I have moved my blog

Hi folks, I am no longer updating this blog. You can see new blog updates at my website, bigguystudio.ca or directly in my wordpress site. Cheers!

Recent work for the Centre for Social Innovation

Art Director, designer: Gil Martinez, RGD

An ad for Spacing Magazine advertising the Centre's delights, and a poster promoting an upcoming party at their new location. woohoo!

Pulse Magazine

Art Director, Designer: Gil Martinez, RGD
Illustrators: Gérard Dubois (If leadership...), Megan Halsey (Dorothy Wilie)

Pulse Magazine is the official publication of the Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto. This exciting re-design was a fun and rewarding project. The client requested a book that looked less corporate and appealed to nurses of different ages. These are the results.

Golfstyle Magazine

Art Director, designer, photo retoucher: Gil Martinez, RGDPhotographers: George Whiteside (fashion and cover), Elaine Aquan-Yuen (equipment)Models: Doug and Antonia: XXXXFashion makeup: Marinella InfanteFashion styling: Amandia ReeseFashion production: Anita Draycott

Golfstyle is the best fashion magazine for golfers in Canada. These four spreads were part of the Spring 2011 issue. Fashion was shot on location at the new Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. Equipment was shot in the photographer's studio. The magazine has received much praise. In fact, the Dutch Golf Weekly rated Golfstyle the number 1 source for golf fashion worldwide.

Mentoring the youngins

I've been reviewing student portfolios at the Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario student conference Headstart since 2009. As part of the event, established pros review portfolios and offer advice to improve both the work and the presentation. This year I saw two good books and one that really knocked my socks off (that's me in the plaid shirt). Good work in Ontario Schools!

The cat's meow

Art Director, designer: Gil Martinez, RGD
A friend recently left the wonderful Centre for Social Innovation—where I keep my office—for other opportunities. I made this poster to say farewell :)

Martyr—from the archives

Artist: Gil Martinez, RGD
Although I am now an agnostic, I grew up catholic in Mexico, where there is a fascination with the gory depiction of martyrdom. You might be exposed to the torn skin and exposed vertebrae of Christ on the column, St. Lucy with empty eye sockets and her eyes on a little silver plate, or the bloody body of St. Sebastian riddled with arrows.
In 1998 Matthew Sheppard, a normal college kid from an unimportant small town in middle America, was picked up at a bar by two men, beaten, and left to die in the countryside. His mother, Judy Shepard, has since been a passionate speaker for gay rights and anti-bullying measures. At the same time, the Catholic Church, led by Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, has made a crusade against gays and lesbians a central part of Vatican agenda. This 2007 piece, depicting this young man covered in blood with exposed clean skin only where his tears have washed the blood away, with the attributes of martyrdom, is a modest effort to change the narrative while keeping the gory tradition of icons alive.

M. Shepard '98—2007
7.5 cm x 10.2 cm
Acrylic and metal leaf on maple wood

Ten Lives

Artist: Gil Martinez, RGD
This is a piece I did recently using original want ads looking to buy and sell slaves, and capture fugitives. I am an avid collector of old engravings, and I found several that illustrated each of the clips, including the center image of the piece, from Godey's lady's book, ca. 1845. On the whole, the images seem idyllic, and the piece itself is similar to some 1890's crafts I've seen at auction, but each little image contains an insurmountable amount of violence, in the form of ten lives that were never free to run themselves.

Ten Lives—2010
43 cm x 58 cm
Antique engravings, gold leaf, newspaper clippings (ca. 1780-1840), glass and wood.

Happy Chrismukkah!

Art Director, Designer, Illustrator: Gil Martinez, RGD

The Centre for Social Innovation opens a new building!

Art Director, Designer, Illustrator: Gil Martinez, RGDDesigner:
The Centre for Social Innovation has opened a new location, and I designed this poster to welcome new tenants into the space. I like to use calligraphy in my work, and although a quick job, I am very pleased with this particular project.

Farmer's Market at CSI!

Art Director, Designer, Illustration: Gil Martinez, RGDDesigner:
I've been helping out at, and working out of, The Centre for social Innovation. This incredible community hosts several progressive organizations and businesses. We are all committed to social change, and try to support local businesses that grow food responsibly. There is a mini-market there each Tuesday, and I have produced this poster to promote the event. I am exploring the graphic language of the 40s, 50s and 60s. I hope you like it as much as I do!

Banners for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment

Art Director: Tom Browne, RGDDesigner: Gil Martinez, RGD
This is a recent display panel I made for Tom Browne at the Ministry of the Environment. The panels were produced over a weekend—I am quite happy with the results, and I hear they were very well received at M.O.E.

The Gold Tooth

Art Director, designer, illustrator: Gil Martinez, RGD
This is part of a personal project—a series of CD-sized images each dealing with a specific genre of Mexican music. This one deals with "NarcoCorridos", a type of folk song that is based on people and events surrounding the drug trade in the US-Mexico border.

Travel Labels, redux

Designer: Gil Martinez, RGD
A few years ago I made some labels for Yankee Magazine. I have recently retaken the project, and have been busy giving the labels a more weathered look. I am doing some new ones, too. Updates to follow...


Illustrator/Calligrapher: Gil Martinez
Watercolour, gold leaf, pen and ink over parchment.

This piece, now in a private collection, displays each of the genesis verses dealing with the myth of the tower of Babel in a different language. The piece takes cues from medieval architecture rendering in manuscripts, and calligraphic faces were selected to complement each individual language.

From the Yankee Years

Art Director: Leonard Loria
Designer: Gil Martinez, RGD
Photo Editor: Heather Marcus
Photographer: Eric Roth

This piece is my favorite Yankee assignment, and remains in my portfolio. And for some reason, I never included it in my blog. I am proud of what we did here. The home was beautiful but it demanded some serious styling. We did not have an opening shot, and I composed the mud room tableau with a chair, a table and some random objects that were lying around in the barn. The light, as you can see, was gorgeous.


Artist: Gil Martinez, RGD

I made this in 2008, as an excuse to play with the new ultra-fine pigment markers that replace the rapidograph. The man is so vain he is constantly looking at himself to make sure nothing is out of place, and in the process, misses the paradise in which he finds himself.

26 cm x 36 cm
Pen and ink on paper

The Erinyes

Artist: Gil Martinez, RGD
For this piece I used original fashion engravings (circa 1885), japanese origami paper, watercolours, and metallic inks. The Erinyes (or the furies) were personifications of the anger of the dead. The piece explores the objectification of women through trends. In the XIXth century they strangled themselves with corsets. Today, they starve themselves to death. Fashion is a tool of oppression.

The Erinýes—2009
12.5 cm x 17 cm
Antique engravings, origami paper, watercolour and metallic paint on paper, glass and wood.

Holy Shit (Hogs Get Piggy)

Artist: Gil Martinez, RGD

This piece was made last year, and it explores the generic divas gay men worship, as well as the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. The frame is an antique silver icon casing, and the images are taken directly from popular magazines and old porn.

Holy Shit (Hogs, Get Piggy)—2009
13.5 cm x 17 cm
Magazine photos, vintage porn, antique silver icon casing.


Artist: Gil Martinez, RGD
I made this little piece two years ago, and it spawned the desire to explore a new illustration style. Stay tuned for updates as I develop it. This piece sports an original circa 1850 engraving, an antique mirror, some handmade and hand printed paper, and metallic paint.

19.7 cm x 19.7 cm
Antique engravings, watercolour, and gold leaf on paper, plain and mirrored glass, and vintage frame.