We had the good fortune of connecting with Omar Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Omar, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Deciding to be an artist and pursue this field is a risk in itself. The art field is competitive and highly subjective. You run the risk of making little to no money for your work, especially when you start off. You have to hustle and prove to yourself that you can do it. Being an artist can be rewarding. I am a true believer in giving your %110 in any opportunity that may present itself. You can aim for 10 jobs and get hired for one. That one job could be small, you may not create what you want to create, or the payout is lacking. However, you do not know what other opportunities can branch out from that small job. You never know who will see your work, who the client may know, or what kind of impact your work can have on someone. Sometimes it feels like you are making no progress in your career but in reality you are.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My work has evolved over the years. At one point I observed and critiqued myself. I quickly realized I was not happy with the work I was producing and I needed to do something about it, I decided to take a step back from client work and started working on myself. I started practicing, identifying my weaknesses and working through them. It is never easy to self reflect, tear yourself down and rebuild yourself back up but I felt it was necessary. Now my work feels like me and I am still growing into it. I do not create realistic work, I am more of an illustrator that captures the graphic novel aesthetic with cartoon influences. I love working within this realm because it’s a good balance between fiction & realism. It’s important to self reflect and learn where you need to grow. It was something I needed to do myself and I would advise everyone to do the same.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
So I’m a homebody. Do not get me wrong I enjoy going out but I am very particular about it. For me the best experiences I have are the simplest ones. Hang out at a pub or really chill bar (I can not stress the word chill enough) have a few beers or cocktails and share about life. I may not be the best person for this kind of experience. One thing I do love is taking folks to eat food that comes from my heritage. I am 1st generation, my Dad is from Guatemala and my Mom is from El Salvador. The majority of latinos in Southern California are Mexican, so there aren’t as many Central American restaurants around the area. When I ask if you have eaten Guatemalan/ Salvadoran food and the response is “no” I get giddy because I am about to take you on a food journey. Here in Long Beach there are several Salvadorian restaurants but not Guatemalan restaurants (that I know of). However, there is a small mom and pop restaurant called La Esperanza (1626 Orange Ave, Long Beach, CA 90813) this food spot is both Guatemalan & Salvadorian cuisine. It is so rare to see both sides of my heritage under the same roof. This spot gives me the chance to share the food of my people from both countries. It is always a pleasure to introduce the food I grew up eating to folks and share that experience with them.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate the shout to my family. I would not be where I am with out their support and love. I would also like to shoutout my brother Jr Martinez Aka Zxmbiac and my uncle Steve Martinez. They are absolutely essential to my career. Both of them are my mentors and have my back.
Other: I am also apart of The X Bakery which is creative collaboration between my brother Zxmbiac and my uncle Steve Website: thexbakery.com IG: thexbakery