Sydney based Artist Angus Martin uses his craft to capture the feelings that arise from love and relationships. The deep emotional resonance of his works belies a simple approach to figurative art, with Angus relying on fragmented shapes to piece together cohesive forms. With a focus on the psychology behind colours. Angus balances dark and bright shades to strengthen the impact of his work and evoke emotions from his audience.
We had a chat with Angus about his art and what makes him tick..
Do you have any exciting projects you are currently working on that you’d like to share?
Yes! It has been a busy few months. I have 7 original pieces heading to the Affordable Art Fair Melbourne at the Royal Exhibition Building with Van Rensburg Galleries. I’ve also been preparing for The Other Art Fair Sydney at the Cutaway Barangaroo.
What inspired you to become a painter?
I have two major inspirations.
The first is music. Especially lyrics that I can relate to. Most of my works are titled after lyrics of songs that had a profound influence on me. Music can resurface a lot of memories, and if I’m drawn to a specific lyric or tune, I’m transported to a particular time or place. I’ll listen to a song on repeat whilst painting a piece to focus on that specific memory. Be it good or bad. I then try to express those emotions through drawing and painting.
My second inspiration I owe to my seventh-grade school teacher who told me I daydream all day in my own world. That I needed to ‘snap out of it’. I always remembered this and was embarrassed that I came across that way. I was programmed to believe it was a bad thing. From that time, I became aware of being more involved and present.
Although introverts look inwardly to recharge, which can be conceived as anti-social and shy. What most people don’t realize is there is a depth of ideas, thoughts, and feelings circulating within. It’s only in the past few years that I actually started to realize that my ‘daydream’ state is where my creativity is fueled. It’s a place where ideas come to life and it’s not a bad place at all.
What was your job prior to painting?
Many years ago, I used to be a hairdresser in Adelaide. I soon realized not everyone wanted a fun, creative hairstyle and I became bored with the everyday trims and touch-ups. That’s when I made the decision to study graphic design. I completed an Advanced Diploma of Advertising and Graphic Design in Adelaide and really enjoyed the first year of studies which was heavily centered around the basic fundamentals of graphic design. Colour theory, life drawing, sketching and painting. It became normal for me to carry a sketchbook around and look for inspiration in everyday activities and see things in a different way. At the end of the studies, I was awarded the South Australian Arts Excellence Award, which was unexpected! I then went on to work in the advertising industry in account management before switching to the creative side as a designer.
What does an average day look like for you?
Gym, meditation, music, incense, concepting, and painting! I love the freedom of being able to do what I love every single day (and most nights). To create something special for someone that resonates with them. I also love being able to spend every day with my little French Bulldog, Dolly. Even though she’s not much help in the studio and sleeps on the job, she’s still great company.
Much of your work is of the female form, can you tell me about that?
My artwork is inspired by music and lyrics that I relate to and a lot of the musicians I have always been drawn to are female artists. Music can take you back to a particular time or place – So, I guess it’s my memories, emotions and experiences… Self-portraits in some sense. But, because of the musicians I listen to, I think subconsciously the female form flows in all the paintings.
What does the next 5 years look like?
I’ve been painting full-time for the last year, and have been busier than ever, which is amazing. But I feel like I am just getting started. I have a lot of grouped sketches and concepts that I haven’t had the time to explore yet. I’d love to do an immersive solo show with musicians.
What are you listening to right now?
I always tend to go back to my favourite Musicians for inspiration. Björk. Placebo. Cocorosie. Anohni. Lyves.