Artist Lilian Martinez creates her own universe


"I focus on things that I think are beautiful or humorous or both…”


Starting at the beginning - why the emphasis on the female form?

I think it’s beautiful and strong. And I’m inspired by that. 

Your art also has elements from pop culture - Nike swooshes, characters from The Simpsons, Drake… Why the decision to include these?

Nike and the Simpsons are things that I trace back to my childhood, that I am still interested in today. I like the simplicity of those shapes and they have become like cultural artifacts to me. Also, I find humor in these things. I focus on things that I think are beautiful or humorous or both. 

Tell us more about BFGF…

BFGF is an art brand. I focus on creating pieces that are functional and accessible. They are pieces that you can integrate into your home. 

You work with such a wide range of materials - paper, linen, plaster, bronze, paint, digital… do different mediums suit different moods? 

I choose the medium based on the project. When I am working on a piece for BFGF I work digitally because I want to be able to easily edit things or save in various sizes. When I am working on a personal piece I usually have the medium in mind as I visualize what I want the end result to be. 

Do you usually have an outcome in mind when you’re working, or are you winging it?

I usually have an image in mind that I focus on creating. There are times where that can change. I like to allow myself to change direction if I have to. 

Cliché question, but it’s always good to know - which artists inspire you?

I like a lot of modern art. I really like Paul Cezanne and Henry Moore.  

Whereabouts in Los Angeles are you based? Does the city also have an influence on your art?

I live in east Los Angeles. I also have a studio in the Mojave Desert. I travel back and forth a bit. I think I’m inspired by the nature that surrounds Los Angeles. There are really great deserts and mountains outside of the city. I’m also inspired by the plant life in Los Angeles, and of course the art museums.  

Finally - any upcoming projects or collaborators that you’d like to shout out to? 

I’m participating in an artist residency outside of New York with my husband this winter. I’m excited to make new work and find new inspiration : ) 

Lilian Martinez work is for sale in her store,
BFGF, with more works here on Instagram.

Interviewed by Charlotte Ruth