Ricardo Martinez was born in Santiago, Chile of Spanish immigrant parents. He then moved back to Madrid with his family in 1969. An expert in various fields, Ricardo is more than an illustrator and creative director who has worked for numerous editorials and newspapers. His specialty is caricature art and drawing political cartoon/comic strips. Today, let’s read and learn from an experienced artist who has been in the industry for more than 20 years. Enjoy!

Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? How did you end up in this industry?

I was born in Santiago, Chile. My parents were from a town north of Madrid, Palencia, They went to Chile after the Spanish Civil War. The whole family moved back to Spain in 1969.
As a child I wanted to be a painter. I admired El Greco, Velázquez… But somewhere in my adolescence I decided I wanted to do comics. I moved to the US in 1981 to be with my future wife, Hazel. When we married and I obtained my resident work permit I started working for The Miami News. I was responsible for the front page color. In my spare time after that ,  I did
illustrations for the newspaper.

M - Rey León color copia

Most of your creations are caricature art. How did you develop it?

Once that it was obvious that my style was going to be scratchboard, and my area of work was going to be Opinion pages, I had to start developing my caricature techniques. I’ve never been fond of caricatures, and I still don’t think I’m that good at it. First I started doing the classic caricatures deformities,: long noses, big teeth, etc.. Little by little I tuned those deformities down until I got the style I use now, which is minimum exaggerations, but I work around some distinctive facial features so that my “victim’s” portrait almost looks more like himself than in real life!

Fidel Castro color copia

Who or what has inspired you? How did it change your perspective at the start of your career?

My inspiration comes mostly from comic strip artists, specially Hal Foster and Will Eisner, illustrators such as Gustave Doré, Frank Frazetta, James Montgomery Flagg, and cartoonists as Don Wright and my very favorite, T.S. Sullivant. Each one of them inspired me in a different way. The strength of all of these artists is the drawing. I always considered the “pencil”part of the art the most important, technique is secondary. But my main influence has been my father. He was a wonderful watercolor/oil painter.

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