Welcome! My name is Naomi Martinez, born 1977 and grown in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago , Illinois . I was first exposed to the art of painting and hand-craft as a teenager through Chicago ’s Marwen Foundation and the Gallery 37 Apprentice Artist program. I later attended Columbia College where I studied Advertising, Art & Design. My work has exhibited locally through out my city’s many alternative art spaces and nationally thanks to Intermedia Arts’ B-Girl Be Summit, Minneapolis and Younity Arts Collective, New York City . I have been a Teaching Artist and continue to work with various arts and grass roots organizations to help bring murals and other public art projects to our local communities. I am also co-founder of the all woman artist collective Mujeres Mutantes and curate their annual art zine MUTANTES! My work is inspired by Japanese animation and the Superflat art movement, independent comics, nature and growing up in the Windy City . Mediums include traditional illustration, painting, D.I.Y. comics and zines, doll-making and spray-painted mural work.
Who is Monstrochika?
Monstrochika sprouted from my imagination sometime in the year 2000. She came to life inside a swirl of vibrant colors surrounded by magical creatures. I had been drawing cartoonish girls since my high school days but this one stood out instantly. She had a unique expression and stance that I loved. I kept working on her and all the sidekicks that started accompanying her. Pretty soon a whole monstroworld came spilling out complete with hungry flytraps and strange shaped flora.
Monster in Spanish is “monstruo” and “chica” means girl. I came up with my own fun spelling of monster girl. Monstrochika!
My girls do not have names. They are all Monstrochika. I set my mind and pencil free to create all my characters. No two chikas or sidekicks are ever alike but they all carry my signature style.
Monstrochika enjoys roaming the city streets, weaving between concrete and the patches of nature that remain. Alley cats follow her because they sense her loneliness while magical monster friends can sense her kind heart and remain visible only to her.