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Life & Work with Herbie Martin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Herblish.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and introduced to the arts at a very early age while studying at the Colegio Universitario del Sagrado Corazón under the tutelage of Lileana Acosta. At the age of seven, I was given my first camera. During every summer, I participated in the City of San Juan Art Camps, where I developed skills in pencil and charcoal drawing and sculpture. Moved to Central Florida in 1985. Participated in several art festivals while attending Winter Park High School. In 1990, I decided to refocus my life and matriculated at the Savannah College of Art Design, where I majored in Photography, Graphic Design, and Art History. While at SCAD, I studied under former Ansel Adams printer Tom Fischer. I was also heavily influenced by professors Pete Christman and Craig Stevens. Christman introduced me with both 19th Century photographic techniques while also nudging me to the new photographic technological advances of Adobe Photoshop. After graduating, I spent the next 13 years working as a writer, photojournalist, and graphic designer while building a commercial art career. In 2006, I decided to change my artistic name to Herblish to correspond to my new creative focus. As Herblish, I incorporate my photography, photo-editing along with graphics, music, and my new love for body paint. The Herblish Experience was born. Today, I do not consider myself anything but an artist. I combine all of the skills I have acquired to make artistic creations to satisfy me, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I make no apologies for what I create and the intent for which they are created. In my mind, I am a visual poet – A Herblish!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Through the years, I have seen a great deal of challenges, which of course, also bring opportunities. The road has been interesting today the least. Smooth is not the word I would use, but I like chunky peanut butter too. Struggling gave me the opportunity to learn beyond the text. It gave me the advantage to fail many times over and improve on every facet of the game. Through the years, I have seen the needs of the market change and had to adapt. Working from the Analog age on both film and manual graphic design to digital and working with computers and the web.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
My work explores the unapologetic relationship between color and shapes while paying a great deal of attention to textures. I have put together all three of my major disciplines and thoroughly create something new and exciting. It all starts with me body painting a human, then photographing the person. The result is then manipulated using Adobe Photoshop and printed onto a canvas. The canvas is then once again manipulated for me to finalize the visual story. I don’t know of anyone that does all of what I do. With influences as diverse as Egon Schiele to Picasso, Warhol to my Great Cousin Luisa Geigel, new tensions is distilled from both opaque and transparent narratives. Ever since I was a teenager, I have been fascinated by the traditional understanding of spatial and chromatic relationships. I love the mixing or hybridizing for the sake of exhibition. This is why I love Mixed-Media. The work becomes a visual carnival of movement that I call the Herblish Experience.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
Orlando is an interesting city. It’s a fragmented melee. There is a lot of talent of all kinds of arts. The art community has grown exponentially. There’s an amazing Hispanic art community which most others don’t know or appreciate. Sadly, there are not enough spaces for all to show or display. I feel fortunate to have what we have though, wishing what cities from the north or west have. Unfortunately, most people don’t take Orlando seriously also because most are transplants who treat the points of origins as better exes than the ones they currently have. It’s for that reason that many use the city as a place to bounce up. We need more museums, galleries and patrons.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Herblish Creative Catchlight Studios

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