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Meet the Artist: Shantell Martin

Meet Shantell Martin, an artist from London who started her career in Tokyo that has been taking over New York since 2009.

We’re honored to have had her imagination imprinted on our walls at Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge – her style of working is effortless and free-form. Read more to find out more about Shantell and to learn about her piece at BKBQB.

BLOG Shantell Martin Mural

Why Japan?
I was just finishing up art school at Central St. Martin’s – and just like any other artist finishing up art school there was the overhanging question of what I was going to do now. I was always curious about Japanese art, culture, and food. So I moved to Tokyo, where I lived for five years. It took me a couple to be able to speak the language.

Was your drawing style always as it is now?
Art school was a little bit of everything; it was experimental. I was a little bit angry. I wasn’t as free and happy as I am now.

A close-up shot of Shantell's mural at BKBQB.
A close-up shot of Shantell’s mural at BKBQB.

Why New York?
I knew I wasn’t going to live in Japan forever. I had visited New York on holiday in 2008, and like most people who visit New York on holiday you fall in love with it.

It’s so different from Japan. Everything there is so clean, organized, trains run on time and people are seemingly polite. New York is in many ways a big mess, things shouldn’t work but somehow they do and its fun to be a part of that.

shantell drawing bkbqb

I don’t know how much longer I’ll stay for, but I’m working on building a strong foundation here.

What’s your dream canvas?
As my work has been growing in scale, I’d love to do a fleet of Helicopters, or something very large and public like that.


Are there common themes to your work?
It always makes me smile. It’s very positive.

To learn more about Shantell’s work, follow her on Instagram here.

Come visit BKBQB during one of our last Hard Hat Tours while you can and preview Shantell’s piece. We promise it’ll make you smile, too.  Keep an ear out for our Grand Opening date announcement..coming soon.

In the meantime, lots of artists will be contributing to our walls. Stay tuned for more, and don’t miss our BKBQB Membership Presale!