Hello! My name is Martin Sullivan but I've been called sully for as long as I can remember. I was born and raised in Coatbridge, a small working class town on the outskirts of Glasgow, Scotland. I now live in Sydney, Australia where I’ve resided for nearly 7 years. I graduated from the Edinburgh College of Art with a degree in visual communication.
I would describe my style as abstract geometric. I enjoy injecting life, colour and a fresh look into anything from a simple everyday object, to structures and shapes we see everyday, all through the medium of canvas painting.
I believe art is for everyone and I strive to convey that belief through my work and my approach to selling and advertising. I want my work to be appreciated simply for what it is, that being something pleasant to look at and something that makes people smile. I guess you could say that the story behind my work is that there is no story, I don’t believe there has to be. My inspiration comes from a place in me that is a combination of what I enjoy painting and what I think would be visually appealing.
I aim to evoke emotions of happiness, nostalgia and well being from a visual standing point, emotions that I hold dear to my own heart.
I am a very joyful person who counts himself lucky to be where he is in life, and also humbled and proud of the journey that's brought me there, therefore I want my art to represent me.
My work is bright, colourful, bold, energetic, open to interpretation, not too serious, but above all, its honest.
Hope you love it as much as I do.
Q. Tell us about yourself and how you came to be an artist…
A. Hello! My name is Martin Sullivan but I've been called sully for as long as I can remember. I was born and raised in Coatbridge, a small working class town on the outskirts of Glasgow, Scotland. I now live in Sydney, Australia where I’ve resided for nearly 8 years. I was always a naturally gifted drawer when I was very young and come from a creative family of musicians, photographers and graphic designers so I knew I wanted to be an artist from a very early age. I excelled in art classes at high school level but failed to progress at art college. From then I became disconnected from the art world for several years. After a lot of hard life lessons and obstacles I found my passion for art again and had the confidence to paint what I wanted and to convey the message I wanted to put out there.
Q. Describe your work in three words…
A. Colorful, Fun, Honest
Q. When do you make your best work?
A. When I’ve gotten up early, exercised and feel good about myself and confident in my abilities.
Q. What influences do traditional cultures have on your work?
A. Traditional cultures influence me by keeping me in check morally which in turn keeps me painting from a place of honesty.
Q. Silence or sound while creating? If sound, what?
A. Sound! Something that gets the blood flowing. I have a very eclectic taste in music. One minute I have a trance set on, next minute Im listening to death metal. I’ve also found myself painting to uplifting movie scores too.
Q. Artist whose career you covet?
A. At the moment I am a fan of an artist from Glasgow called Ross Muir. He has overcome a lot and his story is very inspiring.
Q. Is art making therapeutic for you?
A. Yes, very! I’m never more content and joyful than when I’m painting.
Q. What are you most proud of?
A. My brother. He is blind but he has never let that get in the way of living his life and never lets it bring him down. If I could bottle his strength I’d drink it everyday.
Q. What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
A. Painting large canvases in a loft warehouse. Being a full time artist. Helping others who struggle with anxiety and mental health.
Q. If you could travel anywhere to create for a while, where would you go?
A. Probably Santorini, Greece. I went there for a friends wedding and fell in love with the place and the culture.
Q. If you could have a drink with one artist, who would it be?
A. Pablo Picasso. The man stood out from the crowd and embraced his own style. This is what I want to do.
Q. What messages or emotions do you hope to convey to your audience?
A. I want to show people that art is for everyone and that you don’t have to be a wealthy collector or know big words in the dictionary to appreciate art. I also hope to convey joy, nostalgia and contentment through my work.
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