Meet artist Molly Martin and her quietly beautiful etchings and charcoal drawings!
Describe what you do: I am a freelance artist, illustrator and writer based in London.
Where do you live? Where do you work? I live in Greenwich, in South East London - which is a beautiful place to live. It’s right on the River Thames, and feels like a little village (even though it’s still London and the big city is very close). I cycle to my studio, which is based at Thames Side Studios in Woolwich (20 min cycle East of Greenwich). I share my studio with artist and friend Laurie Cole, whose work often inspires me! Our studio is right on the River Thames, far away from the city with the seagulls. There is an amazing print studio here, which is where I do all of my etchings.
Describe a typical day for you: Each day is always a little different! Mondays are usually admin days - doing emails and checking off to do lists! Sometimes I have an illustration job to do for a magazine, and other weeks I can work entirely on my own thing, which is always wonderful. On Tuesdays I try to get into the print room at Thames Side, where I might be working on a new etching or making a set of editions. I love working in the print room. It’s a very peaceful place, with other artists quietly printing and the smell of ink and white spirit around you. I teach a lot of drawing workshops, sometimes online but mostly in person. I currently run sketchbook workshops at Eye to Pencil Art Studios and also collaborate with STILL Drawing Classes, teaching Still Life evening classes online.
Name a book that you read recently and loved: If I could give everyone in the world one book it would be ‘Breath’ by James Nestor - for me, it was a life changing book all about the way we breathe and how we can heal ourselves through the breath. So good.
The most recent book I read and loved was The Remains of the Day
by Kazuo Ishiguro. The way his characters are often ignorant of the things that you know as the reader is so clever. I love his writing - so sad and beautiful.
Favorite snack: Salt and Vinegar crisps and a can of Coke - it’s what I would always get at the pub when I was a child after a long walk with the family. I still love it.
Favorite color combination: Red and pink.
What is your most treasured possession? Oh it has to be my childhood rabbit called ‘Bunny’ of course. But for a serious artist's answer, probably my sketchbooks. They are time capsules that hold endless memories, thoughts and notes (often very cringey) but they are also important catalogs of how my drawing style has changed. My sketchbook drawings used to be so careful and cautious - and always using a tiny mechanical pencil. I would often rip pages out if I didn’t like the drawing. I am much looser now and don’t take quite as much care over each page, using big pencils to make quick impressions and notes.
What is the best piece of advice someone ever gave you? “You can’t change other people - you can only change yourself”. This gem was from my mum when I was a teenager, and I remember not understanding it at first - why should I change when they’re the one who are wrong etc ... and then I realized that it’s more about the power you have to change your behavior - how you see things / how you can do something differently if you’re not happy.
And finally, where can we see your work?
You can find my work on my website
- this is where I sell my work directly in my online shop. You can also find me on instagram
for current updates and sketchbook drawings!
The original charcoal drawing behind the Biquette blanket: