As seen in Rebirth magazine, October 2020 (page 34-35)
Welcome to my Zodiac Women Series Art Prints page.
Marta Madison is a Canadian-born fashion illustrator, now living in Sydney Australia. Her unique internal imaginings have resulted in a series of stunning illustrations of the Zodiac.
Marta’s art practice focusses on high-end fashion illustration using watercolour, marker and pen and ink. Not only beautiful, her sketches also reflect her quirky world view.
“I draw stories in shorthand,” she explains.
Her business, DrawntoFashion.com.au, has evolved over the last ten years from creating felted and hand-painted silk scarves in 2012, to bespoke bridal and product illustrations. Her client list is impressive. Marta says, “I am old-school: I draw on paper with pencil, and then work this onto Bristol board or watercolour paper. My clients seek me out for my elegant lines and my expressive female faces and forms.”
The birth of an idea: the first of the Zodiac Women Series
In between client commissions in 2018, I sat doodling–which I love to do for relaxation–and out popped a very lively dancer. Lo and behold, Libra was born! Little did I realise I had sketched my first idea for what was to become an all-encompassing project: The Zodiac Women Series.
I kept revisiting this charming sketch and I thought to myself, “I could make something out of this!”
It comes as no surprise that Marta is a Libran. Artistic Librans are known for their balanced outlook on life, and love of beauty. Knowing that the scales were the symbol for Libra, an idea came to her to represent Libra as an Almeh, an Arabian dancer practiced in the art of singing and reciting classical poetry. She literally is the fulcrum, and hanging from each arm are gold pans full of sapphires, attached to gold chains. She is adorned with jewels and wears a traditional dancer’s costume. She is so nimble and lithe, as she dances freely, with sensuous movement. She represents equilibrium with grace.
A bit about the process
Marta talks about her process: “Once I started this drawing, I challenged myself to come up with the remaining 11 Zodiac star signs, I spent weekends sketching out ideas and then drawing them on to A1 paper in the ‘tondo’ (round) format, using pencil crayon and a bit of pen. The criteria was to avoid stereotypes and see the essence of the woman. I included spirit animals as well in some of the drawings.”
“I wanted to go outside the stereotypical astrological symbols and use my fashion illustration skills to draw them in slightly more historical costumes, telling a story with in each drawing.” Sydney-based Fashion Illustrator, Marta Madison on her new Zodiac Women Art Series
“For example, the typical Cancer female is often drawn with claw hands. This does not do her justice! There is so much more to the sign….her relationship with the Moon, her birthstone (pearl), and her native habitat, water.
Stepping away from this trope, inspiration arrived in the form of a red-haired nymph, wading out into the ocean in the evening light. She is seen offering up a pearl to the Moon Goddess, with her little crab friends basking in the dusky sunset glow.”
In the tradition of artists gone by, she loves visual games. There are hidden symbols within each drawing. Look closely, and you will see that the stars in the sky are the true constellations for each sign.She has also worked symbols into clothing or jewellery. The viewer finds little tricks and stories in each drawing.
Says Marta, “For each of my ‘beauties’, it was the same: the Eternal Goddess blessed me with a flow of ideas. A few of the concepts were a struggle, but I did not give up because I knew they were all waiting to come out. And now I can share them with the world. How grateful I am for the connection to my inner wisdom that allowed me the opportunity to bring these to life.
People often ask me if I am an astrologer. I tell them no, but I am interested in the archetypes and symbology. My cousin Nadia (rubyslipper.ca) is the real deal. Her blog is widely read and her readings—beautifully written—are spot on.”
Marta continues, “If my drawings show anything, it is how accessible astrology is, and perseverance with an idea pays off. Yes, astrology is mystical, but it is also entertaining and insightful. Who hasn’t read their horoscope to gain knowledge or ascribed attributes of a sign to themselves and others? It can be so much fun. I am so happy to introduce my beauties to the world. They each have their own story to tell.”
A book of the whole series, complete with descriptions of the traits of each sign will be out in 2021. You can pre-order a copy by emailing the artist at email@example.com
These prints by Sydney-based Fashion Illustrator, Marta Madison, include the birthstone and flower for each sign as well as a bit about the sign’s strengths and weaknesses. All printed on high quality giclee paper.
Available from 10 October.
Choose from one of 12 original art pieces, A4 or A3 size on finest cotton rag archival paper. Prices for A4: $49.00 and A3: $69.00 plus GST and free delivery in Australia.
A set of all 12 A4s is only $499.00, 12 A3s, $699.00, plus GST plus Free delivery within Australia.
The Zodiac Art Prints Series by Marta Madison