though.
What’s next for Hollie Martin? I have my second solo show in October this year at China Heights Gallery in Sydney. This is taking up the majority of my time at the moment and keeping me very busy. For this exhibition I’m heading down a new path and doing paintings, which im really looking forward to showing and am having a lot of fun working on.
Were you given any memorable advice that you would like to share? Yes! Network! When I was studying we were always encouraged to make contact with other creatives and get to know people in the business. I’d like to say that hard work on its own is enough to get you places but at the end of the day it’s a combination of that and knowing the right people.
What advice would you give to someone starting out? Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and don’t be disheartened by knock backs. Every experience is to be learnt from and will direct you to something bigger and better. Another piece of advice is to get out there and connect with the people you want to be noticed by. It’s as simple as sending an email and its surprising how responsive and supportive people can be once you take that first step.
What are you most proud of? Taking the step to move to Sydney on my own and being able to get my career off the ground when I hardly knew anyone. It’s been a slow rollercoaster ride but I’m really proud of myself in how far I have come and the things I have achieved.
Do you have a “usual” day? When it comes to working creatively, I spend about 4 days a week in that department and the other 2 days I spend in a part time job. A usual creative day is starting on work around 9.30 and continuing into the evening. I spend a bit of time on the computer in the morning and if I have any meetings I try to plan them first thing so I can just work consistently for the rest of the day. Things can be a bit unpredictable and I usually work on a few different things during the day.
Tell us about your dream studio. At the moment I work from home but before this I was working in a studio alongside a bunch of other creatives and it was a great experience. On that note, I would love to work in a space with all the creative people I know and the people who motivate me. So many people I know are doing exciting things career wise at the moment and I’d love to work in the same space as all of them. It would be a large warehouse space with big windows and heaps of natural light and lots of plants. Pets would be very welcome!
How would you describe your style? Raw and feminine at the same time.
Who would you invite to dinner and why? My Grandad. I have lots to tell him.
Where can people find out more about Hollie Martin? My blog holliemartin.blogspot.com or through my Facebook page facebook.com/holliemartinart
Answer these short questions:
a. Black or White – white for sure. 5 years ago I would have said black.
b. Tea or Coffee – tea. I’ve never liked coffee.
c. Heels or flats – oh, I cant decide. I wear both – flats for comfort but I feel great in heels.
d. Short or long – loooooooong
e. Sweet or savoury – sweet – I put sugar on Coco Pops! I know that’s wrong, but it’s soooo good.
f. Night or Day – Day!
Thanks so much Hollie!
Want to know more…
The Hollie Martin & Cake Wines collaboration video > here
Want to know more about the INCU presents window collaboration > here