In conversation with
Martine grew up in Norway and has been based in London for the past 4 years. She has established a creative collective called 'We Call Her Brenda' which provides a platform for artists showcasing their work.
Interviewed by Fleur Adderley
The We Call Her Brenda website is currently showcasing some of Martine's own works. I was struck by her impressive attention to detail and ability to cultivate such a strong graphic and photographic style. I ask Martine who influenced the beginnings of her creative path and she tells me "my family sparked the creativity in me from an early age". She mentions her mother's sewing and craft; her sister's paintings and drawings; and her father's painting and love of music. Having such a creative foundation and support network, Martine mentions that "I'm always setting myself high expectations. Sometimes you need to hear someone else telling you to keep doing what you're doing". She notes her contemporaries have also had a huge influence on her creative progress, "my friends and family have always been supportive and cherishing projects and work I've pursued. The feedback and gratitude have been a great motivation for my path."
I questioned Martine about how she approaches her creative process and she responds, "I love a challenge." She enjoys incorporating a range of different elements together, such as photography, graphics, and music. Her refined eye is mirrored by her love of creative organisation; "I always make sure to do my research and finding good references before a shoot". She claims that a fine balance needs to be struck between planning and free-styling, as some of her best ideas come from "being in the moment while on set."
We Call Her Brenda aims to become a place for many creatives to showcase their work. She tells me that her favourite thing about collaboration is gaining a "mutual understanding and interest to create something unique by utilising all skills". Bringing different creative abilities into one work is exciting and insightful. She mentions she is currently working on a project with her musician friend, yet the "outcome wouldn't be the same without his experience in music."
She states there are plenty of challenges she has overcome in the creative industry. "I have learnt not to underestimate myself based on critical opinion. There's a great difference in constructive feedback and subjective opinions... and not taking shit from others!"
Moving onto her photography, I ask her about her approach to shooting, which she says always changes. "If I come across a location I like the look of, that will be my starting point. While other times I choose who or what I'd like to shoot and what mood I want to express."
Her most recent shoot, shown here, originated from her desire to shoot "normally crowded places in London that are now deserted given the current context." She wanted the styling of the model to echo the stripped back and simple nature of our current surroundings. "Nudity has always fascinated me as well, it can be so powerful yet vulnerable if it is conveyed in the right way."
Martine is currently working as a full-time Graphic Designer in London. She notes it is "important that work doesn't become too repetitive or static, I still have a lot to learn." Looking further into the future, she would like to start something for herself like a collaborative agency or brand. "As for now, I just want to enjoy the rollercoaster and see where it gets me."
My final question for Martine was to give any advice she had at this time of such uncertainty, to which she responded, "keep your brain stimulated." She goes on to explain that you should be "actively working on improving your creative process." To do this we must "look for inspiration elsewhere, stay curious and connect with strangers, pile up references and get into your 'flow' zone."
Keep your eye on Well Call Her Brenda, I have a feeling Martine is one to watch.
"I'm always setting myself high expectations. Sometimes you need to hear someone else telling you to keep doing what you're doing".
"I have learnt not to underestimate myself based on critical opinion. There's a great difference in constructive feedback and subjective opinions... and not taking shit from others!"
"look for inspiration elsewhere, stay curious and connect with strangers, pile up references and get into your 'flow' zone."