The Movement Society interview with Ennis Alexander Martin III


NEOREVIVALIST: Interview: Ennis Alexander Martin III

26 05 2011

An American Contemporary artist, Ennis Alexander Martin III has amalgamated fantasy and sci-fi to perfection in his vast array of artistic conceptions over the years. With anime and science fiction being such a large influence on his craft it creates a certain edginess and brings an unprecedented life his imagery. A virtuoso, Ennis Alexander Martin’s popularity is vastly ascending. I got a chance to interview him and as close of a friend as he is, with as much as I know about him, I’m still always blown away by this amazing individual…

Can you talk a little bit about how you first got interested and involved in art?

Ennis Martin
It started when I was small drinking chocolate milk and watching Saturday morning cartoons like G force, Star Blazer, and Spector man with my older brother who influenced me from his early art. And then once I saw Akira for the first time it was over from there…Blew my mind.

Yea, Akira definitely was EPIC. I’ve been a huge fan of your work for a long time, I notice you seem to be moving into a more post-apocalyptic theme with your pieces, does it have anything to with the end being nigh?

Ennis Martin
Because I’ve always…well…it fits the time period. Everything is so unstable in our world now, not saying giant mech insects are gonna fuck things up, but it seems possible. Instead of solving hunger in 1 stroke we’d rather build robots and kill everyone. Either that or nature fucks us up…one of the two.

I honestly would have to cross my fingers and hope nature gets us. Your creations would be fucking terrifying if they actual functioned! You’re like a skinny Dr. Robotnic. (laughs)

Ennis Martin
(Laughs) I’m gonna shave my head bald and put one of those side button throwback mad scientist jackets on with black gloves! Yeeeesss!

(Laughs) You have a signature style like no other and it’s quite broad in range. Who or what are your influences?

Ennis Martin
Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo, Jim Henson, Tim Burton, early old school sci fi war if worlds orson wells and a mad anime that I can’t keep track of because there are so many…

Which brings me to my next question, now we’ve known each other for a little over a decade, and have had some serious conversations about this. Im pretty sure the answer is different now. I know you’re a fan of anime, what’s your all-time favorite…okay, wait I’ll make it easier…top 5 favorite(s)…well besides Akira.

Ennis Martin
(Laughs) um let’s see…Akira yes…that’s a tough one. Princess Monoke, Spirited Away…oh my god…that’s a hard one.

What about Ninja Scroll? Classic!

Ennis Martin
Yes! Oh and Wicked City because it’s got everything I like. You know, all the ingredients…but I might come up with a few more.

Ingredients (Laughs)…yes indeed. Spider women, melting breasts, dirty old men, and vagina belly! (laughs)

Ennis Martin
(Laughs) Freak Boutique!

(laughs) Most of your work is “character based” which of your creatures would you want to make a story about?

Ennis Martin
It would start off with the afterman character, the humanoid prototype. I base all the other characters around him. I’m actually planning to put that story together.

Is there a certain mood that you try to create for the viewer?

Ennis martin
Just a touch of ominous wonderment, I like keeping it ambiguous by allowing certain characters to speak and create their own energy. The whales for instance are called Darwins, Afterman would basically be the protector of the Darwins.

What is your goal with your art, besides bringing in that Gouda?

Ennis Martin
You know it took me a while to figure out my own voice, I just want respect as an artist and be heard. See my art first read into it as much as you want and dig it…

I can dig dug! Word on the street is that you’re in this years “Paint Wars” art tournament taking place in the city of Chicago. Who would you compare yourself to in this tournament? (Laughs) Eric Roberts (Best of the Best) or Jean Claude Van Daam (Lionheart)? (laughs)

Ennis Martin
Did you really just go there? (Laughs) I’ve never done heroin before… Thats a great question actually. I guess I’ll have to be Eric Roberts (laughs) because van damn takes too long to kick people! (laughs)

When I say BBC what does that mean to you?

Ennis Martin
Black book chronicles. My limited edition clothing line.

“Street Art” has become extremely mainstream over the last 10 years, to the point where, prints of some artists are selling for tens of thousands of dollars, what do you think of this street art craze and would you ever partake in it?

Ennis Martin
Well I was an ex writer I would do it but differently and my way. I think Chicago can do a lot more instead of the wheat paste thing which is dope too but spray paint is what’s up. Which is why paint wars is dope. You have graph writers like Statik doing their thing. And getting the exposure they need and deserve.

So this year we’ve seen the Black Book Chronicles collective and I hear you’re in the midst of creating plush toys based on your work. There is also the Angst graphic novel you’re working on scheduled to be completed and published by year’s end…what’s next for Ennis Alexander Martin III?

Ennis Martin
Animation at some point, and I really wanna get into actually building figurines. Hands on. I’m really getting into the detail aspect of art.

I’m really interested in what an Ennis Martin animation would consist of…Last question, and I’ll let you finish this insane piece you’re working on. Looks like this guy is jumping off the wood! If you could do a collaborative piece with anyone living or deceased, who would it be and why?

Ennis Martin
I would paint with Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo, Frank Rosetta (heavy metal) …shit, that’s another one of my favorite animes! (Laughs)

(Laughs) Nice! Foop Fop!

Ennis Martin (Laughs)

Interview with DLLD-Scene

Ennis Martin is an oil-based painter out of Chicago. He has been part of the local Chicago art scene for over 20 years. His creations are humanlike/android/underwater, elaborate creatures. They are done with very bold colors made with details to analyze to a tee. He is an illustrator for a fashion company called Bear.illa. Bear.illa is a fashion line the artistically combines the culture and community of Chicago. The line has depictions of bears and gorillas in their designs that represent the vast differences within society. The merge of the 2 animals as 1 represents what humanity can attain by coming together.


The Following is an Interview with


Our Bucktown birthday party is tomorrow and for us that means celebrating two years on Milwaukee Avenue with friends. One of those friends happens to be Chicago-born artist Ennis Martin who will be painting on canvas at the event and raffling off his masterpiece to one lucky guest. We spoke to Ennis about his art, inspiration and what we can expect.

Name: Ennis Alexander Martin III
Occupation: Artist
Age: 36
Facebook Page: facebook/ennisalexandermartinIII
Number of years in Chicago: 36

BKI: What type of art do you make?
Ennis: Graffiti based with a bit of fantasy sci-fi flair.

BKI: When did you first realize you were an artist?
Ennis: I fell in love with art around 8 years old. The fun thing about art is that you are constantly growing with every piece of art work you create.

BKI: What artists have influenced you, and how?
Ennis: With anime being such a huge influence to me, most of my inspirations come from these types of films. Masaki Yamada character designer for the anime Apple Seed: Ex Machina, Jim Henson (Dark Crystal), and every Anime fan has to start from a certain place. For me, as well as most others, that place would be Akira. The most influential part of my growth as an artist comes from director Katsuhiro Otoma‘s 1988 classic. A film way ahead of it s time.

BKI: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Do you plan to stay in Chicago?
Ennis: I’d like to get into creating Figurines and animation based on the characters I’ve created throughout the years.

BKI: Can you talk about the art you will be making at our Chicago birthday party?
Ennis: My plan is to do something along the lines of an earth based design, with a touch of fantasy.

BKI: So how do you feel about having “the third” at the end of your name?
Ennis: There’s pressure! My father was a special man, and there’s a history of getting things done so I just have to live up to it.


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