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In 2016 I had a placement at the Northern Trust Bank, organised by with The Big Issue. At meal times I had two hours to myself and I just started thinking about colours, and it came from there. Selling The Big Issue takes a lot of my time, but I have started working extra hours during the week so I can work in my studio at weekends. (It’s actually a cupboard, but I have turned it into a studio!)
I call it abstract, but other people describe it as “collage”. I guess I’d like to call it “Abstract cut outs”. A piece of art begins when I come across two colours that just match. Sometimes I’ll create a piece with three colours, but that’s the limit at the moment. I create simple designs that marry the colours up together. The design, the shape, and the colours have to work together.
There’s one of my postcards, it really moves. Just because of the vibrance of the colour. It keeps distracting me in my peripheral vision. I have great peripheral vision. People try and creep up on me but they don’t have a chance, like my mate at Tesco. He’s got a yellow jacket - I see him a mile off
When I had my first exhibition. The data firm, Dunhumby, next to my pitch put it on for me. I was so excited and proud to have my work on display. That was a private exhibition, my first gallery exhibition was at the Jealous Gallery. It was put together by The Big Issue, so famous street artists like Ben Ine and Charming Baker were involved! I was proud to be among them.
Also when my website, artbydavemartin.com went online Gavin Ireland is a graphic designer and he set it up for me, and I really felt like I was moving up. I still need some help with publicity and getting my work out there. I worry that people are wary about buying direct from me online, giving their address to some random guy on the internet. That’s what I’d like from HomeLess Made, to become more well known for my art, so I can sell more and move onwards and upwards.
I really like Matisse. Do you remember Matisse’s The Snail? At the end of his life he started doing paper cut outs. I really like my Untitled #30, it looks like inspired by The Snail.
When people buy my art I ask them to take a photo and show it to me, in pride of place. It makes me really happy and satisfied. A lady called Sabine bought one of my original artworks for £200. That kind of thing spurs me on to do the art. Seeing it in people’s homes. She had it on the wall next to artists from Germany, Italy ...and there I was - right at the top!
It’s so personal. People don’t put just anything in their home. Unless they are clutterbugs.
I applied to join The HomeLess Made artist collective because I would love to help other homeless artists, and raise funds for Barons Court project and so more artists can come on board. I’d love to help HomeLess Made become self-sufficient as a social enterprise.
As the Olympics is on at the moment: When I was 15 I ran the 100 metres in 11 seconds! Sadly I started smoking and that was that out of the window.
Difficult one! I spoke to people who do art and lots of people are picky about their own work. At the end of the day you’ve created something, you’ve done something creative. It’s your personal thing - you must have liked it so have confidence that someone else will like it too.
Someone looked at my art once and said “That’s not my kind of art”. But then he kept looking through my album and said “oh, I like that one!” If you only listen to the critics you won’t improve or move forward.
Keep creating, keep doing, don’t give up.
Art and more art! I follow football. I don’t support the Premiership sides but I tend to get involved with it. I play a lot of Scrabble. My tip is: learn all the small words and concentrate on those. Zo, ze, za. Get that Z on a triple score and you’re laughing.
Hmmmm. I’ve been on Boogaloo Radio a couple of times and I love making playlists. You don’t want something romantic if you’re by yourself. You need something to get you dancing.
Herb Albert - Putting on the Ritz
Louie Prima - Sing, Sing, Sing (with a swing)
It’s got to be my phone so I can play Scrabble Go! Oh no, but it would run out of battery. A phone that doesn’t need to be charged. A solar powered one.