Emerson Martinez creates art within a realm of spiritualism and visual illusions. The way his creations pop out at viewers, or can subtly draw them in, makes it seem only fitting that his work would glow in the dark and be on display at festivals. With so many blends of shapes and colors, we come to find that Emerson’s thoughts are expressed in these paintings with a style that needs no definition and explores different mediums. It’s distinct and refreshing, much like his personality.
The Emerson Martinez Interview
Hi, Emerson. I would love to know more about you and your journey as an artist thus far.
I was born in a small town down in El Salvador in Central America. Since I was young, I’d been fascinated with drawing cartoons like any other kid. As I was growing up, I found out that there was much more to art than I knew.
When I came to the States, I realized that the opportunities in art were amazing, so I started taking classes as electives in school. I found out I was good at drawing and learned about acrylic paint, clay and water colors, and I practiced them all. One of my water color paintings was put in the school hallway (Herndon High School), which was a big thing for me! The first time I saw my work on display for everyone to see was an incredible experience.
Once I graduated, I kept working with different mediums and tactics to incorporate designing into master pieces. But with adulthood came different responsibilities. I had to leave art behind and put it on pause so I could start paying for college, and I was working hard to pay student loans. It was hard for me to find time to go back and paint.
After a few years, I revived my art pieces to mix them with LED lights. Now, most of my designs come alive at local music festivals and it’s such a great experience working as CUSTOMNIGHTGLOW with my very knowledgeable and good friend, Alan Curtiss.
At this point, I can finally say I have a portfolio ready and it’s time to show the world my work and let everyone see the same beauty I see with each color and each tip of paint that goes into creating my art. By the way, 90% of all my paintings glow in the dark with UV light.
What were your thoughts when creating “The Vortex?”
My thoughts in creating The Vortex was based on something that I saw years ago when I had my first camping experience. I started to see life in a colorful and beautiful garden. It’s something about the mountains and rivers that show us how mesmerizing and colorful life is. Fresh air and inspiration for healing the soul led me to incorporate the various colors around this scene. Also, I’ve always been intrigued with illusion art and seeing how something can move with your eyes around the image.
It came out like any other design that I’ve done – better than the design I had in mind. The true beauty of making paintings and designs is the final dot of paint. Still, each painting can be limitless. A never ending design on a surface.
Do you consider creating your work to be a spiritual experience?
Yes, I do. It’s something about each time I grab a brush or a pen. It’s more powerful than anything else that I do on a daily basis. For me, it’s like my escape to a place that lets you be your own creator. Imagine a white room with no doors and no windows, but there is a brush on the white floor and it automatically gives you colors on the tip of the brush. You can change the brush to a pen, pencil, marker, ink, chalk, acrylic, watercolor, anything that you can imagine. You start creating walls as perfect designs. The perfect place. You Are Your Own Creator. Art has no errors and perfection is what you make with every color.
What are some of the things you enjoy most about acrylic painting after using sketch paper for so long?
Acrylic is a great combination. It can be used with watercolors and is both thick and thin. You can literally use anything from a brush to a tip of a pencil or a branch tip. Anything imaginable can be done. Acrylic dries perfectly and it is a little pricey, but it’s such an awesome medium that I’ve fallen in love with.
I still use sketch paper for different designs. It’s something I carry around when I have free time and I leave my mind open to make anything in that moment. I literally will use anything I have on hand. A few months ago, I found a piece of wood and started doing some ink work and the final touch was stunning. Just a piece of wood from a broken wooden pallet. It was a real “Aha!” moment.
It takes true talent to make art from anything you can find. What would you say is your favorite creation?
My favorite is hard to choose since I put 100% love into all of them. But, I would have to say my pop art Paul Walker piece. It was my first painting I’d ever done pop art style. He’s also one of my favorite actors (may he rest in peace). I’m happy to say I made the design this way in his honor.
My name is Emerson Martinez,
This is my life in a tip of a brush,
Painting the world as I go.
-See more of Emerson’s work at his website.