Lilian Martinez

“I like to celebrate women of color”

When did you start painting, drawing and creating and what pushed you towards it?

I started painting about 4 years ago. I studied photography, but I really struggled with it. There were always obstacles like, light, perspective, color, etc. When I started painting I realized I could finally create an image that felt perfect to me.

How do you find the balance between the vision you have and the mediums you are using?

It is usually instinctive. I pick the medium that makes sense to me based on what I want the final outcome to be.  

What inspired your style of work? Where do you get inspiration from? Are there any particular artists, photographers, painters, drawers, designers or architects you look up to? 

I like to combine classical architectural elements with contemporary cultural markers. You can see a lot of the same themes through out my work, like fountains, women, bart, the nike logo, etc. I focus on things that I think are beautiful and things that I think are humorous. I really enjoy looking at work from Henry Moore and Paul Cezanne. 

What is the process behind the creation of a piece? 

I get an idea for an image that I want to create. Then I have to figure out how to make it. That usually involves a sketch and sourcing materials. Sometimes I have to allow myself to move away from the original idea a little bit based on the process. In the end if it feels right then it’s right. 

Would you say that there is a main thread connecting all your prints and if so, which is it? 

The strength and beauty of women inspire a majority of my work. I like to celebrate women of color in particular because they were under represented when I was growing up. I grew up in a time period where women of color were very rarely included in conventional media. This is my way of creating alternate histories from my personal experience.  Even now although there is more inclusivity, comparatively it seems very minimal.

What kind of talks would you like to hear around your artworks? 

I hope that people feel joy when they see my work. When I am moved by an art piece it speaks to me without using language. In this same type of way I would like to communicate with the viewer without using words.  

What would be the dream collaboration?

I would love to design a wine label or a piece of furniture. With who I’m not sure :*) 


  1. Woman
  2. Pastel Courtyard
  3. Ladder
  4. Interior
  5. Reading
  6. Lipstick
  7. Woman In Frame
  8. Woman On Vacation

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