Danish artist Martin Madsen, celebrates organic shape, minimalism and design. His creativity is focused on the present moment, and revealed in his work via a digital medium.
Read on to find out more.
“We exist only in the present moment. Since I am not the person I was 5 minutes ago, any artwork from the past has no personal relation to who I am now.”
Where do you call home?
My wife and I are fortunate to live in a small Danish beach town called Hvide Sande (“white sands”). With the North Sea to the west and a fjord to the east, we’re literally surrounded by water. Our area is a source of continual inspiration to me. On our daily walks, I like to take photos of interesting textures that can be used in my art, such as the aged hulls of ships brought up on land for repairs or the big rocky piers that frame our harbor.
Please describe your work in 7 words or less.
Always changing. Hopefully evolving.
What is your favorite creative weapon of choice?
Asking my wife’s opinion!
What is the best advice you’ve been given as an artist?
Have fun. If you’re not enjoying yourself you’re not doing it right.
What are some of the successes you’re most proud of in your artistic journey?
I am grateful for having paintings accepted into “KP09 — The Artists’ Easter Exhibition” and “KS10 — The Artists’ Summer Exhibition.” These juried exhibitions are considered prestigious here in Denmark.
Every piece I have ever sold — whether it was in person, through a gallery, over email, or through Redbubble — are my successes, too.
Do you have a creative routine?
First, I put on headphones. Then I select something from my iTunes collection… music by Bach, Gontiti, John Barry, Goblin, Tangerine Dream or Yoko Kanno. Next, I launch Affinity Photo and start having fun.
What is the most creative way you’ve ever made a dollar?
The most imaginative way I have ever made money is by selling my art through Redbubble. And I’m not just saying that to be polite. For an introvert like me, Redbubble is the ideal setup: I can work at my own pace, create whatever I feel like — and then, let someone else handle all the practical stuff. It’s just perfect!
How has your style and aesthetic changed over the years?
During my childhood, I had always been drawing fantasy landscapes and characters. When I got my first job as a copywriter trainee in 1991, I ended up taking a minor artistic detour within the advertising business. This lasted for about 13 years, in which the last 9 were spent as a freelance copywriter and illustrator. I made Dave McKean wannabe collages using magazine clippings, pens, and gouache. My visual aesthetic at that time was definitely of the grim variety — with distorted faces and eerie moods (I did several covers for crime novels). It wasn’t until 2004 that I decided to leave the field of advertising and devote myself full-time to painting. By then, my personal tastes had shifted. My style became more abstract. I tried different things, but it was my fondness for little white dots that I kept coming back to again and again. In 2012, I started playing around with digital art. Many of my paintings — digital and canvas — are rather black which is not necessarily an expression of an inner darkness but rather a result of the fact that I like high contrast and still haven’t quite figured out what to do with colors.
What is your most personal piece of artwork? Why?
Whatever piece I am currently working on. We exist only in the present moment. Since I am not the person I was 5 minutes ago, any artwork from the past has no personal relation to who I am now.
What elements are in your creative workspace?
I prefer my space uncluttered. All you will find is a height-adjustable desk (sometimes I like to work standing) and an Apple iMac computer. We have a view of the harbor and get a lot of natural light coming in from the windows. Sometimes, a pen and some sheets of paper are on my desk. I use them to draw lines and doodles that can be photographed and used in my work.
Please share something with us that others may not know about you.
I have been a vegan since 1999. I’m exceedingly fond of watching videos of pandas (they’re excruciatingly cute)! When I was a kid, I wanted to be an illusionist, then a marine biologist, then a stuntman. I’m allergic to macadamia nuts. My all-time favorite work of art is Michelangelo’s “Pietà” sculpture.
Check out more of Martin Madsen’s art by visiting his shop on Redbubble.