Culturas Corner highlights individuals who make their community a better place through their work, business, volunteering or activism. Today we meet Martina Baptiste, the artist behind honeypotresins.
Can you first tell us about yourself and your journey to becoming an artist?
Hi! My name is Martina. I’m a 21-year-old art student in Chicago, and I own and operate a resin jewelry shop! I first discovered this art form on Twitter during summer ’19 and immediately fell in love with it. I saved up money from my campus job and bought all the supplies I needed to get started learning how to work with epoxy resin. Since then, I’ve taught myself everything through the powerful tools of Google and Youtube. I believe that anyone can put in the effort to create and sell their work if they are driven to, and I want to continue participating in the art community, which is so great at encouraging and supporting each other. Honeypotresins is just a drop in the ocean of unique handmade art pieces that are out there.
Can you tell us about art resin and why this has become your chosen art form?
My interest in art resin began when I followed a bunch of small artists on Twitter and I discovered some amazing artists that combined flowers and other little charms together to make beautiful jewelry. At the time, I was about to enter my senior year of college and I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, as I found myself with many different interests and no one job that fit all of them. After I decided to give resin art a try, I quickly found my new passion. It combines my love of creativity and artistry with my desire to work in close detail and at my own pace. There are so many moving parts such as designing a piece, assembling it, taking product photos, listing them, and promoting my work. It’s a perfect combination of all of my interests.
Will you dive into your choice of design thematics? It seems many of your pieces have a natural, earthy flair, and some are spooky.
I would say the most prominent motif of my work would be nature and flowers. A lot of my pieces are things that can be found in nature, such as bugs, skeleton hands, hearts and lungs. I like the composition of combining everyday things with flowers because it creates a sense of delicacy and beauty in something that otherwise may not be seen that way. My spookier pieces (like the spiders) were more so for the theme of October because that’s when my shop made its debut!
What’s it like balancing being an art student and running your own shop? What are your goals for honeypotresins once you graduate?
Honestly, balancing school and running my shop has not been easy. I had a viral tweet recently and, after that, I put all my attention towards replying to people and working on my next shop restock. I almost forgot that I had homework! I’ve definitely found my priorities lying more with my shop and my schoolwork was taking a bit of a backseat until very recently. I’m now catching up and I’m hoping I can get back on track with that.
After I graduate, I’m hoping to continue building my shop and make my art full-time. I know it may not be the most traditional route, but I think I finally found my passion and I don’t want to let it go anytime soon.
hi! it costs $0 to retweet a small black artist’s spooky jewelry 🦇 pic.twitter.com/7oebWeNyql
— 𝚑𝚘𝚗𝚎𝚢 𝚙𝚘𝚝 𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚒𝚗𝚜 (@honeypotresins) October 7, 2020
What is your favorite cultural memory?
My freshman year of college, I was part of a club which was dedicated to uniting students from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds who share a passion for Korean culture, K-Pop, K-dramas and food. Since helping build the club, I took on the role of Event Planner and managing all of our social media pages. Being on the executive board of that club has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I was able to make incredible memories with some of the most special and endearing people I’ve ever met. We were noticed by and partnered with big companies like Live Nation, and had incredible opportunities because of our work together. While working closely with those girls, I was able to manifest amazing experiences and memories that have shaped my perspective and changed me from the inside out. I want to continue fostering a positive and unified space beyond graduation so that more girls like me can find a community where they can be themselves without fear of judgement.
Answers have been edited for length and clarity. Know someone who should be featured on Culturas Corner? Nominate them here.