Case Study: VJ Shantell Martin brings music to life with Intuos3

"It's completely spontaneous. Nothing is rehearsed, nothing is practiced. I come down to the club, open Sketchbook Pro, get out my tablet, and wait for the music.”
By: Wacom Asia Pacific
Shantell Martin's live art
Shantell Martin's live art
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Video Jockey
Line Art



July 24, 2008 - PRLog -- Tokyo-based British VJ Shantell Martin, with her Intuos3 Grip Pen in hand, is in hot demand as a VJ in Tokyo 's club scene. An illustrator by training, Shantell's VJing style is to illustrate the music being played, mesmerizing the crowd with the line art drawn in time to the beat. She originates from London where she received a degree in graphic design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Moving to Tokyo in 2004, she began working as an illustrator and soon, the VJing scene found her.

A VJ, or video jockey, is the visual counterpart to a club's DJ, providing clubgoers and the DJ's audience with mesmerizing visual eye candy. They are often prepared video clips that may or may not loop during the performance. What Shantell does is simple, but innovative. As the DJ, band, or singer performs, Shantell draws on her Macbook using Alias Sketchbook Pro. The illustration is projected onto the club's screen or wall, sometimes even the dancers themselves. What makes Shantell's VJing so entertaining for club goers is her style. She is not simply drawing, but reacting to the music, performing live on screen. Her pen dances more than draws. She uses lines jumping up and down, fat strokes and skinny strokes, curves and dots—all on a black screen made possible with her Intuos3 and drawing software.

Then there is her artistic style…rambling, carefree, fantastical, and impermanent. She draws, and is not afraid to erase everything she has drawn as the music changes, shifting themes, shifting subjects, shifting colors. It is an artistic style that is unattached and uninhibited that reflects the club scenes she performs at.

Recently, Shantell has been experimenting with Wacom's wireless tablet, a Graphire Bluetooth (right), modified with a sling so that it will hang on her shoulder like a drum. She is no longer tied to a desk, but moves around on stage performing with bands and singers. Innovation is an artist's bread and butter, and Shantell has certainly found some incredibly innovative uses for her Wacom tablets.

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Wacom Co., Ltd. is a global company whose vision to bring people and technology closer together through natural interface technologies has made it the world's leading manufacturer of pen tablets, interactive pen displays, and digital interface solutions.
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