Martin French is an illustrator, designer and educator. His distinctive style—an interplay of marks, signs, and symbols spanning a diverse media context—has been recognized internationally for its dynamic visual exploration of life and culture. He lives and works in Portland, Oregon where he is an associate professor and Chair of Design Arts at the Pacific Northwest College of Art.
“Where the Spirit is a symbolic narrative that tells the story of a Scarecrow who finds itself outcast to a foreign environment, useless and unneeded, brooding on an obsolete telephone pole. When a spirit-wind invades the scene, it tugs at the Scarecrow’s scarf, inviting the Scarecrow to come explore a reality beyond its marooned uselessness.
But letting go of old ways and old lies is hard to do. The Scarecrow hangs on as long as it can.
In my work I’ve always been inspired by motion. In Where the Spirit, motion is symbolic of a life set free. The Scarecrow’s dance with the wild, spirit-wind is the formation of a new identity. An identity shaped by mystery, and wonder, and risk. An identity formed by truth.
Where the Spirit is an ode to all the secret virtuosos who sit stranded on the world’s garbage heaps or sleep starving in its rubble. The book expresses the longing I hold for my children, my students, my community, and myself: to let go of disposable culture, to say no to disposable life.“
View below some more dynamic illustrations by Martin French.
Martin’s French portoflio can be found here