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Art & Life with Randy Martinez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Randy Martinez.

Randy, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My story starts the day I came into this world. Born to two artists, my father an illustrator who worked for Disney, and my mother an art teacher, art has just always been in my life. I honestly can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have a brush, pen or pencil in my hand. All I’ve known is a life filled with splattered paint, bright colors, and eccentric philosophies.

All I’ve ever wanted to be is an artist…well, I also wanted to be a professional basketball player, and I even played one year of Collage basketball (where I majored in art), but I stopped growing at 6’4”, I’m not very fast, and I couldn’t jump all that high. Once reality set in, that I would not be playing for the Lakers in this lifetime, I felt “yep, this is the time to start focusing on my art career”. I switched gears and transferred to the Kansas City Art Institute, where I earned a BFA in Illustration and design. By the way, it just so happens, going to KCAI helped me with basketball career too. I dominated the basketball court in the center of campus for my 2 and half years there (art students aren’t known for their athletic prowess, hehe).

While I had been making money with art, drawing caricatures and painting store windows, since I was 12, my professional career really started in 1999 when I got my first gig making art for Lucasfilm. It was dream come true to be an official Star Wars artist, and I’m proud to say that my dream has continued for nearly 20 years. It’s been a wild ride, that has taken me all over the world, where I’ve met some truly amazing people.

Creating art for Star Wars has given me the opportunity to use my imagination, develop as an artist, and has opened doors to make art for the likes Marvel Comics, Jurassic Park, Lord of the Rings, Aliens, Harry Potter, and the San Francisco Giants. I’ve authored two how to draw books, I teach how to draw classes, and even co-host a Star Wars podcast. 
The better part of my career has been in the city of Los Angeles, but I moved to San Diego one year ago and I absolutely love it here. San Diego is a beautiful city, with so much to do, but as an artist, the community has been awesome, friendly and welcoming. I definitely plan on weaving myself deep into the community of San Diego. I absolutely love it here!

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
In my time doing art for Lucasfilm, I picked up the nick name “The Swiss Army Knife of Artists”, due to my ability to work in just about any medium or style, sculpture, Painting, or digital illustration. Funny thing is, in the old days, illustrators had to be able to do any job that came across their desk, so it wasn’t unusual that an illustrator could be an artistic Swiss Army Knife. This is how my parents taught me from as far back as I can remember. Always teaching me new mediums, techniques, and philosophies. It’s been a blessing and a curse though.

While it is a great advantage to be able to do any job that comes my way, it has also been a challenge to have a focus or brand of art. I mean, it’s not just that I get calls to do all different kinds of art, it’s that I love creating art in all the different ways I have been taught. Often, I start getting an itch to paint something on canvas before I’m finished making an illustration on my computer, and then I’ll want to collage something, or do a run of pencil sketches. I’ve got art A.D.D.!

In recent years though, I’ve started to find some focus… a little. While I don’t deprive myself of any creative muses, I’ve also come to realize I’ve been somewhat of a Jack of all trades, but a master of none. So, I have started to focus a lot on two outlets for my creativity, painting and humor illustration.

I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to paint for the Marvel Comics Fine Art program. It’s really given me the chance to improve as a painter while giving me some momentum into creating my own ideas. Humor, is where my art career started. I used to do caricatures at Magic Mountain when I was in high school, and my first few years with Lucasfilm was drawing cartoons and gags for various Star Wars publications, I even worked for Cracked Magazine (remember that mag?).

After nearly 15 years of creating mostly representational art, I’ve had an itch to get back to where I started. So far, it has been great, and I’ve brought all I’ve learned in the time I’ve been painting and illustrating representational art. I feel like I’m finally finding my happy place as an artist! But, Art is a journey that never ends, so it’s always interesting to see where I might go after that.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
Every artist has to walk their own path to finding what they define as success. I have two bits of advice that I think will work for anyone looking to make art their career.

1.Walk your path with an open mind. Don’t get tunnel visioned into doing one thing. It’s easy to stick to doing what we already do well, but we only truly grow as artists if we step out of our comfort zones every once in a while. Draw things you don’t normally draw. Travel to places you’ve never been. Hang out with people you wouldn’t normally hang out with. By stepping out and doing things we don’t normally do, we enrich our lives, our visions and our muse. Your art reflects everything you take in through your senses, so the more you feed your senses the better and more creative your art becomes!

2.Have fun. At the heart of it all, art needs to be fun. Sometimes it can be a lot of work, it can be frustrating, it can be tiring, but at the end of the day, you got to feel like it’s all a fun experience. Honestly, I truly believe the only way you can ever do art incorrectly, is if you’re not having fun. If you find yourself making art and not having fun, stop what you are doing. Sometime you need a break, or time to think things through a little. Sometime you got to clear your head, and just think simply think about what is FUN for you. Often, the world changing art in history, or the ground-breaking techniques were created or discovered because an artist let themselves have fun. Fun isn’t always laughing and giggles, fun can just be an emotional journey, but at the end you feel fulfilled and complete. What ever gets you there, that’s what you need to do.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
The Best place to see my art is on my website www.randymartinez.art. I have a lot of my more recent art there, more of my bio, and contact information for anyone who would like to contact me about making art for them.
I also have a store where people can buy my original art, prints, and apparel.

Please visit randymartinez.storenvy.com to see what I have available. I’m always adding more art for sale, so check back often! Finally, one of the best ways to see my art and keep up with what I’m doing is to follow me on Social media. My girlfriend, photographer Denise Vasquez, has been my mentor in the ways of the internet! Before meeting her, I had zero social media presence, but now I’m an old veteran on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and You Tube.
My handles are…
Facebook- randymartinez40
Twitter-randymartinez40
Instagram-randymartinez40
You Tube- randym40.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All Art is created by Randy Martinez

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