Martin Scott Laird is an Orcadian artist. He is the son of the late Keith Laird, also an artist (and head of Kirkwall Grammar School art department). It has been suggested that Martin was reading about French Impressionism when other children were watching ‘Thundercats‘. Many a true word was said in jest!
Martin studied drawing and painting at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, and later obtained a degree in architecture from the Scott Sutherland School (RGU), where he gained experience with 3d and graphic design software. He continues to work in both traditional and digital media.
Since 2012 Martin’s work has been increasingly political in nature. This is motivated by a sense of injustice and growing awareness of the democratic deficit faced by people living in the country of his birth: Scotland. From 2017 onwards, he has contributed cartoons exploring various aspects of Orcadian history and culture alongside social criticism for The Orkney News and iScot magazine.
In 2019 Martin combined hand painted artwork with digital animation in ‘A Gude Cause maks a Strong Erm‘, the story of the Orcadian Woman’s Suffrage Society (produced by The Orkney News team). This short film won the award for Most Creative/Original film at the 2019 Scottish Short Film Festival and received the honour of being chosen for the “coups de coeur” selection at the Paris International Animation and Film Festival.
In recent times Martin has been finding artistic inspiration in Scottish history, folklore, and music.