Traveling the World as an Artist with Martina Martian

Martina Martian is a travelling illustrator sought out for her bright colors, flair, and 80s and 90s inspired designs. She was also the creator of the very first GIF challenges on Instagram Stories! Her art focuses on empowerment and positive thinking, and her bold designs have helped her gained attention on publications such as Teen Vogue and Cosmopolitan. Read on to find out how she got her start as an illustrator, stays inspired, and curates a digital community!

Hi Martina! Please tell us about yourself and your background

Hello! My name is Martina Martian and I am a travelling illustrator- basically I travel the world and illustrate content for a living! You’ll recognize my work for its bold colors, positive messages and 80’s/90’s nostalgic twist.

What inspired you to pick up the pencil (or Wacom tablet, haha) and become an illustrator? How did you get started?

I’ve always been creative but only got serious about illustrating a few years ago. I had finally developed a style I loved and decided I wanted to use my illustrations to speak my values to the world.

You were one of the very first Instagrammers to inspire GIF challenges on Instagram Stories. What inspired the concept to create them? How else have you found IG Stories to be a medium to think outside of the box on social?

I was actually the very first! Not many people know that I first invented the GIF challenge after seeing similar challenges on Tumblr, and decided it would be awesome to develop my own pretty ‘template’ to use on Instagram Stories. 
It was just a fun exercise to help me get to know the people I follow/who follow me outside of their projected online selves. I never could have imagined it would be as popular as it has been! 
I’ve also used Instagram stories to give my followers little tours of whatever city I’m travelling in at that moment, create ‘daily positivity challenges’ and other exercises, and have developed a wide range of popular GIF’s and stickers for people to use on their stories!

Where does the inspiration for your illustrations and designs come from? What is the message you hope inspires your followers?

I find inspiration from my own passions and values: empowerment, travel and social issues. I hope to inspire my followers to seize life and think positively!

You have recently hosted sold out design workshops in Sydney and NYC! Congrats! What can someone who has never been to your workshops expect, and why is it important to build your digital brand with offline events?

Thank you! People should expect to leave my workshops with new creative connections feeling energized and excited about creating and taking charge of their creative career. It’s part creative networking event, part QnA and part workshop. 
It’s been really important to me to develop offline events where I can spend time one on one connecting with people. People are always surprised that I’m so ‘real’ and down to earth in real life, so it’s important that I have these events and meetups to show people what I’m really like ‘IRL’ and give them genuine advice and feedback.

We’re obsessed with your Instagram grid! What are your top 3 tips when it comes to creating and curating an amazing Instagram presence and creating a digital community?

  1. Develop 3 ‘types’ of posts you want to regularly post, so people generally know what to expect from you. E.g. Selfies, outfit posts, quotes.
  2. Engage and be active in your community by supporting other people’s accounts.
  3. Take some time to think about what you want to achieve and explore through your Instagram presence. Define it!

How do you stay ahead of the curve in the ever-changing world of content creation and design?

I just keep creating, constantly!

What’s next in your 2018 bucket list?

Traveling long term and documenting it all through my YouTube and stories – I’m about to go on a 100+ day adventure overseas!

“I hope to inspire
my followers to seize life
and think positively!”


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Stay connected:

Website: Martina Martian
Instagram: @martinamartian