About And Contact Marta
Hi! Hello! Czesc!
Thank you for contacting me.
I’m nice and I respond quickly.
You can contact me with a general question, commission request, express the willingness to collaborate, hire me as a designer both web and print.
I truly appreciate every email I receive.
My name is Marta Spendowska and I’m a full time illustrator, licensed surface pattern designer, and web+print designer.
I think in watercolors, inks and html. I’ve always loved pink and orange (even before they were hip), turquoise and neon energy.
WHAT + WHY + HOW
Painting primarily on paper or watercolor panels, I build up layers of color and water that result in mingling of shapes.
My love for portraying women is obvious, but what I hope you to feel is the loneliness of the person, the moment s/he’s captured.
I’ve been attracted to tragic geniuses of poets writers, thinkers, and painters for as long as I remember. The constant struggle to express their spirit and intellect influenced the way I see the world. Because of that I’m inspired by how little time we have to live and by how complicated are the relationships with each other.
The immediacy of watercolor expresses the rush I feel towards every day experiences.
Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
FROM THE INTERVIEW :
Can you tell me about your beginnings as an artist and what attracted you to illustrate?
Sure. I’m 100% Polish and in 2002 I came to Atlanta Georgia for a 5 months long internship. During that time I sold my first painting, even though it had nothing to do with my major. It was shocking to me to discover how big and friendly the art and craft scene looks like here comparing to Poland. I’ve been drawing since I remember, 95% portraits and as a child I started taking “commissions” from my father, who would bring calendars with portraits of communistic dudes in early 80s. He paints himself, but not professionally. I’m also a self-taught artist, because even though I had in mind to go to an art school, the reality of Poland at that time was such that it would be basically my suicide. So I dropped this dream in my teens and started writing, passionately. After studying Journalism and eventually graduating with a Masters in Management and Marketing (after completing this internship in US), and then working a dead-end job, in 2005 I’ve decided to leave my Polish life behind and I hopped on a plane to the US. Because English is my second language I’ve decided to turn to visual language of painting and design, and the passion was reborn. I also think painting saved my life during a very tough emotionally time.
What do you hope to convey with your illustrations?
My work is not conceptual, it’s strictly based on beauty of people or shapes. My hope is to move you, inspire you by pure allure of the person’s story behind the painting and the magnificent nature of watercolor.
But I don’t have a specific definition of beauty. I’m mostly interested in contrast, distortion, sadness, runny colors, mistakes in drawing, personal tragedies, kitsch. My work is sometimes uplifting, sometimes melancholic, other times abstract, but always emotionally engaging, or so I hope. I want to engage, bring the viewer closer to the portrayed person and ask : “who is she and why is she [sad, lonely, upset]. I like to bring to life that person and his/her story.
I work almost exclusively in watercolor and I truly believe that the nature of my style and how I’m able to engage the viewer is based on this unexpected, fluid medium.
How do you select subjects to portray in your portraits?
I don’t choose per se. Those are alive or dead people who influenced me as a person, woman and an artist.
It could be a writer, poet, androgynous actress, but I tend to really identify with feminist female voices in literature. Literature, especially feminist literature, built my confidence and my womanhood. In the presented here pieces those women are alive and they impact on the modern cinema is the greatest.
Besides just being acting aficionados, they never acted without showing the depth to the character they’ve portrayed. I know that without watching Orlando (Tilda Swinton) or Blue (Three Colors : Blue Juliette Binoche) or Elizabeth (Tilda Swinton) my sensitivity and — let’s call it for a lack of a better word — emotional intelligence would be less sharp.
And by experiencing their craft I’m moved to my core (I can cry during the whole movie just because it’s so warm, cold, sad, happy) and manifest it by the easel.
Currently I’m working on a triptych of lost geniuses of Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. Those are going to be 22 X 30 in paintings in very transparent watercolor exhibited in the local gallery from January to March.
I work as an illustrator, surface pattern designer and an artist trying to create boundaries between all of those aspects of creativity.
As a painter of portraits I accept commissions. I love working from photographs you sent me or I take by myself (in you’re local) to find, what’s important.
The painting might be of you, your handsome wife, husband, sister, brother, mom, pa, friend or a celebrity you have a crash on. Secret love maybe.
I illustrate, code websites and design for print.
I tweet like crazy.
I pin pretty things.
from time to time a lot.