You’ve probably seen Martin Artman‘s drawings. The artist regularly produces works in the sand on the South Bank by Festival Pier, the National Theatre and the Oxo Tower.
Plus, the artwork is pretty easy to recognise. While Martin’s previously drawn portraits of Boris Johnson and The Queen, he has a very famous regular muse: Homer Simpson.
We talked to Martin about why he loves drawing Homer so much, why Marge is the most difficult Simpson to draw and how he got into sand art.
Why ‘The Simpsons’?
‘I like drawing the Simpsons as my artwork brings a lot of pleasure to people walking along the South Bank – with comments like “that’s amazing”, “awesome”, “cool”, “sick”. The Simpsons are universal and my artwork amuses and connects with people of all nationalities and ages.’
Which is your favourite character?
‘It has to be Homer! People can relate to him and just seeing his face makes people smile. He also has so many memorable quotations attributed to him!’
Which character is the most difficult to draw?
‘Homer is the quickest character to draw and dig around because of his simple egg-shaped head. Bart takes longer to create due to his nine spikes of hair. Marge takes the longest because of her enormous beehive hair – which can take up a significant length of the beach! I like to create Marge on Mother’s Day for mothers everywhere.’
How did you get into sand drawing?
‘My first attempt was a ‘sand giant’ while on holiday in Devon with my sons. Then we discovered the sandy beaches of the South Bank and for the first six months we just created sand giants. Looking back I can see that those sand giants also looked a little like Homer Simpson. In time my interest morphed into creating Homer and his family.’
How long do the drawings take to do?
‘I first produce a drawing with a stick and then dig around the outline using a garden spade, which improves the contrast for photos. Drawing is the creative part, which can take less than ten minutes, whereas the digging provides a physical workout of an hour or more.’