Meet The Artist - Marta

For Marta, the artist behind whitecard_art, timeless storytelling and emotive colour form the beating heart of her expressive illustrations. 

As the name suggests, whitecard_art is all about the process of allowing inspiration to unfold and flow onto a blank canvas. For this Polish artist, the blendability and versatile palette offered by alcohol markers mean they’re never far from her fingertips! 

Marta has also recently branched out into working with pencils, so we’ve teamed up to curate a bespoke Meet the Artist  whitecard_art 51pc Bundle, filled with artistic Illustrator Markers, ColourBlend pencils and a specialist marker pad. Begin telling your own story through art! 

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi! My name is Marta, but you may know me as Whitecard_art. I am a Polish artist, who for some time, has been in love with alcohol markers.  When I am not creating art, I work as a lifestyle fashion designer for a big company back in Poland. At work I mostly design digitally, which didn’t make me feel whole and I felt the need to go back to drawing on paper and to create for my own pleasure - not only for work.

At the very beginning I started to paint on a graphic tablet, the reason for that could be that I was afraid to paint traditionally. However, after a while and by coincidence I stumbled upon alcohol markers, and I felt that this is it! This is what I have been missing the whole time! Even if the beginnings weren’t easy, I’ve definitely found my art medium comfort zone now.

What would you say your motivation was for first picking up a pen, and how would you describe your artistic background?

When I was really young I was extremely shy and spent a lot of time on my own watching fairy tales, drawing and designing clothes for my dolls. I think I took an interest in drawing because I can express what I’m feeling and show how I see the world. I’ve always chosen intense, cheerful colours because they’re  the most beautiful for me. During that time – black and grey could disappear. 

My biggest inspirations were Disney fairytales and fashion shows -quite an interesting mix isn’t it?  Later and for a long while, fashion and designers like Valentino, Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen became really important to me. Currently, my bookshelves are filled with fashion books, but with big collections of works from artists like Stanisław Wyspiański or Alfons Mucha. Now I look for inspiration from modern artists, who use markers, like @msshanh, and try to learn how to use the medium in different ways

What or who are your art influences? What art styles or themes interest you the most and how would you describe your style?

I think this is one of the hardest questions! Like every artist who shares their art online, I wonder, what is my art-style? Do I have my own style? I think more often now I can see it. 

At first, I think it was more of a reflection of female portraits - something in between realism and fairytale creatures. Now I would describe my art as semi-realism filled with colours. 

I really love drawing women surrounded by flowers, with fashion accessories and a slight blink in their eye. However, since the Inktober challenge I’ve started to tell a bigger story through a pair of illustrations. This is how I like to think about my art, when someone sees it I want them to feel and see something and be ready to jump into a fairytale world.

Can you tell us about your approach to colour and how you choose your palette?

I think colour, for me, is the most important part of the project. We can express so much from just colours - what do we feel? Are we happy, or are we worried?   I think this is one of the coolest parts of creating. I love being surrounded with colours, my house is a mixture of different styles, textures, and vibrant tones.

When choosing colours for each illustration, I wonder, what do I want to express? What emotions accompany and create the story I want to tell? Should it be an enchanted, magical story? Or maybe it should lift someone's mood up?

Often, before I start to colour the piece, I do a colour test and I check if they all combine and work well together, and if I can somehow combine them to create a new shade? Lately, I’ve tried to be more confident with my work, and I try to match seemingly incompatible colours. Isn't that what art is about? To learn new things and have fun while doing it!

Where does a drawing begin for you? Can you take us through your process from start to finish?

Like my name of my Instagram profile – it all starts with White Card.  But seriously, sometimes it can be a bunch of inspirational photographs, a view from window, or a chapter of a book. My process of creating starts with one thought which I want to show on blank paper.

For my drawings I search reference photographs, they help me to grasp the proportions and accurate anatomy of the character. Later, I do a subtle sketch – very often they are just circles, tringles, or squares, which give me an outline of the drawing. I love using pink pencil for this process- it works beautifully with alcohol markers. 

My next step is creating a stronger sketch, this will be more visible and helps shape what I want to show. During this stage, I already know what colours I want to use in the drawing. Very often, beforehand, I create a colour palette to see how the colours combine together and how I can brighten shading or create gradients. 

When I am creating a portrait of my characters, I usually start from the eyes, later I do a skin tone, adding shadows and layers. Next, I add colour to the rest of the character. Finalising the piece with an outline, I often reach for crayon or fineliner. Currently I am obsessed with  brown and blue colours. Right at the end, I use white paint to add brightness to the eyes or lips. 

What’s your favourite artistic medium? Apart from markers, are there any other materials or tools you use to create your artwork?

Markers, markers and once again markers! They are my favourite and most-loved tool, but this year I set a goal to master drawing technique with pencils. Hopefully, I will manage to achieve equally cool results.

If you could be anything besides an artist, what would you be, and why?

That answer will not shock my friends – I couldn’t be anyone else besides being a fashion designer. I think I was born being a fashion designer. However, if I could become something else I would be a panda’s nanny. I would take care of them, feed, raise and everything would be done while being surrounded with incredible nature. I think that is an ideal profession (of course after fashion designer).

Meet the Artist whitecard_art 51pc Bundle

  • The 24 Illustrator Markers included in the Meet the Artist whitecard_art bundle features bold brights and a range of natural shades to create diverse hair, eye and skin tones, so you can create beautiful portraits and expressive illustrations.
  • The alcohol dye-ink in each marker allows you to mix countless new hues and create tones, tints and shades.
  • Produce a seamless gradation of shade by layering the same colour on top of itself - perfect for subtle changes in colour
  • Illustrator’s dual tip design means you can switch seamlessly between broad brush strokes and detailed, super fine flicks - perfect for creating textured fur effects.
  • Choose from 24 ColourBlend pencils in the Essentials Set which includes a range of classic brights, pastels and natural colours.
  • Each pencil is loaded with a 4mm core of premium wax-based pigment for rich, velvety colour laydown.
  • Blendable and layerable, these pencils can be used for sketching, colouring and adding depth to marker designs.
  • Get started straight away with the Spectrum Noir Premium Marker Pad. Each of the 30 heavyweight sheets is specially designed for use with alcohol markers. 

What you’ll receive: 

  • Spectrum Noir Illustrator Markers: 
      • Sand
      • Cocoa
      • Chestnut
      • Mocha
      • Soft Brown 
      • Muted Brown 
      • Umber 
      • Hazelnut
      • Red Brown
      • Pecan
      • Yellow Ochre
      • Golden Yellow
      • Burnt Orange 
      • Mango
      • Burgundy
      • Sangria
      • Cardinal 
      • Ruby
      • Dark Coral
      • Salmon 
      • Ivory
      • Eggshell
      • Linen 
      • Cream 
  • ColourBlend by Spectrum Noir 24 Pencil Set - Essentials 
  • Spectrum Noir 9x12 Premium Marker Pad

You’ll also receive two Spectrum Noir Pen Trays. These sleek storage devices have been designed to keep your markers visible and accessible as you work, and they will stack up to keep everything organised as your collection grows. 

Discover more Artists from our Spectrum Noir community and their inspirational artwork here.