Today we’re joined by Marthe Ney. Marthe is a phenomenal and incredibly versatile artist who works in a variety of media. She’s from England and currently attending university where she’s studying Costume with Textiles and it sounds fascinating. She does a number of character-based textile drawing, character designs, costume and clothing illustrations, constructs costumes, and creates character-based textiles art. As if that’s not impressive enough, Marthe also does fanart and character art on her blog. Her work demonstrates an imaginative individual who enjoys her work. It’s clear that she has a genuine passion for art and I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of her work in the future. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I work in quite a variety of ways and media. The more casual work I do, for myself or for my Tumblr blog tends to be character-based fanart, usually pretty rough sketches using pencil, occasionally adding colour and detail with watercolour ink and fine liner. I am also beginning to experiment with digital drawing and colouring.
I use an even wider range of media in the work I do for my degree- Costume with Textiles- for my illustration module I use largely the same media as for my personal work, mixed in with collage, markers, pastels and sculpture. The other work that I do tends to be fabric based, I am specialising in embroidery so I do drawings to inspire this using loads of mark making techniques and different media, based on the research and inspiration for the characters I’m designing for. When I am creating textiles samples I use different techniques of stitching, cutting, folding and embellishing (depending what we’re covering in workshops) on different combinations of fabrics to create samples based on my drawings and characters.
What inspires you?
Usually stories and characters. Although I’ve been drawing for a long time, I really began to hone my skills and learn to draw properly through fanart, and drawing my favourite characters is how I’ve gotten all of my practice. Ironically enough a lot of my art is based on fandom ships, usually because the emotions of characters are what inspires me about them. The work for my degree (and hopefully my career one day) is based on characters as well, the script, the subtext, everything I can find out or theorise about the characters and then visual research that comes from that. Though I usually try work in some of my personal interests into it to give my own personal spin.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I have for a very long time actually, I think originally I wanted to be vet, then a journalist, and I settled on fashion design when I was about 10. I went to stay with my auntie for a while and didn’t bring any toys so I made myself a paper doll, and I kept working on it and adding to it for years, I stopped working on it a few years ago, it must have over 200 outfits and 15 different hairstyles. I did a GCSE in textiles, then an extended diploma in fashion and clothing and an AS Level in theatre studies, while I was at college I decided that the fashion industry just wasn’t for me, and that I wanted to go into costume instead. The drawing and fanart kind of came along side it as I started to experiment with art that wasn’t clothing based.
Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?
Not really, I have my own style of illustration and drawing, which I guess has certain features and attributes but there isn’t anything that I consciously add and include.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Well, I still kind of am a young aspiring artist, but I’d say to work with references, find artist styles that appeal to you, and look to places like Tumblr or Pinterest for guides and tutorials, and keep practicing.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as completely aromantic and asexual, though I would like some form of relationship I guess? I’m not romance or sex repulsed, just a bit confused and weird about the whole thing. I have a preference for girls though so if I did have a relationship it would be with a girl.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
No, not in my field. I’m out on the Internet, but there are only a few references to it on my art blog, and not many people in real life know. Not that I try and hide it, it just doesn’t seem to come up. Since a few people I’ve told haven’t reacted all that well, I don’t always like bringing it up if no one asks. Not that I’ve really faced prejudice, just some ignorant comments that could be kind of hurtful.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
I’ve had pretty much everything on the ace bingo card. Pity, confusion, hurtful misconceptions about my ability to feel love. A bizarrely threatening insistence from a classmate that she was “going to come to your wedding when you get over this and tell your husband what you said and see how he likes it” which I didn’t really appreciate. But yeah, I’d say that the whole “unable to feel love” thing is the most common thing I’ve heard.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
This is a tricky one, because I do still struggle with my orientation myself. One thing I do that really helps me is things like this interview and this blog, things that raise awareness and promote positivity. Because helping other people who may be struggling with their orientation or may not be aware of asexuality even though it applies to them always really helps me when I’m struggling in a kind of “fake it till you make it” way.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I have a personal blog at http://marthe-with-an-e.tumblr.com that is a bit of a random collection, but has quite a bit on asexuality, aromanticism and my experiences and awareness. But to find out more about my work and see more of my art see my art blog at http://teafortheheart.tumblr.com I’ll try and put up some more examples of my degree work to show some more examples of different media.
Thank you so much for featuring me and thank you for reading.
Thank you, Marthe, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.