Monday, December 5, 2011

so many moods and ideas to express

Interview with Delaney Martin
by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt

The Death Seeker
SchulmanArt: I love your museum reproductions. When did you get interested in reproducing artifacts?
Delaney:   Growing up, my parents were artists making artifact reproductions in the Native American style.  I'd travel with them to art shows, and I was very much influenced by them and the other artists.  Most of the shows my parents did were of a Native American or Southwest theme, so those cultures were my first influence.  Those styles have stayed with me, but I'm also very much influenced by Celtic, African, and prehistoric styles of art. 

SchulmanArt: Where did you study art?
Delaney:        Besides a few art workshops as a teenager, I don't have any formal arts education.  I just watched those around me, learning techniques and blending them together through multi-media work. 

Artist Delaney Martin
SchulmanArt: Do you make your living as an artist?
Delaney: I'm more what I'd call a 'semi-pro' artist.  I do make money from my art, but not enough for it to be my sole source of income.  Besides Etsy, all of my artwork can be viewed and purchased at

SchulmanArt:  I really love your skulls could you tell my readers a little bit about the creative process from inception and idea to finished product?
Delaney:         First, I have to choose the right bone, one that I'm just drawn to.  I'll look it over, finding what's unique to it.  When I found a bobcat skull with back smashed in, it made me think of a violent death, and that made me think of how even hunters can be hunted.  That was the influence for The Death Seeker.  Life in the natural world can be unforgiving, and the life/death cycle has always been an inspiration for me as with Sacrificial Stag.  I also wonder about how the celestial cycles influenced ancient peoples.  The moon cycle is especially intriguing to me, so that is the story behind The Night Watcher.  Then I just look at the skulls, finding the lines and contours and searching my mind for some kind of meaning for the piece.  Then I work with India ink and a sharpened stick to draw the designs by hand.  Then I add any decoration, being sure to use only natural items like feathers, stones, even glass beads. 

SchulmanArt: What is your studio space like?
Delaney: The view from my studio window over looks my little courtyard then a great field that is our yard.  We live in the country, and watching the wildlife has become more than a hobby.  I love to watch the birds, and I keep my camera close.  We have a large group of Mourning doves (my Lovelies) living in our trees, and they're my favorite to see and hear.  My actual studio space is less idyllic.  Its a mess of photo studio, office, huge work bench with materials, and storage all in one room.  Its cluttered and crazy, but I seem to thrive on chaos.

SchulmanArt: Who is your customer?
Delaney:       I have pieces that range from super cute to dark and disturbing.  I've noticed that my customers fall into all these categories as well.I have so many moods and ideas to express that just one style of art won't cut it for me.  

A few more Tribal Art pieces for your collection:
All of these African artworks were sketched from original artifacts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in either their permanent collection of the Heroic African exhibit. To read more about how these pieces were created see related blog posts.
African Art
Tribal Art