Featured Artist Wendy Martin

Artsy Shark presents the portfolio of talented illustrator Wendy Martin. Enjoy her charming work and see more by visiting her website.



What are your goals?

It seems to me that I recreate myself once a decade. I’m coming up to a possible turning point soon, but I think I’ve finally found a style and focus that will hold my interest past the 10-year mark. I’ve been perfecting my Art Nouveau style for the last 7 years. Typically, this genre in art favors elegant and scantily clad women. However, as a children’s illustrator, this is wholly inappropriate, so I’ve been reconciling the style with the subject matter.



I plan to pursue this goal of merging the beauty and grace of Art Nouveau with the playfulness and innocence of children’s art. It’s a worthy and inspiring challenge.

My more concrete goals for the coming year are to finish two picture book dummies, and find a new agent since my previous rep retired at the beginning of 2011. I also want to become more organized in my promotional efforts and clear out the stuff I no longer need from my overburdened file cabinets.



What are you working on now?

I have a number of personal projects in the works. Several picture books, which I also wrote, and a series of collections for licensing.

The picture books include goats, pirates, worldwide travel, snarled hair and a bevy of famous landmarks. The licensing art is traditional Art Nouveau in style with themes ranging from animals to foliage and flora.



I send out a weekly (or so, that organizational thing!) coloring page to my newsletter subscribers. This coloring page is where I started experimenting with Art Nouveau and children’s art. It’s very satisfying to look at the earlier pieces and see how I’ve refined my style over the years.

Outside of art creation, I am also involved in a weekly chat on Twitter for illustrators working with kid lit. Anyone interested can join by using the hash tag #kidlitart on Thursday eves at 9 PM eastern time. I co-host chat with fellow illustrator Bonnie Adamson. This year we began the picture book dummy challenge. It was such a success that we’ve had more than a few requests to do it again next year. I’m @WendyMartinArt on twitter.



What inspires you?

I have to laugh at this question. It might be easier to answer the question with what doesn’t inspire me.

I can get inspired by something as simple as the way my cat is sleeping, or the sound a series of drumbeats makes. I often have to leap out of bed in the wee hours of the morning because my characters have had a conversation in my dreams which wakes me, and I know if I don’t get it down right away, I’ll lose it.



A couple of years ago, I read an article about doing a daily doodle. Since one of my aims was to draw something, anything, every day, I decided to take the challenge myself. I began the “Daily Doodle Challenge” and posted the daily images on my blog. Some of the things that I doodled later went on to become parts of final art. Doodling is a great way to experiment plus wake up the muse. Or in my case, actually focus the muse.



It’s as if my Muse has ADD. Ideas for just about everything flood my head most of the time. It takes a great deal of discipline to stick to one project at a time. Often I work between 2-3 different ones throughout the day. I do get in “the zone” at times. My family has been warned that all conversations or anything I agree to at this time doesn’t count, because I will have no recollection of said subjects.



  1. hi Wendy~
    i so agree with being inspired by everything*!
    lovely, whimsical work)

  2. Calling Wendy Martin’s art ‘charming’ is an understatement. AWESOME is more like it. Thank you for hosting this amazing artist.

  3. Thank you for your comments, Mirka and Kara!

  4. I had to laugh at the mention of the muse with ADD. I have the same problem! Also, I love the idea of a daily doodle. Gotta try that….

    Your art is amazing, btw. I love the innocence of it. Thanks for sharing!

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