His art appears in Andy and Deb’s re-do Guest Bedroom - and we’re in love. We find out more about artist Angus Martin...
"I’d describe my style as emotional – most of my pieces carry deep meaning and are the result of my experiences - they centre around capturing the feelings and emotions that arise from love and relationships," Angus tells Insider Style.
How long have you been producing your art?
I had always painted as a creative outlet and thought of it just a hobby that I absolutely loved. The idea of painting full-time was a dream. Eventually, I found myself with a lot of artworks around the house and thought I’d try to sell some pieces. I got busier than I was ready for and within six months of my first sale, I quit my job to become a full-time artist. I still find this so surreal and exciting!
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I have two major inspirations. The first is music - especially lyrics that I can relate to. Most of my works are titled after lyrics of songs that have a profound influence on me. Music can resurface a lot of memories, and if I am drawn to a specific lyric or tune, I’m transported to a particular time or place. I’ll listen to a song on repeat whilst painting a piece to focus on that specific memory - be it good or bad. I then try to express and capture those emotions through painting.
Sydney based artist Angus works "at home in my own space, with my little French bulldog Dolly - even though she’s not much help and sleeps on the job, she’s still great company!"
That’s really interesting…
My second inspiration I owe to my seventh-grade school teacher, who told me that it seemed as though I was daydreaming all day in my own world and needed to ‘snap out of it’. I always remember this and was embarrassed I came across that way and was programmed to believe it was a bad thing. From that time, I became aware of being more involved and present, although introverts look inwardly to recharge and this can be perceived as antisocial and shy. Most don’t realize there is a depth of ideas, thoughts and feelings circulating within. It’s only in the past few years that I actually started to realize that my ‘daydream’ state is where my creativity is fueled. It’s a place where ideas come to life - and it’s not a bad place at all!
How long does it take you to create a piece of art?
It varies. And depends on my creative energy. I create original artworks, custom artwork, limited-edition artworks and open-edition artworks that are made to order and re-created by hand when an order is placed. I like that each one of my open-edition pieces is slightly different in its own way. Custom pieces are quite popular, and I enjoy the process, as I get to be creative and turn people’s stories into a painting that holds special meaning to them. I also love creating large one-off originals as I get to experiment with colors and paint from instinct without a certain goal in mind.
"I had always painted as a creative outlet and thought of it just a hobby that I absolutely loved. The idea of painting full-time was a dream," Angus tells Insider Style.
How would you describe your art?
I’d describe my style as emotional – most of my pieces carry deep meaning and are the result of my experiences - they centre around capturing the feelings and emotions that arise from love and relationships. My goal is to initiate an emotional response which people can relate to their own experiences. The titles of each piece also carry a cryptic, deeper meaning which relates to the overall experience.
So they have another meaning to you…
I struggle with letting people know the true insight into the meanings behind pieces, as I find being an artist is like having a diary for the world to view and letting strangers take little pieces of your story home with them. But I find when I do open up and tell people the meanings behind pieces, the reactions have been so positive. People genuinely love the pieces more, knowing the meanings and inspiration behind the artwork. They can relate to them and see them in a different light.
"I like creating at home as I like the solitude - clear space, clear mind," Angus tells Insider Style.
Tell us about the difference between all your different kinds of work...
With the acrylic pieces, I like to focus on the psychology behind colours – I use colour to strengthen the meaning behind the piece. For custom pieces, I like to delve into the reasons behind the piece and create something that holds special meaning to the individuals. A recent custom piece was for a newlywed couple in New York. The artwork represented a sense of ‘feeling at home with one another’, so I used a palette of colours from a photo they had taken in Central Park at sunset. The work is imbued with the strong golden hues and greens from the sea of trees taken from the picture. It was the perfect combination for the piece as green is symbolic of harmony, suggests stability and is associated with emotional healing and protection. And gold is symbolic of generosity – there’s an increase in compassion and love by being around the colour itself.
Another recent wedding piece for a ‘wanderlust’ couple represented the roads travelled together. We used colours from a photo they had taken at their favourite destination - The Joshua Tree. I infused the acrylic paint with essential oils that carried meanings of passion and love, for a special touch.
How do you come up with a name for your artwork?
Most are inspired by Music, lyrics, and my interpretation of the song the piece was inspired by, and also cryptic words which describe the emotional memory behind the piece.
Angus pictured with 'Him' hand-painted artwork available online at The Block Shop.
Where do you like to create your art?
At home in my own space, with my little French bulldog Dolly - even though she’s not much help and sleeps on the job, she’s still great company! I like creating at home as I like the solitude - clear space, clear mind. I regularly burn Palo Santo to cleanse the space, uplift the energy and also draw in creative energy. I like being surrounded by plants, lots of natural light, and music, always!
Do you have a soundtrack you like to create to?
I always tend to go back to my favourite musicians for inspiration: Björk, Placebo, Cocorosie, Anohni, and Lyves.
Your art features on The Block this year? How did that come about?
I have always watched The Block! I was in Melbourne last year for the Open Inspections and entered a competition to win an artwork from The Block Shop and met The Block Shop girls! We got talking, and I asked how the contestants choose artwork to feature in The Block, which led to my artwork being stocked in The Block Shop. I got a phone call one day from Harrie, The Block Shop Manager, asking for two large pieces as a contestant wanted to hang them in a Bedroom! I dropped everything, painted them and had them sent - and later found out they did not make it in time for the Room Reveals! I was devastated! But luckily I had another phone call a few weeks later from Harrie, letting me know Andy and Deb chose one of my pieces for a different room.
Deb and Andy's stunning Block guest bedroom featuring 'Connected in Reverse' a hand-painted piece by Angus.
Oh, that’s great! Which one did they pick?
Andy and Deb chose one of my open-edition Acrylic pieces, ‘Connected in Reverse,’ which is one of my very first pieces - and favourite! The artwork shows two figures with their souls floating towards each other about to connect. It was one of the first paintings I created and is inspired by the Ancient Chinese Proverb: “An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, despite the time, the place and circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never be broken.’
View Angus Martin's stunning range of hand-painted artworks HERE
Meet other artists featured in this year's Block HERE
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