Hendricks Gin Interview

Hendricks published an interview on their blog with me to coincide with the box give-away.  You can read the transcript below or check it out here: The Unusual Times

"A Conversation With Sara Antoinette Martin"
 Posted March 8th

You’re far more than a painter. Your portfolio spans tattooing, toy making and clothing design. What is your favorite medium?
I’m really excited about tattooing.  I’ve only tattooed myself so far, but i think that once I really get going, its going to be one of my favorite mediums. Other then that, painting is definitely my favorite medium.  Its the least restrictive, creatively.
What made you jump into tattooing?
Tattooing was something that I had always thought about, but didn’t feel confident enough in my drawing until the past few years.  In hindsight, I realized how dumb that was to wait this long.  Anyway, right out of school, I got a job at Kidrobot as a product photographer.  Three years later I quit to try and be a full time illustrator.  A month later the recession happened and I started working for the artist Tara McPherson and picking up some freelance graphic disease.  I was finding it really difficult  to make a living as an illustrator and I was getting way more of a response from my fine art paintings.  I needed to figure out something that I could do while still pursuing fine art.  My artwork was already heavily influenced by tattoo are and I felt like both mediums would enhance and relate to each other.  It took me about a year to find an apprenticeship after I had made the decision to do it.

Your work incorporates a variety of cultural influence—lotus flowers, chupacabras, mermaids. Where do you draw this imagery from?
Everywhere.  Especially decorative and folk arts.  I think its really interesting how an outsider artist, such as Henry Darger, or early civilization artwork, like byzantine religious icons and illuminated manuscripts, interpreted the world and rendered the human form.
I’ve always had a love for cryptozoology and monsters.  There is so much weird and mysterious stuff out there in the world.  I’m also really interested in patterns found in nature, the golden ratio and the natural order and engineering of the world.  How jellyfish and coral are made of individual cellular organisms and the mathematical patterns in flowers, and, really, every living thing.
It all comes down to the almost spirituality  you can find in mathematics of the physical world.  I’m really fascinated with the old alchemists and how they turned chemistry, physics and astrology into a subversive and occult philosophy.  Its been science vs organized religion since the beginning of time.  I like to draw my own theories and reflection on my environment with out being so scientific about it.  Essentially, its what I love about painting.  I can illustrate the world as it exists in my head without being literal or factual about it.  I think of it as ’science fiction theory’.

How did you come up with your idea for your Hendrick’s box?
I was really into drawing gypsies that week.

Do you consider yourself a curious artist? And how does it effect your work?
Definitely.  I love learning new things and collecting new influences.

Is there particular subject matter that fascinates you?
Anything occult!

If you weren’t an artist what vocation would you pursue?
I honestly do not think I could not exist if I wasn’t doing something creative.  If this whole art thing didn’t work out, my plan C was to maybe get a grad degree in industrial design.  My dad would of loved that.

You’re really invested in the process of creating your work. Tell us about it.
I start with a sketch.  Sometimes I’ll get people to pose for me and take reference photos.  I scan in a finished drawing and break apart the layers that I will paint separately.  I transfer the drawing usually with xerox transfers. Then I paint the composition in separate parts on paper and collage them back together, essentially breaking down the composition and building it back up again.  I add patterns and embellishment and seal the whole thing in layers of glossy varnish.

And last but by no means least, what’s your favorite cocktail?
Hendricks Gin martini with a twist!

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