Bringing her motherhood into her work, she gestures toward a large canvas boasting bold swatches of color. It’s a collaboration with her four year old daughter, who often plays and creates in the studio with her mother.
Upon starting a fashion degree which she left unfinished, Cristina Martinez felt less connected to trends and mass production and was instead drawn to the illustrative side of the industry. “I find so much joy in painting that I don’t currently find in garment construction.” She began painting things that she loves and admires, drawing much of her inspiration from the power and beauty of women.
“I always wanted to be a painter; I didn’t know growing up that it was a career I could have. Now that I am a painter, I can pay all my bills and support myself and two human beings like this.”
Cristina began her creative process when resuming her position as a medical assistant. Each day she sketched self portraits on post-it notes in order to stay sane at a job she felt so disconnected from. She long kept these images hidden due to their personal nature. However, once revealed, her signature aesthetic took the internet by storm. Nearly fifty people now have her designs permanently embellished on their skin, and others buy up her merch faster than she can produce it. “Self Care” is scrawled next to a rendition of Cristina’s face on a T Shirt, folded and packaged neatly in a stack of many others on her studio floor. This relatable wording and imagery is universally validating, which is what her vast following finds solace in.
Speaking about how her life influenced her art, Martinez recalls, “I realized there is a cycle of blooming, wilting, growing, and remembering to take care of yourself.”
People are drawn to art that is genuine. After having only shown her work for about two years, art enthusiasts near and far are hungry for tender, emotional imagery such as Cristina’s. It was at a local show called ‘The Feels’ where she first debuted her collection which has since escalated into her current success.
When discussing her discovery of ’57 Biscayne, she describes how comparable spaces in the area didn’t feel quite right. Upon meeting Jane Richlovsky, Martinez affirms, “Right away, I knew that this was the environment that I needed to create in. I knew that’s what it was gonna be like.” Feeling an immediate comfort and trust with Jane and the studio, she went home that night unable to stop thinking about it. Martinez describes ’57 Biscayne as comfortable, safe, and “One vibe during the day, and another at night.” She loves the fact that she can connect with other artists working late at night in solidarity. “You can tell that Jane goes off of feeling and finding good people for the collective. It’s so great to be in a collaborative space with other creatives… I love it.”
Looking ahead, Cristina hopes to incorporate her passion for painting with her knack for sewing for a new June & Mars experience. Expect more wearable art and collaborations with her kids from this artist in the future.