Rarely is there a combination quite as lovely and organic as the work of Lilian Martinez and ARQ. Not only do we admire the soft, curved bodies depicted on her fabric, print, and ceramic works of art, but we get weak in the knees observing her lush landscapes with unexpected color palettes. It is such an honor to feature her in our posy: Bombinate - a word that perfectly describes the affect her work has on us.
ARQ - You are constantly described as being an intuitive artist, something we wholeheartedly agree with! What does intuition mean to you, and how important is intuition in the rest of your life?
Intuition and processing information are big influences in how I choose to live. When making work, it’s easier to distinguish for me. It either feels right or it doesn’t. In life I think it’s about owning what feels right and that can be confusing because there are so many variables. I just try to strive for the highest comfort levels when possible. I feel my best when I’m comfortable.
ARQ - Your beautiful color palettes are so soothing and seem to be inspired by nature. What of the natural world captures your imagination most?
I love the greens in nature. There are so many beautiful shades. I also like the feeling that being in a beautiful, natural setting evokes.
ARQ - The playful quality of your work really evokes the creative freedom of childhood. Do you see young Lilian in the work you create as an adult? What do you think your grade school self would think of your work?
I wasn’t really encouraged to be creative as a child. I think now that I’m an adult, I’m just having a lot of fun because I can do whatever I choose to. Maybe that comes across in my work. I feel very fortunate to be able to do that. I think a young me would like the Simpsons references ;)
ARQ - We love the gentle, curved bodies you portray in your art, and are so inspired by how you "dress" them. Can you tell us where your inspiration with the human form and their fashion comes from, and how the grace and comfort of the bodies and clothing in your work carries through to how you dress in your everyday life?
Thanks! In my paintings I try to draw bodies that I think look strong, soft, and beautiful. I think they look really powerful when they are dressed. Clothing is important to me. Again I think it has to do with comfort. The colors and the form of the pieces have to exist comfortably together, and they have to exist comfortably on the body. It kind of feels like we are going through a small brand renaissance right now. There are so many beautiful pieces being made by accessible smaller brands that feel very special - that is inspiring to me. I try to support brands like ARQ as often as I can, or I try to buy things second hand.
ARQ - How important is routine in your life? Do you have a favorite daily or weekly tradition or routine that keeps you going?
My most constant routine is breakfast. I like to take it slow and figure out what I have to do that day during breakfast. It’s hard for me to keep a routine. I like a bit of variety.
ARQ - We want to jump into the fascinating landscapes of so many of your pieces. If you could be transported anywhere today, where would you go and why?
The French Riviera! I would go to the Henri Matisse museum, swim in the sea and have mussels and fries with a carafe of Rosè for dinner <3
Images: courtesy of Lilian
Interview: Callie Uleners