Saturday, 22 August 2015

A Brief History of Dirt by Martin Squires

Martin Squires illustrated the Brief History of Dirt feature for Sideburn 20 and has made a limited run of A3 Giclee prints. We have a handful to sell.

The poster features a history of dirt track bikes from a 1920s Douglas to Kenny Roberts' TZ750. The original artwork  was commissioned for an article by Paul d'Orleans of the same title in Sideburn 20. It's printed on 250gsm Somerset.
Size: 297 × 420mm
Hand numbered and signed by artist.
£30 plus post
Posted in a mailing tube.

Get it at

We took the opportunity to ask Martin a few questions (and include sketches of Martin's from this year's Dirt Quake IV)

Tell us a little about yourself, age, where you live, etc…
I’m 37, I live in Bristol and I spend a lot of time traveling around motoring events sketching machines.
Is art a full-time occupation for you? If so, who are your clients?

Art is definitely a full time thing for me. I feel a bit strange if I haven’t at least sketched something during a days work. Most of my work has come through people I have met whilst sketching at events, that’s how we met, wasn’t it Gary, in the cold shed full of old bikes! Again through sketching at events I now have a monthly article in The Classic Motorcycle called “Sketchbook Travels’, it’s a monthly diary logging my motorcycle sketches along with some interesting facts or stories about the machines I’ve discovered whilst sketching them. Other clients have included Sideburn of course. Old Empire Motorcycles, I worked on a series of build concepts with them last year and have been producing promotional artwork for them too. I recently got the opportunity to sketch at the British Grand Prix where I sketched in the Lotus F1 Garage which was an incredible almost futuristic experience, quite different from my usual race experiences of vintage machines being fettled before going out for their next race. As I work freelance the list is quite long, but I’d like to thank all the people who have commissioned work from me as I’m always thankful that people believe in my work enough to support me.
You seem to be sketching every single weekend, how many events and what kind of events do you attend?

I probably do 2 to 4 events a month. I sketch at a variety of events, mostly motorcycle events, but I like to mix in the odd car show and of course you know I’m partial to a tractor show. I did my first aeroplane event last year and will be going back to Sywell Aerodrome again in a couple of weeks, aeroplanes are great fun to sketch. I think it’s important to change things once in a while and keep challenging yourself. Attending different events I try to push myself out of my comfort zone and learn something in the process. 
What are your favourite events? 

That’s a difficult one, I think I always enjoy an event when people are genuinely into their machines, if there is a real enthusiasm I always react to that. Recently I’ve really enjoyed sketching sprint motorcycles as they are machines built for purpose, the aesthetic comes from the function and this makes the machines more interesting as a result. The amount of engineering and time spent on these machines is truly inspiring, also the fact that they are striped down to the bear minimum takes them back to the essence of what a motorcycle is. I’ve sketched so many sprint machines now that I’m looking into the possibility of putting them together into a dedicated book. 
We've seen you at quite a few Sideburn events, what the attraction?

The first Sideburn event I went to was the original Dirt Quake at Coventry. The first thing that struck me about what you guys are doing is that you have a come one come all agenda, there is nothing elitist about it. I think this is born out of the fact that the magazine was done off your own back and so the do it yourself nature of this has then come through to events like Dirt Quake. The friends that I have made through attending Sideburn events are always great genuine people and that’s what makes me come back to your events.
 If you could link in my new website somewhere that would be fantastic.

1 comment:

McQmoto said...

Fabulous artwork and a real decent feller - goodonyer Martin!