Creative Conversations: Andy Rementer + Sophia Martineck
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Andy Rementer: How has your summer been?
Sophia Martineck: Good. I went to London. I gave my Young Guns talk there.
Andy: Yes I saw that. How did that go? What did you talk about?
Sophia: It was actually pretty cool. I talked about my work and about story telling.
Andy: I think that would be a really good focal point. That’s such a strong theme running through all of your work so it makes sense.
Sophia: It’s funny because I only recently realized what I do. I keep asking people, what does my work look like? What do you think it’s about?
Andy: Of course. You’re just doing it and it’s pouring out of you. And it’s hard to kind of stop and take a look and make a picture of it all.
Sophia: I was thinking that your work could easily be flipped into 3D because of the flatness. You know you could do little like stage designs. That would look lovely. Or do cut outs.
Andy: Yes. Well I have done some cut outs, but still they’re very flat. I did a show in 2008 of cut out characters and even though they were still very flat it had a three-dimensional quality to it that just gave the work an extra layer of interest. Is animation something that you would like to pursue?
Sophia: I do think about it. I do this little detailed world kind of thing and I always think, ok if I want to animate it then everything has to move and it seems quite mad to. I think I should be more graphic or use a different material or a different technique to animate. I recently started to do more simple kinds of drawings with no background. Animation, but tiny sequences like a comic story. I kind of enjoyed it so I could imagine I’d do that type of animation.
Andy: Well, once you start pulling your characters and isolating them then I could really see them coming alive. Your work is so strong and has so much texture and beauty that I don’t think you would have to do much to animate it.
Sophia: Sometimes I get a little lost and distracted. I think I could do this or that. I could do more portraits and I don’t know. The day doesn’t seem to be long enough.
Andy: Not enough hours of the day to make it all.
Sophia: Sometimes I’d like someone to just to say, Sophia just do this.
Andy: Well, it is always helps to have an outside kind of opinion. Do you work with an agent?
Sophia: No I don’t. People just contact me directly. Which is ok, but sometimes I’ve wished to have someone to tell me yes or no. You can’t do that.
Andy: I know what you mean. Having a deadline can be very liberating in a way.
Sophia: Oh, I love it. I’m deadline addicted. I need that. You could have a week or you could have two hours and get same effect. It’s great but sometimes it’s frustrating because you know when you have a whole week you might waste three days.
Andy: You’ve done a lot of really great editorial work. I love coming across your pieces in the New York Times and so on. Do you like working in the editorial world? Do you feel like that helps your personal work? Is there a balance there?
Sophia: My personal work is mostly comics that I do with friends where we publish this magazine once a year. And that comic style has snuck into my editorial work recently. And I kind of like it because it’s simple little stories. So it’s the personal work that affects my professional work. So how about you? Are you doing well?
Andy: Yes. I’m doing well. I’m currently working on a series of paintings and they have been getting progressively bigger. So for this show coming up I’m working on these pretty huge canvases. It’s a completely different approach and it’s forcing me to just paint and use my arm in a different way than it’s used to. I’m not hunched over at a desk. It forces you to loosen up which is really interesting and I like that process. And in addition to that I’ve continued to develop my own personal sketches and comics. And I’m working on some personal animations now. Also kind of focusing on narrative and storytelling as well.
Sophia: Ok. You are really good at that too.
Andy: Well thanks. I was doing a comic that was more just one strip. A few panels to tell a short story, but now I’m really trying to expand on that and work on some longer stories and develop a character more. That’s really fun, but it’s also a challenge. So I don’t have a writing background so it’s interesting to find my way through and see how things are developing. What about you? With your work story telling is so crucial. Do you have a background in writing?
Sophia: Not at all. I was actually really rubbish at essay writing at school. I never could squeeze out more than the necessary number of words. I was always hopeless. I’m really sort of tongue tied when it comes to writing. So in a way I’m bound to the visual world. I did one self-initiated comic and there were no words. People liked it, which I was really happy about, but then I thought come on. It was interesting because I do like funny dialogues and I do enjoy weird stories that twist all the time, so I think, why is my work so speechless? As a private person I enjoy funny action movies and as the professional artist I do more of the everyday life. And sometimes I think, is this normal? I enjoy what I do, but if I was my reader I would probably read something else.
Andy: Other than your own work?
Sophia: Yes. You know what I mean? I like what I do, because I did it and I knew what I felt and my whole idea behind it. But if I was the reader and I wouldn’t know me, I would probably think, ok?
Andy: I think you would love your work. If you found it on a bookshelf I think you would fall in love with your work.