At the ICAST 2016 fishing show in Florida, I watched Jorge Martinez paint a beautiful picture of a permit in less than an hour. Two days later, I ran into him at the Fly Shop of Miami and he told me all the great locations for peacock bass in Miami. This guy is a fantastic fisherman and artist, so we had to wade a little deeper and ask him some of the real questions that help explain the man behind the brush.
First things first, where are you from and what do you do?
My name is Jorge Martinez and I am a marine artist from Miami, Florida.
How did you first get into fishing?
I was introduced to fishing by my dad and grandparents. When I was very young we use to spend the summer in the keys and fish fish fish.
Did you always draw and paint, or was there something specific about fish that set it off for you?
I’ve been drawing as far as I can remember. As a young boy I drew simply to express my imagination then I got into trying to draw things that really interested me. Fishing has always been a big part of me and my life and the biggest influence in my art.
Do you have a favorite fish to paint?
The Tarpon is my favorite fish to paint and catch. There is no other fish that compares to it, the places we fish them and the situations in which we interact fill my mind with images and ideas.
Why do you prefer fly fishing?
I prefer fly fishing because of the challenge it presents. The whole thing is an art form and when it comes together it makes for the coolest game in the world.
What do you think is the biggest problem facing saltwater fisheries today?
The biggest problem facing saltwater fisheries is disregard for the habitat in the quest for money. We have changed the lay of the land over time and have forced these fish to evolve and change their habits to simply survive. As anglers we must take the responsibility to consciously enter the habitat, enjoy the experience, and exit without leaving a mark. That is our obligation as anglers.
Do you sell prints as well as originals?
I mainly sell originals but will soon be offering prints and other merchandise with my images.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Take in what inspires you and put it out there in your personal form, it has to be seen. The fish art movement is growing and there are many incredible artist representing their fisheries on canvas.
What’s next for Jorge Martinez?
What’s next for j.martinez?? I plan on on expanding my line of products and also progressing my style.