We had the good fortune of connecting with Jel Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jel, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I would say that the reason I pursued an artistic career is because it is what has driven me my whole life since I was a child. I began creating graffiti art since the 5th grade. It’s my passion.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My paintings consist of multiple layers that tell a story. I create a surface that I feel replicates a wall, I then write on it the same way a graffiti writer would tag on a wall. I then create the process that is created by the city which is referred to as the buff. The buff can be different shapes or forms that are used to remove the writing from the streets. It’s basically having a piece of a wall in your home. It took lots of hard work and effort to get to where I am today. I started creating my paintings in 2008.
I have faced many challenges like being able to show in certain galleries and getting my work shown.

The biggest lesson I learned is that everything comes at it’s given time. I just keep moving forward with my passion and see where it will take me.

A little about myself is that I am extremely shy so learning to speak to an audience about my work has been one of my biggest accomplishments throughout the years.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had friends in town I would definitely take them to some of Miami’s hidden gems. El Mago De La Frita, Happy Wine, Frankies Pizza and of course Wynwood so they can see some amazing murals.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to thank first and foremost The Museum of Graffiti Allison Freidin
Alan Ket
I would also like to thank my supports that inspire me everyday.

Website: www.jelmartinez.com

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