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Craft With Conscience: Raquel Martín

Craft With Conscience

'Craft With Conscience' began in early 2016 as a weekly Instagram series dedicated to sharing the work of other creatives and as a platform to openly discuss certain aspects of ethical art-making and consuming in the age of the internet and social media.  

This series arose out of my own frustrations related to seeing my work constantly copied stitch-for-stitch, sold without permission, and credited to other people.  Rather than wallowing in unproductive negative emotions, I wanted to find a way to bring this common issue to light in a positive way.  My solution was to share the work of artists, crafters, designers, and makers who I greatly admire for their originality and dedication. Initially, I shared work similar in materials or subject matter to my own, having heard the argument, "There are only so many ways to stitch plants, I'm not copying you..." one too many times.  The truth is, no matter what the medium or subject, every artist from hobby crafter to professional painter has their own perspective and voice. It takes effort to develop one's visual vocabulary and it can be disheartening when your's is taken and misused by other individuals and sometimes larger companies.

All that being said, now is an incredible time for working artists because of the vast resources of the internet including sources of inspiration, the ability to reach a large and global audience, and as a community building tool. As you may know, I love sharing my work on Instagram and following other makers. It's a wonderful way to connect with other artists, be inspired, and feel supported, but we all need to be aware of how we use these resources and what effect it may have on others.

Since the start of 2016, 'Craft With Conscience' has grown and evolved just like any other creative pursuit and has recently expanded to include short interviews with featured artists. I've asked participating artists a series of questions about their studio process, sources of inspiration, and how image-sharing sites like Instagram and Pinterest influence and affect them. I hope you read on to see what they have to say!

Craft With Conscience: Raquel Martín

Sarah Benning

Raquel Martín // Illustrator // Menorca Spain

Raquel Martín is a freelance illustrator and artist from Barcelona, currently based in the beautiful and tiny island of Menorca. Often drawing from imagined scenes and landscapes, her work somehow creates a narrative through a uniquely minimalistic style that isn’t only beautiful, but also really fun.

Her work has appeared several different publications and magazines and she also makes illustrations for her own shop catalogue. You can check out more of her work at her website or her instagram.

(I also want to say a special thank you to Raquel for participating in English, which I believe, is actually at least her 4th language!)

 1. I began my #CraftWithConscience series as a way to simultaneously promote the work of other makers and to discuss the complicated issues surrounding creative inspiration and developing ones’ own visual vocabulary. The internet is an ever growing fixture in many artist’s lives and businesses, could you talk about the role the internet plays in your artistic and professional life?

I think the internet is an undeniable tool for artists, full of visual inspiration (paintings, photos, color combinations...) However, I really think that all this information should be used to help us supplement what already comes from within, the most important and unique aspect of your work. It is the only way to keep your own identity. 

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2. Where do you find inspiration for your work?  In what ways has the internet and/or social media impacted your design process?

 I think inspiration comes from everywhere. I sometimes find inspiration from real life (I live in such a beautiful place!) but other times from magazines, photos....Even the work of other artists that I admire has inspired me in order to try different painting mediums or techniques. 

3. Do you have any advice for aspiring artists or creative business people?

I suppose that some good advice would be to not to be afraid of taking the necessary time to find your own identity in your work. Searching yourself for what makes your work unique, I really think is the only way to get your work to be an honest reflection of yourself as an artist. I am still working on it... 

4. Do you have any favourite blogs, artists, or Instagram accounts that you’d like to share?

I love the work of artists and illustrators like Carson Ellis, Carla Fuentes, Laura López Balza, Kate Pugsley, Miren Asian Lora, Lindsay Stripling, Laia Arqueros and many others....

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All images provided by artist.