Click Read More/Comment for additional picture. “I DIDN’T actually decide to do the whole room at first,” said Shantell Martin, contemplating the freestyle line drawings that cover all four walls and the ceiling of the room she rents in Brooklyn.
Initially, she said, she planned to limit herself to part of one wall, a section under a chest-high, black-slate mantel, where there might once have been a fireplace: it was ideal, she decided, because it was self-contained, like a frame.
“I thought maybe that would just be enough,” Ms. Martin, 31, said. “But it’s never enough.”
A London-born artist whose stream-of-consciousness drawings adorn the walls of private homes and companies like the trend consultancy PSFK, Ms. Martin is also known for live performances in which she makes drawings that are digitally projected and set to light and music, events that have been staged in a variety of venues, from the Museum of Modern Art to nightclubs in Tokyo.
“She draws on everything,” said her friend Sarah Strauss, a founding partner of the design firm, Bigprototype. “At dinner, she’s drawing on the napkin, then the table, then her hand.”
So when Ms. Strauss, 35, and her partner, Holly Hobart, 34, invited Ms. Martin to move into the top floor of the 1890s brownstone they own in Bedford-Stuyvesant, it was understood that she would draw on the walls. “It seemed natural we’d let her have this large canvas on the top floor to do her thing,” Ms. Strauss said.
They made just one request, Ms. Martin said: “Don’t touch the hallway.”
Ms. Martin, who has lived in New York for three years, bouncing around between sublets, moved in last year. She pays $800 a month for the run of the floor, which includes a living area, a laundry room, an office, a bathroom and a 160-square-foot bedroom furnished almost entirely with things given to her by friends.
And while her drawings have crept out of the bedroom, onto the laundry room walls and onto large wooden boards and sheets of vellum in the office, she has been true to her word: the only evidence of her work in the hallway is a smattering of colorful Post-it notes with the words “why” and “here” written backward or upside down.
The genesis of Ms. Martin’s wall drawings can be traced to a Moleskine notebook she acquired shortly after completing her degree in…
To read the rest of Martin’s story with many more pictures of Martin’s amazing space view here –>A Very Fine Line
If you missed Martin’s hair & style interview with us click here –> Urban Bush Babe: Shantell Martin