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Meet The Creatives - Martha Paton

1. So, tell us a little about you.

My name is Martha Paton and I am a singer-songwriter/barista/MYO workshop teacher living in London!

2. What’s your story? Tell us a little about your background and what you do.

I grew up in a little town in Hampshire to a very arty mum and sporty dad so I was lucky enough to have an extremely active and creative childhood. My mum studied ceramics at university but she was never really a one-medium lady and subsequently, our house was filled to the brim with sewing machines, fabrics she'd dyed, pots she'd thrown and glass bowls she'd melted in her great big massive kiln that she still keeps in the garage. All that set me up for what I was sure to be a career as an artist but little did I know that it was actually music that I would eventually find myself loving the most.

3. What artist or artwork inspired you the most growing up?

Despite being very arty and crafty I don't actually think I have an interesting answer for this. I could lie and say I was massively influenced by the works of Picasso and Matisse but If i'm honest I just liked the things my mum and her friends made!

4. What artist are most inspires you now?

Again, I'm not sure. I'm still mainly inspired by the things my family and friends make. I might go to a gallery and really like a few of the paintings but I'm not crazy about anyone in particular.

5. What do you create mostly for work and what do you create mostly for fun?

Creating is never work!! Or at least it never feels like it. I create everything for the pleasure of creating it. It's therapy for me - whether it's writing a song for my next album or making a cushion for my friends birthday, it's all fun and If I every felt like it was work then I'd probably stop!

6. What piece of work are you most proud of? Why? [Include picture if possible]

I'm definitely most proud of my quilt. It took me about 6 months because I kept getting bored of it and I'm quite an impatient person so when I get an idea to do something I want to be able to see the results ASAP. But I kept at it and now I am so proud of it and it has been on my bed ever since!

7. Do you think people are just born creative or is it something everyone has, but many don’t explore?

I don't think anyone is born creative. I was lucky because I had a mum who encouraged me to create and make mistakes and I had a world of tools at my disposal. I think people just don't trust themselves enough to make something that's any good. It's something that takes time and a lot of people don't have the patience to try again and get better at something. It's a very fast paced world out there & this need for perfection is at an all-time high with technology and social media so I think as long as you can stand the thought of messing up, then you can be creative too.

8. What’s your favourite colour? Why?

Yellow. Because it's really yellow! I have this yellow back pack that I carry everywhere and it makes me really happy. M.Y.O's co-founder Diana absolutely loves it!

9.What’s your favourite album to listen to whilst you create and why?

I love anything super chilled. Light Upon the Lake by Whitney and Semper Femina by Laura Marling are my current favourite albums (Or anything by Sufjan Stevens)

10. If you were stuck on a desert island and had to bring 3 items with you to create with, what would you bring!?

I'd bring my guitar (then I can create songs inspired by the desert), some paint and a brush and I can paint on cacti and rocks

11. If you could give advice to yourself growing up, with the benefit of hindsight, what would it be?

I would say to stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and get on with what you want to do.

12. What / who made you decide to become a professional creative, rather than doing it as a hobby?

I don't think anyone/thing made me make that decision, it's just the path I've fallen onto by needing to make a living but actively avoiding any kind of 9-5 office job.

13. What makes you most happy?

My family, the summer, music and Christmas (I can't wait!).

14. What’s next for you? What you would like to be doing in 12 months?

In 12 months time, I'd love to not be making coffee for people and to be able to live off my creative work!

15. Is there anything exciting coming up that you would like to let people know about?

When I'm not teaching classes at M.Y.O in the week, I'm gigging and busking around London so you can find details of upcoming dates on my facebook page:

16. Where can people find out more about what you are up to?

I could list all of my social media but let's be honest - I'm only ever on Instagram anyway - @MarthaPaton !

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