Artist Shantell Martin, a speaker at Interior Design's recent Giants of Design conference, has amassed a following for her playful, creative, and thought-provoking illustrations. She has collaborations with fashion brand Max Mara, designer Kelly Wearstler, and musician Kendrick Lamar under her belt, but contract textiles was a new genre for her before she partnered with Momentum Textiles. She worked with the brand's design studio to translate her signature style to upholstery. The result is four patterns available in 30 colors that convey Martin's playful aesthetic.
At Giants of Design, held this year at Cancún's Nizuc resort, Martin described her artistic trajectory. Overcoming insecurities about her drawing abilities and her role as an artist, Martin has come to view the act of creating as an achievement worth celebrating. "My work is not about the result," she explains. "It's all one big mistake and we should learn to enjoy the process." Drawing on a canvas in front of the audience, Martin demonstrated how she starts each illustration—with one freehand line that becomes the "skeleton" of the creation.
Her affinity for live drawing—the act of developing her creations in real time, with or without an audience—is one she picked up when living in Tokyo after graduating from Central Saint Martins. When working with Momentum Textiles, the team found a way to capture that ephemeral style in contract fabric, a material designed to endure. The four patterns in the collection each relay a different message—in Well Well Well, for instance, a hopeful message can be deciphered: "Be well, drink well, help build clean wells." Installed in interiors, the textiles are sure to inspire conversation and creative thinking. And for Martin, that's the whole point.