LINEN PRINTS - Martina Scott

I was completely drawn to Martina Scott’s linen designs when I first discovered them at the Bellurgan Park Craft Market. and then again at the Dublin Flea. I had seen her creations on Instagram, but to see them in reality made them so much more special. So I am filled with excitement to share her interview here today!

Martina Scott lives in Carlingford in Co. Louth - an incredibly pretty part of Ireland. She takes inspiration from nature and creates intricate and detailed drawings that she then hand prints uising silk screen onto traditional Irish linen. As her website describes, she is capturing “Ireland’s detail” and her work is a strikingly delicate and contemporary representation of this northern island.

As a Mum to 4 children and working from home in her studio, Martina exudes a calm and friendly vibe. You at once feel her grounding in nature that is visible through each piece in her limited edition collections.

To discover more about Martina, you can visit her website here and follow her on Instagram here to see her most recent creations and work in progress!

First of all, I love the picture on your website of the gorgeous dog checking out your work! - Is that a family pet?

- The dog in my website is Maisie the labradoodle, sadly she had just lost her friend Holly the Labrador and she couldn’t be left alone that day throughout the photo shoot. We’ve another wee friend for her now, a very lively cockapoo called Bee. It’s definitely a love/hate relationship.

You produce stunning hand screen printed designs on Irish linen. Can you describe your background and what brought you to this point of working for yourself in a creative enterprise?

When I was young I completed a foundation in Art and then went on to do a degree in History of Art. I loved analysing art with in its context. I’ve always loved and enthused over artistic expression and kept scrapbooks and diaries of thoughts and inspiration and role models growing up, although I had not fully identified what it was or where I wanted to go with all this creative energy. After that I went on to have my family of four children and I started to draw a lot more, whether it was of members of my family in their daily life or my immediate landscape.  I enjoyed printing and realized I could reproduce my drawings through this medium.

Your designs are largely based on nature, and you live in Carlingford which is a beautiful part of Ireland, do you spend a lot of time outdoors? Do you actively seek inspiration or does it just come?

I love where I live, I  feel so blessed to live here, surrounded by so many terrains and backdrops. It’s usually on my walks or being out in nature that I get my inspiration. I am out in nature as much as I can be and, as much as it inspires me, it also keeps me grounded and excercised, as the hills are a real workout. I do actively look for inspiration too as I love to see all the creativity that goes on around the world, I find it energizing and engaging.

As an entrepreneur, do you have quite a structured day/week? How do you keep yourself motivated?

Some weeks I have to confess are more structured than others, as one is pulled here and there. When I get the chance I use real pockets of time to go deep into creative mode and this is where i come up with my most interesting work. With orders coming in, I need to add the structures in to get them done. Having your own business requires one to be flexible as well as rigidly focused on the job at hand. I work on these strategies all the time.

You are stocked in about 25 shops all over Ireland as well as running your own webshop. Do you manage all the elements of your business yourself, or do you have some help?

I’m lucky to have a very talented son who works in Digital marketing and he does all that end of things for me and my husband is in finance so helps me with that end too, thank goodness.

From the perspective of an entrepreneur, what have you found helpful on your journey to where you are now? (books / courses / mentors / personal traits / collaborations / etc.)

I am very open to lots of different structures that help me. I have been very lucky to have the support and enthusiasm from my family and friends that’s definitely first and foremost. I also listen to lots of podcasts during the day, about self development and love listening to stories of people who have led inspiring lives. I am true to myself and that keeps things simple. I would never, ever have foreseen myself as a business woman and that’s the beauty of it, I truly believe in the expression people aren’t born entrepreneurs you really learn as you go.....and if I can do it anyone can.

Do you sit down and make a plan for the year in advance for your business? Or does it evolve quite organically?

I am working on this....I am not a planner but hope to improve, as this will help put the structures I need in place for times of extreme business.

Social media and the internet have made it easier to go global yet more competitive. I initially found you through instagram and then met at a craft exhibition - how does the internet / social media affect how you work? Which platforms do you use?

I primarily love meeting people face to face at exhibitions and fairs. I also use Instagram and I’m slowly getting used to it, I particularly like the immediacy of the stories where one can find oneself watching a live event in the V&A or find a person with something interesting to say. I don’t feel it affects how I work although it makes you more aware what’s going on in the world.

What other creatives do you love to follow online or who inspire you?  

I generally follow inspiring and passionate people with all sorts of occupations, and love to follow everything including fashion, interiors, film, architecture and new ideas in wellness. 

Carlingford is a beautiful place in Ireland - have you always lived there? Where are your favourite places to go out to in the area (outings / walks / cafes / etc)

There’s a new vegan restaurant opened near here called Dark Horse Pizza, I can eat everything on the menu and there is such a lovely vibe in there. We have a great range of lovely eateries in Carlingford. I love walking along the forest path and mountain walks where you have moss and rock under your feet while enjoying the fabulous views.

Thank you so much Martina for your time in putting together this interview and for sharing your gorgeous designs!