During quarantine, a lot of professionals were left without a job or something to do. Many of them decided to use their skills and talent in something else so that they wouldn’t lose their touch. But what if you run out of supplies and can’t go to a shop for more?
Creative director Marta Grossi is an Italian artist who lives in Milan and got her work published by famous companies likes Vogue, Disney, and many others. She decided she would use those hard-acquired drawing skills on an unusual canvas—her sink.
Stuck in Italy and unable to see her family, she wanted to keep herself busy and sane during these hard times of self-isolation. Which is why she started a creative project.
Image credits: martabunny
We asked Marta what inspired this series: “The inspiration came from my quarantine and forced lockdown. I finished all my papers and support for drawings – because I got stuck alone in Milan – where I came temporarily for some working projects. I only had luggage with some clothes and a set of pocket watercolors with me. I can ironically say that my new art project ‘Wash your hands and keep creative’ was commissioned by Covid_1. I am sure I would never have created this project in other circumstances!”
Marta painted flowers, waves, animals, and many other things on the porcelain surface, which was perfect for a reusable canvas. Colorful and happy images paired with practicing her skills made for a good way to spend those long days in quarantine. The beautiful images gave her hope and helped her find beauty in unexpected places. She tells us about her favorite part of the project: “Waking up in the morning and finding a new story in the bathroom. Everyday. Definitely the messages by people – waiting for the new sink – and telling me that my art was helping them to keep positive during the pandemic. I realized that creativity was helping me, but especially the people around me.”
“I am a very instinctive person, especially in the creative field, many of the first subjects were related to the world of nature. Unconsciously I felt the need to see everything that my eyes could not see outside. I imagined spring coming out of that sink, cherry blossoms, the sea, wisteria, corals. But also Asian references – such as the panda, or the blue china – graffiti and more abstract patterns. Later I intentionally designed some of the subjects, reflecting on the ergonomic shape of the sink. The common thread is human emotions, related to the world of nature-botany, music, and daily inspirations,” – said Marta when asked how she chose what do draw every day.
Marta shares with us why did she choose to use the sink as a canvas and not any other part of her home: “I realized how many times I heard the phrase “Wash your hands”, how I began to detest the sink because it had become a mechanical action and underlined the fear and anxiety rapidly growing everywhere.
The sink quickly became my temporary canvas. Unexpected and very complicated, definitely one of the most changeable supports I’ve ever painted on. Once again I realized that we can look at the same things with different eyes.
The water element that dissolves the work in the sink is substantial. Not only does it transform the image and give it a unique context, but it simply makes it temporary and ephemeral. The temporary nature of something leads us to appreciate its content more. To enjoy every single moment, to fully live the present.”
We asked the artist why she chose to become a painter and do art: “I think I’ve always had this creative energy inside me. Since I was a little girl I was drawing, painting, and observing colors and palette. My curiosity led me to explore this side of me, to study and train and learn different techniques. In the years I found a way to merge my work as creative director and artist. Because I need balance and structure to direct some crazy ideas.
More than a talent I consider this ability an incredible power. The simple fact we are here talking is because something I created and painted, caused a reaction.
My work is a continuous exploration of humans, emotions, and nature. The inspiration between little things, to celebrate creativity and beauty in daily life. A signal on the street, a song, a peeling wall, soy-sauce stains on a table. Everything.”
“I would love to find a way to physically exhibit ‘Wash your hands and keep creative’ project somewhere. I know the sinks no longer exist, but the pictures and the memories will be here forever. This is not just my story, this is the story of all. I just found a creative way to make it visible.
At the moment I am going with the flow post-Covid, like many creative my work was affected by the pandemic and many projects and events were canceled. I am positive and believe that this time, will create new opportunities and ways of living. I am working on some new projects, to stay update check my digital portfolio and my Instagram.”
Martha shares what keeps her motivated to create art: “I go out for a walk, I cycle, I stay in nature, listen to music and observe the world around me. If we look through – everything can be an inspiration.”
The artist tells us how quarantine affected her and her lifestyle: “I have a positive mindset and I try to focus on the good, taking this as a lesson and learn something from it. Sometimes the biggest lessons come through pain. And we must accept it to go on. It was not easy to be totally isolated and alone, for almost 3 months and it was an important experience of resiliency for me.
Mother Nature is growing while we stop, our air is cleaning and we need to remember it is all connected. Every little action is a dot linked to someone or something else. We can’t think individually but as part of a team.
I am convinced this crisis can be a transformation and an opportunity, for the ones that will keep an open mind and open heart.”
“To find beauty in unexpected places is a daily exercise, a mindset. A choice. I wish all of your readers to stay safe, look around, be curious, and never stop creating.”What do you think of these paintings? Maybe you can try and use your sink as a canvas and see what you come up with? After all, if you don’t like it, you can just wash it away.