Art For A Cause: Spotlight on Artist Amy Martin

Art For A Cause: Spotlight on Artist Amy Martin

Abby Stone
Jul 23, 2008

Ana's got her eye trained on artist Amy Martin. Like the posters Amy's designed? See the details at the end of the post to purchase them for yourself. Your money goes to a good cause right here in Los Angeles and you get a cool piece of art for your abode. Everybody wins!
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When L.A.-based designer and illustrator Amy Martin heard about 826la, a nonprofit that offers free tutoring and writing instruction to 6- to 18-year-olds in her neighborhood, she was moved to help. Since her hectic work schedule didn't allow her to do regular tutoring, she volunteered to create a poster series to raise money for the Echo Park organization. And she offered to share her inspiration for making literacy posters worth a thousand words...

The concepts behind the posters
"I started the project around Mothers' Day, and 'Pangaea' was the first concept. My mom is an avid gardener -- the house in Michigan where I grew up has an enormous, incredible garden, plus a lily pond and now a greenhouse with about 100 orchids. So 'Pangaea' was a tribute to her."

" 'Place In Space' was inspired by those idyllic, autumnal reading-in-the-park images that appear so often on New Yorker covers, plus homesickness for Ann Arbor, plus a story in 'The Martian Chronicles' about the overnight greening of Mars, plus a Postal Service song that I'm kind of obsessed with. I liked the idea of relaxing in zero-gravity in a hydroponic forest on a perfect Martian fall day, with leaves falling up instead of down."

" 'Ice Age' was inspired by straight-up mid-century poster design ... I'd toyed with showing kids building a mastodon snowman, but sledding is more fun."

"The past and future Japan posters came from a primal desire to see a samurai fight a robot. I wanted to make two posters that worked as a pair, and so the compositions are coordinated so that they're aiming at each other, and the backgrounds line up. And I was also attracted to the idea that the past and future of one specific place would have a relationship in a third time -- the present."

What did you learn over the course of the project?
"It's always been my experience that the most rewarding work is unpaid, and this project was no exception. I don't think you can always count on your day job to provide total creative satisfaction -- and really, it's not your job's job to make you happy. Working on the posters was a GREAT creative experience."

To purchase the posters, click here. All proceeds for the posters ($20 each or $90 for the set) go to benefit 826la.

-- Ana

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