Creative in Focus: Hollie Martin

Hello Hollie, tell us a little about yourself.

I am an Australian Artist based on the Central Coast of NSW, just an hour north of Sydney. I have been working as an artist in a professional sense for about 5 years now and during this time have experimented with an assortment of mediums and disciplines but now consider myself a painter. I feel like I have this intrinsic need to create. For me, being creative is about approaching a project or task in a gentle manner. Visually sometimes it might seem hard and harsh but it all comes from a place of softness and poetic gesture.

How did you get involved in the art scene?

As a child I was always doing something creative. I am an only child and I think of that as having a huge influence on me creatively. From a young age I was painting and drawing all the time, and playing around with making jewellery and making clothes for my dolls. I had such an interest in creativity during my high school years and things just evolved this way and I went on to study fine arts once completing school. The rest is history.

What are you most inspired by?

Colour and form/shape. I am always on the hunt for interesting and brave colour combinations and pattern compositions. I find a great deal of inspiration in nature and things that occur naturally and am drawn to a sense of human error.

And your tools of trade?

I work with acrylic and watercolour and in terms of surface I like using timber and good quality watercolour paper. I also use photoshop and illustrator but really like to preserve the handmade aesthetic so rather use these programs in combination with hand drawn images.

What is the art scene like in Australia?

The creative scene in Australia is an inspiring one. There are so many people doing different things from textiles, to ceramics, to visual and graphic arts. Thanks to social media its been wonderful to watch this evolve over the recent years. Sydney is a small city with a supportive creative scene and there seems to always about 2 degree’s of separation between people in the creative community. Things are constantly growing, creativity is being celebrated in new and interesting ways and there are new creative spaces popping up around the place, which is exciting.

Following that, is there a good support system for artists such as yourself in Australia?

There is a good support system yes. And thanks to social media and apps like Instagram it makes it so much easier to connect with likeminded creatives. I’ve made some great supportive connections with people around the world over social media. As I said earlier, the creative scene is growing in Australia and new and exciting collectives and spaces are popping up that serve to expose and nurture creative practice but in saying this I’d love to see more support and input from the Australian government in regards to building and encouraging the creative community. This is always a work in progress and it’s a long road but I’m positive that with the growth that has occurred in the past few years that things will get better.

Geometry appears to be your signature, is it something you have always liked working with?

I wouldn’t say geometry is my signature. I’d like to think of ‘repetition’ or ‘pattern’ being more of a signature. I sometimes feel that geometry is a little bit limiting for me. I like to venture outside of the idea of straight lines and sharp shapes and let myself make marks that evolve quite organically. For me, working with geometry started off as a simple way to repeat a pattern and create spaces for colour to dance. As time has gone on these spaces have evolved and are no longer limited to geometric shapes or symmetrical compositions. However, in saying that, I haven’t abandoned the sharp perfect lines completely.

Also, recently we noticed your style has changed a little. Are you in the midst of experimenting? 

Visually things have taken a shift for me. I always want to be evolving and at the moment feel as though my style is in a period of transition – I am just on the cusp of whatAs next for me. In 2014 I moved to London where my living and financial situations pulled me away from my practice a bit. Since moving back to Australia and getting my practice back on track I have begun to explore new ways of working and have widened the net in terms of inspiration. I think it’s important to always be experimenting. Things get stale if you don’t.

Cuevolution is a relatively young brand based in Malaysia. Why did you decide to collaborate with Cuevolution?

I am interested in Cuevolution’s vision and the support they show to designers and artists. It’s nice to collaborate with a brand that aligns with the vision you have for your own brand and ultimately lets you be yourself when it comes to creativity.

Do you have any exciting projects on the way with Cuevolution and away from Cuevolution?

I have recently been working with Cuevolution on some ideas for packaging which will be great to see come together. Outside of this I have been working on private commissions as well as a personal business project. I have been putting together the foundations for a stationery project which I’m really excited about. In addition, I am involved in a female group exhibition in Sydney in a couple of months’ time so work is coming together for that as well. It’s nice to be busy with creative projects.

You’ve worked with scarves before. Is there any potential of expanding into womenswear or accessories in the near future?

Producing a collection of silk scarves was one of my favourite projects. It’s something that I took a huge amount of pride in and feel as though this project was the most polished version of my work yet. I would most definitely love to go down the textiles path with my art. I can see my work translating very well into fashion and I have no doubt this will happen in the future.

***image credits Hollie Martin