We had the good fortune of connecting with Lill Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lill, alright, let’s jump in with a deep one – what’s you’re definition for success?
First, we need to understand that success might mean something different to each of us, and that is ok. Everyone is on a different journey and at different stages, so what I consider success is probably different for you. In order to get to this point we need to forget the standards that we’ve been fed for so long like fame, money, and for some having a family. To me, success is being able to make my own art, have time to dedicate to grow creatively and being able to have a voice. I belong to the generation that is deep in student debt and in order to get ahead, even slowly, I have to sacrifice freelancing as my main source of income, making a family, and instead I’m concentrating on finding a balance between a regular job, and personal time for art. So to me, it is not about the metrics online, or if I’m making money freelancing. I feel like I have succeeded when I’m being able to allocate personal time and have saved a bit of money to invest in my art making and express myself without anybody telling me what I can or can’t do or say.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My two main passions are nature and music and those are the forces that drive my art. When I was little my favorite movie was Disney’s Fantasia (and it still is) and has always had an influence on the type of art I want to make. I’m always trying to incorporate music into my art making whether it is as an inspiration for a painting, or interpreting a particular sound or piece. Nature has also played a huge role in the type of art I make. I do a lot of landscape art, paint clouds, and it’s one of my dreams to get more into botanical illustration. It has been a big challenge, but a good one, to be able to develop a body of work while trying to balance other responsibilities in life, but I consider that even the smallest daily or weekly step one can make is better than not doing anything at all and just sit down and wait for the “perfect” time or inspiration to kick in. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is not to underestimate the power of incremental progress.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m from Orange County, so if I wanted to stay local I would definitely take them to Sherman Library & Gardens, Dana Point’s Harbor and Ocean Institute, the LAB Anti-Mall, the antique stores in Orange and eat Cuban food at Felix Continental Cafe, Crystal Cove State Park Beach, Table Rock Beach in Laguna, eat Venezuelan food at Mil Jugos in Santa Ana, and hike to Top of The World.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My family has always been super supportive and encouraging of my artistic journey, especially my grandmother and brothers who are artists as well. My grandmother gave me drawing lessons and encouraged me to always make art no matter what. She’s in her 80s and is still painting, so it’s very inspiring to me. One of my brothers is a musician and sound engineer, and the other is a concept artist and sculptor. We are always bouncing ideas of each other, sometimes collaborating in projects, and pushing each other forward. I would not be where I am if it wasn’t for their constant support and encouragement.