Kathryn Martin decodes ink spills into readable images

Royal College of Art graduate Kathryn Martin’s signature drawing technique embraces an element of chance in illustrating.

Inkblots and pareidolia – the phenomenon of recognizing patterns, shapes, and familiar objects in a vague and sometimes random stimulus – are the stylistic backbone of Kathryn Martin’s illustrations. Based in London, Martin uses line work to transform random ink spills into illustrations. The series of inkblot illustrations called, “Chance Ink”, interprets blobs of ink as anything from dancers to birds, to a baby grand piano.

Another noteworthy collection of illustrations by Martin includes a series called, “A body gone wrong”. The illustrations mark the tenth anniversary of Martin’s surgery to correct the curvature of her spine, a condition known as scoliosis. The work is rendered in black ink that starkly contrasts the white paper and features various straight objects, such as columns, rulers and high-rise buildings. 

Martin is also the co-founder of Modern Times: A Graphic Commentary, a new publication, featuring social commentary through graphic journalism, photography and writing.