User Preferences: Tech Q&A With Shantell Martin
Photo by: Nina Chmielewski
Each week we chat about the tools of the trade with one outstanding creative to find out exactly how they do what they do. The questions are always the same, the answers, not so much. This week: Shantell Martin.
The Creators Project: Who are you and what do you do?
Shantell Martin: I’m Shantell Martin from Thamesmead in London. I grew up in Thamesmead in southeast London, which for many reasons led me to find my path of being a person [who] is creative, aware and always questioning.
For a living: I draw. I draw on walls, cars, people, paper, and bottles—whatever I have close at hand. I also draw digitally with the aid of a tablet and draw with light live onto musicians, dancers, DJs etc.
For fun: Same as above :)
What hardware do you use?
Really low-key set when performing or working digitally—Macbook or iPad, connected to a nice projector, preferably HD. That’s pretty much it. If there is a mixer at hand, like a V4 or a Pioneer Electronics SVM-1000, I’ll use one of those, but I don’t own either.
What software do you use?
Rhonda, SketchBook Pro, GrandVJ, Thicket, Sonic Wire Sculpture.
Hidden Oras, a live drawing project
If money were no object, how would you change your current setup?
Well, starting slowly I’d first get a Hippotizer set up at each of my shows with someone on hand to help run it. Basically, then I would be able to manipulate my drawing in real-time and have multiple output, and a bunch of other fun stuff.
What fantasy piece of technology would you like to see invented?
Firstly, it’s not fantasy but a simple, reasonably priced, two-channel video mixer—something that should exist in the world but to my knowledge doesn’t.
I’m sure I have thought about this before and come up with a few great ideas, but right now the idea at the top of my head is projectable outfits. Like putting on a white suit that can be like wearing a TV screen—you become the visuals. Imagine a whole room of people wearing these suits at a club—intense visual overload.
Is there any piece of technology that inspired you to take the path you did?
Kind of. I was doing what I do now (outputting my digital drawings through a projector), but in a more analogue way. Simple drawing with pens on paper under camcorders and digital presenters, which led me to using computers and tablets.
What’s your favorite relic piece of technology from your childhood?
Still have very fond memories of my Atari 7800. I was completely obsessed with the games Centipede and Asteroids.