For The Love Of The Human Anatomy Evolves Teenez Martinez Art

"First things first is to establish a vision and be inspired by it before committing to the process of execution."

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Martins Lawrence Akande, the 31 year old Nigerian from Abuja, recalls his first piece of art work surrounding the distinctive features of Mickey Mouse.

“I was sitting in the classroom in my juniors when a friend showed me a comic book which he made, he drew all the characters. I liked it and I thought to myself ‘I could do this!’ I got home, picked a Mickey Mouse magazine and started sketching the characters in there. It was my favorite at the time.”

Surely in this phase Martins – also known as Teenez Martinez – wasn’t thinking about changing hearts or challenging perspectives. He simply was going for being cool.

“Back then, if you could draw a Mickey Mouse you're cool already.”

And it was that introduction, the first glimpse and realization that someone in his grade could create something visually appealing that probed him to search for more within himself. This act continued to evolve, shaping itself as he grew in form into a man and built the roughness of life experiences. Art was at first, as it is with most creatives, secondary – finding space in Martinez life when not busy working as an accountant. But the unique call that reached out to him as a young boy in the form of Mickey Mouse, erupted once again, encouraging him to emerge into a new environment.

“I decided to remove myself from the 9 to 5 after I had an experience with the banking industry. I was invited for an interview but afterwards I thought to myself ‘If I could put in this amount of my time into my art, I could actually be very good at it and make a living as well. Though a challenging process, I didn't go back [to work]. That's the genesis of it all.”

The decision to do what he loves approached with trials but the light at the end of the tunnel has become exceeding bright. His work has been featured in Oxford UK, Artifact NY, World Art Dubai, Paris and Art UpClose. His pieces are consistently floating around the Internet, gathering momentum and increasing his following.

His art, mostly of people, developed because of an affinity for the human anatomy but especially the face.

“First things first is to establish a vision and be inspired by it before committing to the process of execution. I find inspiration in anything beautiful and natural, it gets my imagination working.”

Martinez stretches his talent across multiple platforms from creating logos for large or small companies to illustrating book covers. Many of his portrait commissions are created on conqueror fine quality paper. But recently he has chosen to focus his energy on a very specific visual: children.

“My recent project centers on the essence of a child's innocence. I try to express through my paintings a well-meaning heart, curiosity, imagination and fragile mind that hasn't experienced the cruelty of the world. I try to portray this in a positive light via a series of images of babies with different innocent facial expressions.”

In an effort to build a relationship with his followers, he documents each portraits progress. “Sharing stages while working on a project brings [me] closer to [my] audience.”

In due time, Martinez will be hosting several workshops throughout Abuja, Nigeria and subsequent classes in other countries to further inspire people to invest in what they love.

“I want people to feel love, a sense of calmness and peace while they look at my work. I also want my pieces to be an inspiration for others. My reason is this: art is not just acknowledging beauty of an object or a subject model but also to see beyond that. It should be an important part of our lives since it stimulates the mind.”  ❤