Date: May 2018
Interview by Sabrina Selkis
Talent comes in different forms and at different times. Sometimes you think you know someone, then 10 years of friendship later, that person totally blows your mind. Meet Marta Hutt, an incredible drawing artist and self-confessed interior design addict based in Somerset. Seven months ago she started her own art business and has been very prolific ever since.
Thank you for giving us some time to answer these questions, looks like business is booming and keeps you really busy!
Thank you for having me. Yeah, it has been very busy and I’m loving it. I absolutely love the buzz of being creative while running my own business.
So, how did it all start? What motivated you to set up your own art business?
It all started randomly about 7 months ago when I picked up some dry pastel which were on sale in a kiddie section of a high street store. I haven’t done any drawing for over a decade but I had this silly idea to draw a rebus for my husband. Few other drawings followed and after posting them on my Instagram, I was surprised with an amazing response that I was getting. Strangers were telling me how good my art was, other people were asking where they can buy it. This motivated me to draw more and explore what I can do. As I was posting my drawings on Instagram, I was overwhelmed with the kind and supportive messages from total strangers who were encouraging me to draw more. People wanted to buy my art and this gave me the idea of starting my own business selling my artwork.
When did the creative strike start? Was it always drawing?
I was always considering myself a creative person. I used to draw and paint when I was in high school / studying interior design. But having a great work opportunity come up when I was in my early 20’s I took my career down another, not exactly creative path so I just stopped drawing and focused on building my career. This resulted in working in London between the designer furniture industry and luxury retail for over a decade, but now I’m back to my ‘creative self’.
Some of your drawings particularly stand out; I’d like to mention “Attitude”,”Cuban Girl” and “Bite Me”. What can you tell us about those? How was their creative process?
You can say that ‘Attitude’ is the artwork that took me where I am now. It is the most popular of my works and instantly recognisable. It’s in the houses of people all over UK, in USA, Europe, Canada and Japan. It is an expression of my attitude towards art – it is not perfect, it is rough, colourful and playful and it resonates with many people across different paths of life, countries, backgrounds, age groups and genders. And to think that I drew it very quickly on a small piece of a printer paper… ‘Cuban Girl’ is inspired by a ‘Dirty Havana’ book and by the exceptional and natural beauty of the model. I see the colours a little bit differently than most of the people so I like challenging others to see them from my perspective and this is the result. ‘Bite Me’ is inspired by Pati Robins who is an award winning photographer from Cardiff. I love her work and as I was looking for an interesting face to draw, I came across her this image and Pati kindly allowed me to draw from her photograph.
You do commissioned work, what type of drawings are you being asked to do? How much creative freedom do you have?
I think the first person who approached me for a commission work wanted me to draw their dog… I politely declined. I had loads of people asking for a portraits of themselves or their children but that is not my area of interest. They are better off getting a family portraits done on a market square of a touristy town. So far I’ve been lucky to have a number of bigger commissions lined up which I’m very excited about. I love when my clients are challenging me, where they are giving me the topics to cover either something original and fab visually or something that is pushing the boundaries, touching up on a controversial (perhaps for some) subject yet delivering a message. It is important to me to stay true to myself yet current.
So far, what exhibitions and features have you had?
When it comes to features my ‘Frida’ artwork made it to the cover of Home Style magazine (March), you could have also seen my artwork in other home décor magazines (Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom – April, Home Style – May & June). You could have spot my art online on websites such as Apartment Therapy and various blogs not to mention Instagram features. When it comes to the exhibitions I have been approached by few galleries, but as I feel I’m still developing and growing, I want to have some time to expand my creative horizons before even thinking about an exhibition. If you are local to Somerset, you can see few of my art prints in a small, local art gallery.
What’s next for your artwork? Where can we expect to see it?
Currently I’m working on few commissions, one is nearly finished but as it is a part of a mini series, I probably won’t show it off until all paintings are finished, not to lose the message and to show a bigger, cohesive picture. This particular commission is very exciting and I’ve been meaning to start it in February but I only got around to tackle it few weeks ago. I have so many ideas in my head for new artwork but sometimes it’s hard to get the good work/ life balance especially when you really want to create new things but I am a mum of an energetic 3 year old, I’m a wife who wants to enjoy her family life and in the same time I’m refurbishing by myself a big Victorian house (very slooooowly).
As always, the first place to see what I’m working on, how I draw/ paint – to see the actual process and the finished artwork is my Instagram.
Being creative and a mum must keep you really busy, how do you handle both?
With difficulty! It is a bloody hard work! Sometimes I feel like I’m on a verge of a meltdown as it is hard, but then working full time in any job and being a mum is hard anyway. It is even harder if your parents are in another country so you don’t have that helping hand. But for any mum that thinks of starting any business my advice is- invest in yourself. For me it was a case of getting a baby sitter to take care of my son while I was starting my business, so I can have some ‘me’ time to work. It was the best money I’ve ever spent!
Who inspires you? Can you share with us some of your favourite artists?
I can get an inspiration from anywhere, it can be an image, a person on a street, a story, a photograph, camerawork in a movie picking up light and colours… My art spectrum is pretty wide and eclectic when it comes to my favourite artists. I can be inspired by a musician, a film director or an actor. I like some of the painters on a darker side such as Zdzislaw Beksinski, H.R. Giger or Duda Gracz. From more obvious/ classic choice I like Hieronymus Bosch, Gustav Klimt, Frida Kahlo or Vladimir Tretchikoff. But I also love the street artists such as Banksy and JPS with their style and wit or Dan Kitchener with his colour and light.
Do you think they have influenced you in your artwork?
My favourite artists are not reflected in my artwork, except of course of ‘Frida’ that I’ve done a portrait of. But other than that my style few people compared to Tretchikoff but it’s only in a way how I can manifest a colour on some of my drawings ( I think).
And finally, if you could exhibit anywhere in the world, where would it be and what would be your main piece?
Erm, I’m not really into the whole ‘arty’ world and what sometimes comes with it. I’m most happy when I can simply see my artwork in homes of people in different places in the world. Having that precious connection with people who buy my art and are looking at it everyday in their homes is what really drives me. Having said that I would be happy to exhibit anywhere where I can reach likeminded people and get the story across which is behind each picture.
My main picture would have to be ‘ Attitude’ coz it’s not about perfection, it is not about the content of the image but how it makes you feel and how you choose to feel / approach things in your life.
Anything else you would like to add?
If you like what I do and you would like to collaborate or perhaps suggest new ideas for my artwork just DM me on Instagram or contact me via my website http://art.lusheclectic.com/ where you can also see more of what I do.
Also I’ve been nominated for UK Interior Awards in Best Independent Store category so if you would like to support me in my quest of proving that you can start your own business on your dining table while looking after a toddler and renovating a house, the please vote for me here: https://www.ukinteriorawards.co.uk/vote/ Thank you.
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