Who Are You >
Follow YOUR pen >
London born; now New York based artist, Shantell was an outsider.
Escaping a dark and lonely place, she found comfort and inspiration with a marker. She started to draw and escaped a culture that suppressed her.
Being a young, black, gay, female artist; Shantell never stopped drawing and found a new outlook on life.
Shantell encourages you to pick up a pen .. and see where it takes you!
Describing her work, Shantell Martin states, “I draw. I draw on everything.” Martin uses black pens on white surfaces—which she paints herself—creating stream-of-consciousness drawings full of stick figures, words, faces, and exuberant, gestural lines. She works independently and collaboratively, gracing everything from walls and sneakers to her own and other people’s skin with whimsical drawings.
Martin got her start in Japan, partnering with DJs and other musicians to enhance their performances with the graphic punch of live-drawn, digitally projected images. Now based in New York, she continues to pull viewers into her creative process. “The pen knows where it’s going, and I’ve gotten very good at following. . . . It’s like a language unfolding,” she says.
Using drawing as a foundation, Martin creates sketches, large-scale murals, live drawings and collaborations with artists and institutions including Kendrick Lamar, the New York City Ballet and global brands.
A fashion and design icon in her own right, Martin has collaborated with iconic brands such as Nike, Vitra, Max Mara, Tiffany & Co., The North Face and in 2018, Puma launched a global capsule collection featuring her drawings. Martin has collaborated with legendary artists such as Pulitzer Prize-winning performance artist Kendrick Lamar and acclaimed designer Kelly Wearstler. In late 2018, she was asked to collaborate with the prestigious New York City Ballet, where she created large scale drawings in the performance hall and foyer of the Lincoln Center for the company’s celebrated Art Series.
She continues to teach as an adjunct professor at NYU Tisch ITP (Interactive Telecommunications Program), where she works with her students to push the boundaries of storytelling, visual art, and technology.