Day 243: Estevan Martinez

Estevan “Steve-O” Martinez

There is a natural darkness within everyone. I’ve seen it first hand and attempt to expose it in the subjects of my artwork through use of chiaroscuro; a style in which I’ve spent the past 2 years perfecting and as of today, still am. However, my artwork hasn’t always been my main source of creative expression. For 9 years I was a classically trained violinist and as I moved through my high school years that passion died due to budget cuts and the removal of the orchestra program. I found myself searching for something to cling to creatively because so much of my identity was rooted in my love for the violin. The death of one passion was the birth of another, I picked up a pencil and began to explore art. My later high school years saw the development of my artwork and a dream of owning my own business centered around it.

            After graduating I spent much of my time developing my style, eventually ditching graphite and white paper to pick up charcoal pencils and toned black, tan and grey paper which gave my art greater realism, depth and ultimately leading to international recognition among small circles of interest concerning my subject matter which consists of pop culture and underground hip-hop. I started the Blind Liberty Art Kollective in 2013 with my good friend and graphic designing wizard Danielle Alvarado, where we provide services for logo designs, cover art for music albums, promotional artwork for businesses and sports teams, and fine art portrait commissions as well as art prints of my original work and apparel.

            I consider myself to be a portrait artist. Much of the work I do is on black paper with white charcoal pencil that creates a dramatic image and has managed to grab the attention of collectors throughout the United States, Canada and parts of Europe. It wasn’t always easy, however, as with many artists I struggled with pricing my artwork until I was offered a generous amount of money for a piece I priced at 1/5th the offered amount which taught me the value of my own work. My work has also managed to grab the attention of legendary underground hip-hop DJ, Mr. Dibbs, and rappers Kristoff Krane and Grieves. I’ve been fortunate enough to create pieces for others to heal emotional wounds, give hope, immortalize a loved one and celebrate a furry friend. My “Nudes at Noon” series are nude pieces done based off photos sent to me through social media and by close friends which aims to promote body positivity and has helped many women learn to love and gain confidence in themselves. An honor that is beyond words.

I attribute my successes to the support of my close friends and loved ones. I’m inspired by the successes of best friends and fueled by the fear of failure. But ultimately, I create to be a creator, because that’s all I’ve ever known and all I’ve ever wanted to be.

To check out my work follow

@Blind_Liberty_Art_Kollective on Instagram and Facebook to purchase apparel and art prints for commissions

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