Martin started working in 1989 as a designer after finishing a degree in Graphic Design and ran his own business until 1995 in Germany. From 1997 to 1998 he worked voluntarily in India as a designer and artist.
After coming to the UK in 1999, he finished his Master of Design in illustration in December 2000 at Edinburgh College of Art.
From 2001 to 2009 he worked as a freelancer in addition to working in different jobs before founding the Red Balloon Studio in 2009 (please see www.redballoonstudio.co.uk). At the same time he started working at ECAS.
Since 2006, he has been sharing his creative talents with others, teaching water colour painting and calligraphy. He is proud to have won a Fine Art Award in 2011 and two Calligraphic Awards in 2010 and 2011 at the British Library in London.
What clients say about
I very much enjoy the company and all the Tai Chi movements – all very helpful. Socialising is very important at this time when many are isolated.
Thanks to the Ecas grant we were able to source and pay for VR (virtual reality) equipment for my son Keir to use daily at home. After first using the headset at the Sick Kids Friends Foundation it was amazing to see how it helped him to get exercise. By exercising while seated, the severe pain that his condition creates is greatly eased. It has been a fantastic resource and helped him so much. We are so thankful and every single day we are seeing the results.
The Wallace family
It was always a great afternoon chatting with Stuart. I find our friendship to be very rewarding. It was a pleasure to be in the company of his character and good humour. We both shareed similar interests and managed to get out to watch his favourite football team play.
I met up again with my Befriender today and had an interesting and enjoyable walk in warm sunshine. I so appreciate his time and kindness. Thank you for making it all possible.
Thank you Ecas for supporting us to go on a holiday. The cottage has been great – wheelchair accessible with amazing views around.
The Dukan family
Eilidh loves her trike. Being out and about together with the rest of the family on theirs has made a huge difference and is fantastic exercise for her.
The Anderson family
I have been a befriender for about two years. I visit an elderly lady and love the stories and chats we have over tea and biscuits. It’s a two-way exchange benefiting me as befriender and her as befriendee. I would recommend Ecas to anyone thinking of volunteering. It is so rewarding.
The art group has given me the opportunity to fulfil a dream.
Ecas has given me confidence, and the belief that I can achieve what I set out to do.
I didn’t have a lot of confidence about going into the sporting world or teaching but Ecas invited me to come along [to the swimming group] and it was really good for me.
Neil, swimming group leader
I hadn’t done any art since primary school and I’m now the proud owner of several nice pictures. A super group.
The class has given me the ability to use my hands to an extent that I was previously unable to do.
Ecas computer class is the best thing I have done in years. I did not think I would ever learn to use my tablet. The knowledgeable tutor is keeping me right. I am learning slowly, but surely …
It’s great to get out of the house to learn more about computing – much better than watching TV at home!
The Friday group is a very important part of the week. I meet friends, have fun and can be creative.
We have a very supportive tutor. She gives us a lot of scope to do painting, art and also pottery. Being part of the craft group is so rewarding.
The group is a lot of fun and full of talent. I enjoy playing different instruments, rediscovering songs from a long time ago and also new ones.
I’ve always thought literary people were above me. But when we read and talk about them, you discover that they are really quite like us.
My carer suggested I join the reading and writing group. I didn’t hold out much hope… two years on and I am still there. Being part of the group has taught me how to write essays and poems. Its great fun hearing group members read out their written pieces. Outside Ecas, we meet socially and go out for coffees or to the cinema. I am glad to have become a member… I love it.
This group is a fantastic way to come together and talk about things: books, our lives, what’s important to us.
After only five weeks, I am surprised. Tai chi is easy to do. The benefits are less tension. It works and fully meets my needs.
Tai chi helps relax me – the tension just melts away. It has helped me regain movement in my left arm.
The body is more supple and the mind is less busy.
Having the opportunity to get in the water and stretch my legs has helped me be more comfortable not only when in the pool but in my day to day life. The swimming group has definitely had a positive impact on me.
The swimming group has really helped me with my confidence in the water and has also helped me to get out and be more sociable.
We look forward to the class and the support we get from one another.
The practising of relaxations and meditations helps to provide a sense of peace when there may be many things in our lives that are out of our control.
We feel confident now and realise we can do things we couldn’t do before but we can do them now!
Thank you Ecas for supporting us to go on a holiday. The cottage has been great: wheelchair accessible with amazing views around.
The Dukan family
(My befriender) brings the outside world in.
Having the opportunity to get in the water and stretch my legs has helped me be more comfortable not only when in the pool but in my day-to-day life.
The group is a fantastic way to come together and talk about things: books; our lives; what’s important to us.
Ecas computer class is the best thing I have done in years. I did not think I would ever learn to use my tablet.
Ecas: a good place to be.