Interview with Martyn White and drawing case study

Morning everyone. Hope you’ve had a nice weekend. We are back to school after the last week’s half term break. It’s always such a rush the first day of school, don’t you just find it so stressful? I was literally like a Christmas tree this morning decorated with P.E. kit, swimming bag and school bag plus my bag and everything else I had to carry to the school gate! Anyway, today I’m sharing a super great interview I had with Martyn White. Martyn is a very talented designer, illustrator and photographer with a good sense of colour and style. So let’s jump straight into it and take notes!



Martyn White artwork

1.     Where has your passion for design stemmed from?

I come from quite a creative family so I have always been free to experiment and follow my hearts desire with design. As a child I had an extreme fascination with lighting, this has only grown and developed throughout the years. I feel that it is an incredibly important part of interior design that so many people ignore.

2.     Is there a particular style that defines your work?

Covering quite a lot of areas, I would say that Britishness would be my particular style. I love British history, brands and designers, so I feel that that they have had a huge impact on the way I design. Development wise, I will always draw by hand, whether it be designing an interior or creating a piece of artwork. I feel that so much work is created on computers that they loose their personality, even my digital prints start out life as hand drawings.

3.     What are the most important factors to a successful design project?

That is an incredibly hard question to answer! Personally, I would say the quality of the work that is representing yourself / brand. The most impressive designs have the finest of details. It may take longer to complete but you know that once you have finished, it has been finished to the highest of standards. This is exactly the same from an artists perspective. I have been drawing an A2 canvas for six months currently, until every detail has been completed, I will not class it as completed.

4.     What stage of the design process do you enjoy the most?

I love the development, the collection of ideas and then placing them out to make sure I have the best possible combinations. It is the story behind the finished product which adds the character and shapes the ultimate design. I am a messy perfectionist so I will not put something down until I know that it is perfect!

5.     When did you start blogging?

I started blogging in general approximately five years ago, writing about anything and everything. It has only been the last seven months that I decided to use what I had learnt and apply it to something that I have so much passion for. I created my own website, did my own research and then started to write about the brands that have inspired me over the years.

6.     How has your blog changed since then?

I am shocked as to how much has changed in such a short space of time! I started to receive feedback from my articles, companies started to contact me, introducing me to their products and asking if I would be able to feature them. I was learning and being introduced to brands that have been so inspiring that they have changed my opinions and evolved my knowledge and perceptions of design. It has been a fantastic whirlwind!

7.     What are your plans for your blog?

I want to be able to evolve my blog into a tool for my readers, a great way of introducing people to new and exciting luxury brands. I also want to use it as a way of developing relationships with these exciting brands to understand more about them, their products and ways of designing.

8.     What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the design world and blogging?

It is a tough and difficult road, both in design and blogging but, if you have the passion and determination, you will get there. Always be open to learning and taking on feedback. I have been rejected more times that I would like to admit but they have helped me develop and I wouldn’t ask for it to be any other way.

Thank you Martyn, some really great answers which we all can learn from. I want to show you one of Martyn’s concept presentations as a case study to what is actually going on behind the scenes when designing for a client project using hand drawn presentation boards. I have moved away from hand drawing purely because of the lack of time.

I know it’s not a great excuse but when I do my designs it is so much faster and cheaper (dare I say) to just do the design on the computer but as Martyn pointed out in the interview hand drawings are so much more personal and unique.

Take a look this example of Ted Baker department in Selfridges. The first drawing is done purely by hand. He then added more details and colour in digitally. The final image is the moodboard so you can see exactly what materials and products will be used to make this project a reality!



I love the idea of mixing traditional elements (like the damask wallpaper for the changing room area and the armchair – great colours btw) with super modern and futuristic elements (like the geometric glass and stainless steel feature).

Did I also mention that he’s a great photographer? Check these out!



I can use these any day as my starting points for my design concepts. I can see some really great colour combos and textures. Can you?

Have a great day!

Oh, before I go I forgot to mention you can see his full portfolio, photography and artwork on his website here called Martyn White Designs. CHECK IT OUT!

Karolina Barnes Studio

Photo credits: all via Martyn White Designs