black white coloring sheet of Shantell Martin's drawing

At Home: Make Your Own Mark With Shantell Martin

black white coloring sheet of Shantell Martin's drawing

Shantell Martin © 2019.

Shantell Martin is a multimedia installation artist. Her exhibition at the Denver Art Museum, Shantell Martin: Words and Lines features Martin’s signature black and white drawings that explore intersectionality, identity, and play. Download a coloring page she created to get started and use this lesson spark to continue your exploration.

Basically, put the pen down, and then just go with it. The pen knows where it is going, and I’ve gotten very good at following it...I sit down and almost meditate and draw. I might be inspired by some facts or key words, or some thoughts. That might inspire, or almost be like the springboard, for when I do sit down and start drawing, but it doesn’t lead it. And that’s because, I want it to be what it wants to be. I want to allow it versus force it.

—Shantell Martin

Guiding Questions

  • How could you invite children to put a pen to paper and just start following it? How could starting with one word, like “you” or “well,” spark their creative action?
  • What different materials (paper, fabric, sidewalk, paper bags, recycled materials) could act as the canvas for drawing? Shantell’s words and lines can be found on walls, windows, sneakers, and clothing.
  • How could you limit the colors of writing tools to pose a creative challenge to children? Shantell’s exhibition at the DAM include black and white only.

Related Creative Activities

Kid posing next to Samurai suit of armor
Lesson Spark

Suit Up!

Using the samurai's suit of armor as an example, think about whether there is an order or a ritual to when you get dressed. Which items are important? Are there certain things you wear that have a purpose?