Looking for some creative artist accounts to follow on Instagram? Don't worry, we've got you covered! This month we chatted to Senior Storyboard Revisionist, Irene Martini, who's based in our Dublin studio.
Irene has been with us in Dublin for the last two years and has an impressive body of work which you can view on her Instagram at @irenemartiniart.
We had a scroll through and picked out some pieces to chat with Irene about!
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I've always been the kid sitting in the corner drawing stories and characters from my imagination. However, it was just after a (disastrous) high school career that I decided to make it my job for life.
I started by studying for a Degree in Fine Arts (Painting) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome and then I became a student in Animation at the Nemo Academy in Florence.
After that, I began working as a freelance storyboarder until a dear friend of mine (Carmine Pucci) called me from Brown Bag saying that there was a position as a Storyboard Revisionist in-house. I instantly sent in my application and now I'm here.
How would you best describe your work?
I always aim to have a very dynamic style. I try to not get lost too much in details and colours but to focus on the storytelling and find interesting shapes. I want them to be interesting and fluid.
A lot of your work concentrates on strong feminine characters with attitude, is this your preferred subject matter?
I grew up with very strong female role models in my life, both from my surroundings and the kind of TV my parents made me watch, so for me women have always been at the centre of the action. Also, being female myself made me feel more empathy towards those subjects.
Your Instagram is full of sketches and observations do you look at these as studies or is it something you do to relax?
When you study something that you like, it can become a source of relaxation and enjoyment. For me, it is such a thin line between the two that I would describe them as both.
What inspires you and your work?
Life and people inspire me a lot. I love people's stories and the human mind.
It's hard to make a list of the artists that inspire me, there are hundreds, so I'll go with the ones on my Instagram feed right now! Chiara Lamieri, Beatrice Blue, Grace Liu and Natalie Hall and so on!
Can you explain the above piece to us?
The first one is a concept artwork for my portfolio I did in 2017, it was the story of a ballet student and I imaged that to be the first time she gets to see the stage from behind the curtains.
And this one?
This one is a piece I did for the studio's “Witches” Art Jam and I've imagined a couple of old friends sharing a tea in their own magical way!
How do you develop your work and skill set and what motivates you to do so?
Life drawing classes, anatomy studies, observational sketches are all things that helped me a lot to master the human anatomy and the gesture lines. I also feel like theoretical studies such as books and watching a ton of movies helps a lot.
Motivation is a strange thing that comes and go, it's not always there, but what I found that helps me the most is being surrounded by people that have a passionate vision of life. Being surrounded by other artists is also important, but what makes me want to “do things” is seeing people making brave choices, talking about what they love and having interests that may be totally different from mine.
How do you approach a personal project and is this very different than your approach to a professional one?
When you work on commission you are emotionally detached from what you are creating, your mind is focused on the client and what is their taste and their goal for certain products.
If you get into a personal project you are the ruler and you can go as wild as you want. It's definitely more fun and challenging.
For someone starting out in their career, what is the one piece of information you would give them that you feel could help them most?
Be consistent in your work, share it on social media and get out there, know people in the same industry, show that you are a hard worker. Don't be friends with people only to get something from them, but think about what you can give instead. Don't be a jerk, don't be fake, genuinely enjoy what you do!
What tools do you use in your work and what is your favourite?
Cintiq, Photoshop and Storyboard Pro and I'm good to take over the world.
Do you have any other creative outlets?
I like to do line cut prints, xylography and painting.
Cooking is also nice… eating and appreciating good cooking is even better.
What are your aspirations for the future?
I want to continue learning, not limiting myself only to my expertise but trying new things. I'd also like to become a screenwriter and create my own shows one day.
Check out more from the fantastic Irene on Instagram @irenemartiniart!