Last January, while I was very pregnant, sans baby and still had free time on my hands, I took a bit of time and studied some of my favorite interiors I had pinned on Pinterest. What I discovered was that one thing all those amazing spaces had in common was ORIGINAL ART, emotion-evoking, dynamic art. After coming to this realization, I decided I wanted work towards bringing more original art into our home this year.
Over the summer, I had the pleasure of getting to e-know the lovely, Marquin Campbell, painter, entrepreneur and creative brains behind Marquin Designs. I adore her work and was excited to work with her on a custom piece for my dining room. I love the dream-like quality of her painting style and that she draws inspiration from landscapes near the charming city of Savannah, Georgia.
This was the first time I’d worked with an artist on a completely custom piece, and it was so much fun! Marquin had me send photos of my dining room, as well as asked me to peruse her previous works on Instagram to hone in on styles and color palettes I responded to. I gathered my thoughts and sent her a long, babbling email about my work-in-progress dining room (remember when the china cabinet was red?), a paint swatch, ideas for color palettes & styles, a rant on how I like “negative white space” and shimmery metallic gold, etc. Honestly, I rambled.
But Marquin kindly took all my thoughts and translated them into a stunning abstracted piece for our dining room china cabinet. I wish I could have you all over to see the depth it has in person. There are so many rich layers of earth tones that a camera cannot do justice! She got my requested “negative white space” just right, and her thick, textural brush strokes of metallic gold shimmer in the light as you walk by it. Ah–it’s the perfect bridge between the new cabinet color, brass lighting, and black dining chairs. Don’t you guys think?
If you love Marquin’s work as much as I do, and want some of her magic in your own home, then hop over to Instagram to enter our GIVEAWAY! Marquin is giving away a 16″ x 16″ print of the custom piece she created for my dining room! It’s SUUUPER easy to enter, so what do you have to lose?!
Marquin was generous enough to do a little Q&A and share a little about herself + let me pick her brain as to how she got started painting professionally and advice for budding artists. I hope you enjoy getting to know Marquin as much as I have this Summer!
1. Tell us about yourself and your creative business, Marquin Designs:
I am married, a mother of two, and live in a very sweet little Southern town called Greenville, South Carolina. I have had this business since college and named it ‘Marquin Designs’ to give me flexibility because I did not quite know what creative direction I wanted to go: I’ve pursued a bunch of different areas in the arts.
Currently I am painting originals, selling prints, wallpaper, fabric, and a few gift items (like acrylic trays) with my art reproduced onto the surfaces.
2. How would you describe your painting style?
Ethereal and atmospheric: the last few years my pieces have largely been driven by abstracted landscapes inspired by the island I grew up on outside of Savannah, Georgia. That scenery has caused a creative spark that lead to a series which has evolved over the past few years.
If I had to categorize my work in ‘art terminology,’ it would fall into the ‘abstract expressionist’ classification.
3. You recently launched a new painting series. Was there a particular influence or inspiration that steered the collection?
My last body of work was inspired by color ways in vintage textiles and vintage Turkish rugs and abstracted lowcountry landscapes.
I am currently working on a series of faces in collaboration with one of my favorite jewelry stores that is pushing me creatively. I can not wait to launch the ‘Ladies.’
4. In addition to Marquin Designs, you also run the art school, Vino & van Gogh? Tell us about this component of your business.
I started the concept seven years ago loosely based around the ‘Sip and Paint’ concept. It has grown into a school in a very organic way: we now have a wide array of Children’s Art Classes, host Visiting Artists for multi-day workshops, and have one night classes that allow students to dabble in different creative areas. It has provided the community with accessibility to very approachable art making.
The studio also doubles as a place for my work to hang and to meet collectors. This set up and overlap has worked out very nicely.
5. How did you get into painting professionally? Did you go to school for fine art?
I attended the University of Georgia and received two majors: Drawing and Painting and a minor in Art History. I then went on to Parsons School of Design in New York City and obtained a degree in Fashion Studies which touched on everything from design to marketing.
I think like most creatives, I could have found myself in a bunch of different artistic fields. But the opportunities in Greenville lead me down the path of starting the art school and painting full time.
6. What is the best advice you have ever received, and what is the one piece of advice you would offer a budding artist, maker or designer?
Be organized. I think planning ahead and creating goals are very important. Coordinating planned release dates for work with collaborations or bloggers is important. By being organized, you can better forecast your money, social media campaigns, email marketing, and have a clearer head. I think it is very important to also be flexible when plans change, but to always have a clear direction you are moving.
Favorite Gallery: There are oddly not a lot of galleries here, but they are coming. Art and Light is airy, well curated, and filled with art made by with lovely people.
Favorite Spot to Get Inspired: I love interior design and The Rock House Antiques is loaded with fabulous finds. I am currently working on my master bedroom and they helped me redesign a pair of lamps I found in Savannah for a song. I also purchased a pair of Faux Bois Garden stools from them that I could not live without.
Favorite Dessert Place: I absolutely adore the dessert chef, Cynthia, at Augusta Grill, which is conveniently located right beside my studio. If I’m working late, I love to pop next door and sip a glass of wine and nibble a slice of her Chocolate Sin Pie.
Don’t forget to head over to Instagram to enter to win a Marquin Designs print! And if you don’t want to wait for the giveaway, you can also purchase an exact print of my painting here!
Photo credit for Marquin’s studio images: Angela Zion Photography
This post was created in partnership with Marquin Designs. I only partner with brands I personally use and love. All thoughts and opinions are my own.