Today we’d like to introduce you to Martha Oakes.
Martha, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I became very interested in textiles when I managed domestic clothing production for a San Francisco apparel company. I spent a lot of time in sewing and printing factories working with vendors so I had great exposure to how the whole process works and became really fascinated with it. Then I just took what I learned in apparel and translated it to fabrics for the home.
I actually starting my business with the intention of just making textile patterns, but as time went on I realized my paintings were selling just as well. I really enjoy both parts of the business. The textiles take a lot of trial runs and sampling before you land on the right pattern. It’s definitely rewarding and when you see something you painted on paper transformed into a pillow or wallpaper.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I am an artist and textile designer currently based on Martha’s Vineyard. I have been painting since I was old enough to hold a brush and have always been drawn to creating abstract, yet versatile patterns that translate to other media. Much of my work is a reflection of the landscapes I have lived in and encountered. I enjoy observing small details of nature, whether it be a shell I found on the beach on Martha’s Vineyard where my parents live, or a eucalyptus leaf on a trail outside my house in the Marin Headlands.
I love the hands on craft and process of running my own business; from the first stroke of the brush, to printing the fabric in factories, to collaborating with interior designers on custom prints and commissioned paintings, to the final step of packing up an order for a customer. I am inspired to make items that will be shared with a community that values creating interiors that tell a story.
How can artists connect with other artists?
I would definitely agree with that comment. I have found that the best way to stay connected and energized is to participate in local craft fairs. Renegade Craft fair has been an awesome experience for me and has served as a great source of community. I would encourage other artists and makers to do as many craft fairs and pop-ups as much as possible. In my experience, I have found that every event leads to another, and every many acquaintances have led to friendships.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
All of my artwork and textiles are available to view and purchase on my website. I also have an Events Page on my website that lists all the shows, craft fairs and pop-ups that I will be doing in the near future. Lastly, I also have a Stockists Page on my website that lists retail spaces that carry my work.
- Website: www.marthaoakesdesigns.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marthaoakesdesigns/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarthaOakesDesigns/
All painting photos are just scans from Martha. The black and white photo is done by August Kerschner and the bedroom photo is done by Jen Kay.