In DIY DOC’S, we take a look at how illustrators, artists and designers put their stamp on Dr. Martens shoes. Painting, tattooing or de-constructing – we’re giving them the creative freedom to express themselves off of the canvas.
Hey! I’m Olivia-Fayne Martinique Lamb. I’m a full time artist residing in London UK but I’m a born and bread Yorkshire lass. I live with my lovely other half and my 2 year old English Bulldog Darwin, aka ‘Piggy.’ I set up a custom tattoo design business almost 3 years ago creating one off custom pieces for clients who want something that is personal to them. The client will send over inspiration and we will create a unique piece especially for them. I’ve always believed that as ‘tattoos are for life’ it’s nice to have something that is personal to you and means something. So that’s what I try to bring to the table! I would say this used to be my hobby but because it turned into a business, I’ve also began to incorporate painting too when I have the time, which I love doing.
Who or what do you take inspiration from?
Artistically I take inspiration from most things around me. I think as a creative you see art in everything really. Specifically speaking, my inspiration for my work comes from mandalas, khmer art and henna/ mehndi. There is something so beautiful and calming that comes from creating it, looking at it. Mandalas are actually used in quite a few cultures. To give an example they are used quite a lot in Hinduism and Buddhism. The mandala represents the universe, signifying wholeness and reminding us of our relation to infinity. They are even used in meditation to help an individual become one with the universe. In terms of myself I take inspiration from people around me. I believe that in reality most people are fighting battles so strength in people really inspires me.
Do you have an illustration or project you’re most proud of?
Last year I worked on a project with ‘Flash Tattoos‘ in collaboration with ‘The Miracle Foundation‘. The Miracle Foundation is an absolutely incredible charity located in India. In short it’s an orphanage who’s aim is to find a perfect home for these beautiful children.
So to collaborate on a project which ultimately would benefit this charity was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. Working with flash tattoos was a huge deal! They are the leading brand and original creators of the gold and silver temporary jewellery tattoos you see mostly in summer at festivals, on holidays etc. Their last collaboration was with Beyonce so to be the next designer of my own collection was incredible!
In terms of future projects this has to be one of the best. Dr Martens have always been my favourite shoe brand out there and one of my favourite brands generally speaking. I’m currently preparing for my first ever exhibition which is super exciting! I will be exhibiting large scale designs, past work and even launching my new paintings which incorporate my work in colour, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. The exhibition is in Hoxton, London on the 4th and 5th of August this summer (so add it to your diaries guys!). You can find information on my exhibition here.
I’m actually quite excited to meet some of my customers in person to be honest! My dream future project would definitely be to work on an actual collaboration with you guys. My designs pretty much have no limits and I feel like Dr Martens would be a really fitting brand, but that’s the dream.
Talk us through your customised Dr. Martens, was it a challenge working on a pair of shoes?
So, it’s been challenging but in a good way! I never even thought of designing a pair of shoes, I didn’t know how the chalk pens would work or how they worked, and I didn’t know how possible it would be to fit my detail in. I kind of wish I knew how to use photoshop or how to vector an image so I could have tried various designs on them, but I did have a lot of fun doing them by hand and it’s definitely more rewarding hand drawing them when you see the final designs! The hardest part has to have been waiting for the paint to dry. I kept getting too excited and thinking of patterns when parts weren’t dry! I think most of my followers would definitely wear these, and anyone who enjoys artwork wearing them. If we ever did collaborate in the future it would be amazing to have the collection sold at my exhibition! Its okay to dream.
Do you listen to music whilst you work?
ALWAYS. Darwin likes a bit of music too. I actually have a playlist that I can’t get enough of, it’s on Spotify and called Ninja Tune/Trip-Hop/Chillout created by Ross Johnston. So thanks Ross Johnston if you’re reading this! Thanks for your play listing skills they’re spot on. I also love Jazz, its my favourite to cook to.
If you could have any super-power, what would it be?
If I could have any super power it would be to heal people. How incredible would that be?
If you could draw anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
If I could draw anyone then probably my grandparents, they were a huge inspiration to me and still are.
Tell us your favourite thing about the city you live in:
London is a great city to live in. Yes it’s busy, but there’s so much to do and so many places to go! I’m a big foodie and whatever you fancy is at most, 20 minutes away. There are so many exhibitions to go to, so many parks to walk Darwin in and so many varied events to suit everyone. We’re also lucky enough to live in a building with some of the best and most creative people. We have a very well known musician in our building, hopefully he will come to my exhibition! My talented denim art creating friend Ian Berry who is one of my influences, lives in the same building and it’s great to be able to chat to someone like minded when you’re going through struggles. He’s the reason I decided to do my exhibition. He is hugely talented and understands the demands and challenges of being in the art world running a global service.
My favourite place to go to is a small independent cafe/restaurant in the side streets of Shoreditch called Story. It’s a quirky little place serving the best organic pizza, always super private and is decorated so beautifully. If you go, you will see why I love it. It’s decorated like my apartment so I always feel at home there.
Tell us about your first pair of Dr. Martens:
So I can’t remember when I got my first pair of Dr. Martens but I remember never taking them off. They were almost glued to my feet. My favourite at the moment are my tatty ones I found in a vintage shop on Brick Lane. I love it when they look worn, I feel like they tell a story. Dr Martens is a huge inspiration to me personally. I love the way they give artists opportunity, and I love the way they have such a varied collection to suit everyone. They celebrate variety in the way they post customers images on Instagram wearing their Doc’s. I love the way they stand for non conformity and individuality. Conformity is boring!!
And finally, what do you stand for?
I’m a huge hater of injustice. As a Libra that’s instilled in me. I can’t stand to see something that may effect someone because the person posting hasn’t thought about the person on the other end. In this millennial world people have forgotten that there are humans on the other side of the computer. Words hurt people and people need to be aware of that. Whenever I have stood up to this it’s then turned on to me. I think it’s ridiculous that you can then verbally insult someone who is trying to stop the person originally targeted, from being verbally insulted. This is an issue I am really passionate about and hopefully in future can do something towards raising awareness. If I could give any advice it would be to always be kind and never be afraid to defend yourself, because you deserve that. And lastly, never let anyone tell you you can’t do something.