“It’s funny, I’m usually the one that’s interviewing.”
This is how the multi-faceted Paley Martin started our interview last month. Like most New Yorkers she has a main hustle and a side hustle, but unlike most New Yorkers she's able to explore her art and creativity in both spaces. By day she works in music, often interviewing up and coming artists. Outside office hours, however, she is a visual artist, forever exploring the female form, at a time when women seem to finally be at the center of it all.
Portrayed in all their beauty and boldness. Martin says she drew women from an early age. "I was raised by women and I was always around women," Martin explains. “I never wondered why I was drawing women. It was just what was around me,” she adds.
To her, it seems completely natural that her art would reflect her life. Inspiring her Instagram following seems to be an added bonus in the era of "the future is female."
Originally from outside of Atlanta, with most of her family now living in California, Martin is the perfect combination of southern hospitality and Cali laid back coolness. While Martin drew throughout her childhood, she only recently picked it up again, when a couple of years ago a former roommate stumbled upon her work and encouraged her to reconnect with her art form. “Almost every day I’m trying to draw or paint. Now it’s just a part of my life,” Martin says, “my art made me feel calmer and people seem to connect with it, so it’s overall very rewarding.”
Not surprisingly, Martin’s process is organic. “A lot of the time I just draw something and it’s just a one off… just about that moment. ” She adds that she likes to focus on capturing a subject’s emotions. She quips, “not do it in a way that’s crazy but in a way that’s super subtle.”
“I want to finish something.” Martin's candidly notes when discussing the future of her art. At this moment of the new year, where there's all this pressure to do more and do something new, it's refreshing to meet someone that is looking back.
Martin is currently finishing up a mural. You can check out a time-lapsed video of her process here. She hopes to do more of those in the coming year. Martin however, seems happy with her side hustle/main hustle balance. “I’m really open to seeing where things take me and paying attention to where I’m supposed to be,” but adds, “music is where I’m supposed to be and be for a while.”
Martin’s goals in the upcoming months include building up her body of work and doing a series of self-portraits. “With the self portraits I’m trying to create a stronger, more cohesive body of work” she says.
“I want to strip down my work....not doing it in a way that's crazy...but still keeping it funky.”
We have no doubt the funk will continue.
“Sade is my muse. She captures everything I love about women.” Martin is inspired by women who say “I’m a woman that’s passionate. I know who I am and I have an effortless beauty about me, not only physically but in the way that I just am and exist.”
“My two favorite artists are Basquiat and Matisse...those are the two I’m most inspired by” Martin adds, “Matisse for his paper cutouts, the simplicity of that and Basquiat for making something that’s messy, fine art.”
On being an artist in New York City:
“I have a job, I see my friends. It’s not my full time job.” “ I’m not scavenging the internet for events. I’m not really great at doing that.” She adds, “I see a city that’s so full of opportunities, but because there are so many, it makes it hard to know where to begin.”
Other side hustles:
Martin hosts a weekly radio show called called Sweet Sunday Radio from 4-5. She has a different music theme every week and her DJ name is DJ Peach. Check out her show here!
“I want to just stick it out with something. And get out there a little bit more with my art.” Follow Martin here and message her for inquiries and commissioned work.