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Life & Work with Sara Martinez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sara Martinez.

Hi Sara, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I started drawing cartoon characters when I was five. In high school and college in San Jose, CA I tried to take art classes but I was set in my own artistic styles and became frustrated and dropped the classes. I could draw cartoons extremely well, but my dream, my goal was to draw realistic portrait drawings. In 2010 I started seriously working on developing my portrait drawing skills. I drew and grew my skills and was happy with where I was, then I started to realize my eyesight was getting bad. The eye doctors said I needed blood vessels in the back of my eyes closed and I had cataracts. In 2014-2015 I had to stop drawing while I recovered from my surgeries. Then I discovered my vision had changed from nearsighted to farsighted. I wasn’t seeing my subjects like I used to and my old methods no longer worked for my new vision. I was devastated, I couldn’t draw my pictures with the amount of details I could previously nor did they look as clear as my old drawings. It was several months later that I started drawing again telling myself the next one would be better, that I could use what works on the next and rethink what didn’t. After lots of practice my graphite drawings were back if not better than before and I knew it was time to move on to the next challenge, color portrait drawings. I’ve tried different types of colors on different types of canvas and paper experimenting with different blending tools and techniques. Through all the years, I always try to put into my portraits the beauty I see in my subjects and it fills my heart with joy that people enjoy them especially the subjects I draw.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Along with cataract surgery, I caught a rare viral infection on my right foot 2 years ago that led the amputation of my right leg below the knee in November. My mother had also passed away on Easter that same year, so struggling with depression and working on healing and walking again, my drawing again took a long rest, it was just recently that I try to draw a few days a week.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
My day job is a customer service rep for an up and coming company that is growing by leaps and bounds. I’ve had a few opportunities to express my creativity in office and my co-workers do appreciate my work.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
To me, success is the smiles and wonder on the faces of those that see my work, especially when they struggle to find the words to express what the drawing means to them. Being told that I have captured the essence of my subject, especially in the eyes. I love eyes, they are the first thing that I notice on a person and I love reading the emotions they express.


  • Graphite starting at $80
  • Color starting at $150

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