Observatory teamed up with Shantell Martin for an exciting collaboration for NFT art. We interviewed Shantell Martin to know more about the collaboration and her work.

Observatory – Tell us about your collaboration with Ben?

Shantell – It was a space to rekindle with Ben, where I work with Ben’s 3D work and then add my drawings on the top. I drew on Ben’s site, which was jargon and fragmented letters. I loved these, so I drew on these pieces. First, I went through Ben’s work and felt drawn to these two types of work. I figured there was something there to collaborate on. Ben sent me unfolded single gems to draw on. I went down this path to wrap the gems, animated, but self sustaining -the gems are my drawing. Ben had come up with the idea and asked,  “what about doing this physically with 2D prints on the work?”. It involved choosing some series of the jargon.

Ben’s style is very tech, graphic, very precise, rendered in a way of approach, got me responding to that with drawing in a spontaneous, intuitive response. The result of that was the 2 visual identities coming together to create a very unique collaboration.

Now that we have these prints and the original mixed media work, we can even expand further, by bringing them back into the computer and work on them digitally.

Going from digital to physical creates really nice cycles. 

The great thing about this collaboration is that we really enjoy each other’s approach. But sometimes the best collaborations are when you don’t know what you’re doing it for!

When you work in this capacity, there’s not always a perfect place, but then suddenly it will pop up. You just start with the ‘create and collaborate’ with good intention, and then it allows that place to come to you.  

Observatory – Any future collaboration ideas?
Shantell – Do a series of mixed media prints and drawings and produce a show in London or NY. Where the drawings potentially come back into the computer for digital work and then NFT connected to the physical piece. NFT has really blown up in the last few months but it has been around for a long time. Multiple platforms give artists the opportunity to sell digital work but it’s recorded on the block chain. There are lots of crypto currencies with payment methods that people are using now and loads of projects coming up lately.

There are lots of options, it might be nice to do something stateside or vice versa. 

Also an exploration of AR or VR with something like this. There are lots of potential routes and opportunities. The hardest part is how to celebrate it and bring it all together- “What it is and why it is.”

Shantell Martin, Photo by Anton and Irene



Observatory Creative Ltd.
design district,  Building A2,
London, se10 0BJ