Wilder Friends - Amy Martin

Wilder Friends - Amy Martin

Posted by Charlie Landon on

Introducing Amy Martin - Amy is part of our Wilder team, working within our Wilder store on Broadway Market. She's also a wonderful illustrator, potter and currently working as a SEN co teacher.

Please tell us a little about yourself. Where you were brought ups and where you are living today?

I grew up in a little rural village in Northamptonshire from the age of 9 and had a pretty idyllic childhood, my late mum was an Art teacher and brilliant artist - always drawing and encouraging me to draw, the village was peaceful and my sister and I were encouraged to go on adventures - long walks out into fields, looking back it was a wonderful time. We lived in a lovely little thatched cottage with two cats, next door to a thriving little village pub. My Dad is also creative and we always had really cool music playing in the house - he has shared his music taste with me and I am very grateful as now really love music. I have followed in their creative footsteps, I studied Ceramics for my degree and have worked in design for the past 10-15 years.

Please share your work with us, how did you begin? I love your drawings and pottery. You are definitely inspired by nature.

After my degree I found getting work in Ceramics quite difficult, it was quite a challenging period of time as I think the grief of my mums death really started to hit me, she died from a brain tumour when I was 18, I moved to London and started designing homeware for Woolworths! I always wanted to live in London as it's where all the creative jobs are. I then moved into designing prints for the high street and have been doing that for 10-15 years. I really like working in a team of designers - it's the closest thing to being back at art collage. My mums early encouragement to draw has been a great comfort through out my life so when I have time I get the sketchbook and draw something that I find beautiful - something ordinary and day to day. These days I really appreciate how drawing anchors me in the present moment and enjoy simply being. I also feel a connection with my mum which is really important to me.

How would you ideally love to navigate the next 5 years? What would be your ideal plan?

Having worked in design up to now - I have always had the plan that I would like to be an Art teacher like my mum - design has been great, I've been able to make a living being creative and I always wanted to have experience in industry before becoming an art teacher so I could say to the kids you can work in the arts and this is one path I took. I still have to get my maths gcse! I'm hopeless at maths but that's the thing stopping me from being an Art teacher so I need to study for that. I've been working as a Sen Teaching Assistant these last few months to begin the change in career and I have really loved it - it's incredibly tiring but also lovely in a lot of ways. The students are hilarious at times and it's wonderful watching them learn and grow.

What are the best things about living where you do?

I live down in South East London, London is a great place, so many Art galleries to go to and alot are free! I love going to the V&A, the Barbican is also really interesting. I also love clothes and am really inspired by all the cool outfits one can see in a day here. I love all the different nationalities in London - I haven't actually been abroad for about 3 years! but with all the wonderful people here you can hear French, Spanish, Japanese, Swedish being spoken and it feels abit like you've been on holiday!

Where would your ideal place to live be and why?

 think in the not too distant future (maybe the next 10 years sometime) I'd like to live in the countryside, eventually in England but maybe in another country first. I think growing up where I did I do find myself yearning for peaceful and restoring nature.

What is your favourite herb and why?

I really like lemon balm, my sister moved to Cornwall after university as she was with a boyfriend at the time who was into surfing and nature and she's always been a nature lover. She has lived down there in the beautiful West Penwith area for over 15 years now, anyway for a period of time she was living in this poetic wooden cabin in a bluebell woodland and she read me from our mums herb book about lemon balm and it being the elixir of life so we both have it growing in our gardens and I have it in hot water or last summer I was also infusing my drinking water with it. I absolutely love herbs and there are loads more that I enjoy cooking with, putting in hot water and drinking as tea (lemon verbena for example) but the lemon balm has an emotional connection with my sister.

Do you have a morning routine ? If so can you share this with us?

I read the Artist way many years ago and I still do the artist pages - where you write 3 pages of A4 first thing in the morning before doing anything. I find it incredibly therapeutic. And a good way of listening to myself. If I'm not working I love to go out for a walk, seeing the beauty of nature and connecting with that is such an uplifting way to start the day.  

What one book has been a great inspiration to you and why?

My sister gave me a wonderful book by B.K.S Iyengar Light on Life all about breathing and his yogic philosophy, I love Iyengar yoga - again another connection with my sister, it's a brilliant exercise where your body, mind and soul integrate, I always feel better for going to an Iyengar class - I currently go to the institute in Deptford - all the teachers are brilliant and it's a lovely little old hall.

Please share with us your own wisdom on what whole wellbeing means to you? 

I think since my mums death I have become more spiritual, I might have been anyway but that definitely led me to look into meditation, yoga, time spent in nature. So in order for me to look after my whole self I make sure I spend time in nature ( I go to Hampsted Heath at least once a week) I cycle, I walk, I love Iyengar yoga. I also love dancing - need to do more of it! I like to eat healthily - my sister has been restoring a market garden down in Cornwall and she has kept bees for the last 10 years or so - her honey is amazing! I love reading, I try to read all the classics, I love D.H Lawrence. It's all a balance isn't it looking after wholeness and making sure you do the things that give you that balance. 

Please find Amy @amymartinart


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