Follow the Pen
One of life’s most simple pleasures is drawing. Even without skill one can put pen to paper and still find comfort in scribblings and scrawlings, find satisfaction in a curly-q or happiness from doodling. Those who draw use it as both a means of expression and a subconscious pacifier — it simultaneously inspires and calms.
Watching someone else draw, however, is about as exciting as a group of golfing sloths. For me, it’s akin to watching another person play a video game while agonizing silently until it’s my turn again.
That is, until an artist named Shantell Martin changed my mind. A Central Saint Martins graduate, Martin moved to New York from Tokyo five years ago. Her technique is to begin with swooping, looping stream-of-conscious line.
“The pen knows where it’s going and I got very good at following it,” she said of the beginning process. “Then I stop back and fill in the gaps…it’s like a language unfolding.”
She draws on everything, “cars, shoes, people, walls, clothes, planes, whatever I can get my hands on.”
People, you say? Shantell Martin, you can draw on us any time. You rule.