Artist Cristina Martinez on how technology can bring stories of hope and joy to new communities

Classical art is thriving in a digital world.

Cristina Martinez artist
Meta/Cristina Martinez

Cristina Martinez

In the age of artificial intelligence and virtual reality it’s easy to assume that original art is in jeopardy of being replaced by technology. But Cristina Martinez, an Afro-Latina contemporary artist known for her fine art content on Instagram, sharing the often-untold stories of Black and Brown people, is an example of how technological innovations can enhance the artistic process and help bring voices to often underserved communities.

Herdandez recently took part in the Meta Sonic Listening Party in Miami, an event that brought together artists from various disciplines to collaborate in unique ways as part of Meta’s “It’s Your World” campaign, designed to bring. together emerging artists, musicians and Creators to reimagine the next generation of creative expression.

Martinez spoke with Upworthy about her experience taking part in the Meta Sonic Listening Party and how new technology is shaping her as an artist and storyteller.

Upworthy: What inspired you to become an artist?

Cristina Martinez: I honestly feel like I don't know how to be any other way. Ever since I was little, I’ve always felt drawn to express myself creatively, I didn't always know what it meant.

I think just being an artist is who I am, I feel like I'm fulfilling my purpose here on Earth. One thing that keeps me going is the thought of all these amazing Black and Brown young artists that will come after me and you know, be able to look and see people that look like them doing the things that they dream of doing, which I think has changed a lot from when I was little. So I'm so blessed to be a part of that.

Upworthy: You mentioned how your art often focuses on highlighting those often untold stories of black and brown people. Do you think some of these different formats you've experimented with, like the Meta Ray-Ban smart glasses can be both a powerful tool for your own expression, but also helping to find new ways to reach those audiences in different communities?

Cristina Martinez: I think that it can broaden your audience. Just being able to share these stories and impact people and let people you know, come across my artwork, or the artwork of another talented artists and being able to like see a little bit of themselves and the artwork, it just builds connection. The Meta Ray-Bans help document my process in general because I think that one of the things that often gets missed about Black and Brown stories is just like regular life stuff. Like we focus so much on trauma, but you know, Black and Brown joy and love and just happiness, all of these things. It's like all of that can be captured and without even really trying. We just get to be who we are.

Upworthy: What was it like getting to take part in Meta’s “It’s Your World” campaign?

Cristina Martinez: It was very authentic. You know, partnering up with these companies, sometimes you can lose sight of lyour true self, because it's this great opportunity. But with this, I feel like I've been able to make art that is authentic to who I am, like when I made a painting with my glasses with my daughter. I got to just lbe myself through the whole thing.

Upworthy: Could talk a little more about what it was like using the Meta Ray-Ban smart glasses while you were painting during the party?

Cristina Martinez: I think for people that create in a very small bubble, I think art is such a sacred thing. And creative people. You know, there's all types of different creatives for me, I spent so many years like just creating for my sanity, and because I had to and so being able to still have that moment with my work. I think what's really special about it is that you do you get to just still be yourself and have those intimate moments with whatever you're doing, whether it's interacting with friends, or, you know, being a mom or cooking or whatever. And then you can document it. And then I'll let people into that space and inspire and connect with people later on. I think that that is a really special tool for a lot of people.

Upworthy: What it was like collaborating with Victoria Monet and learning to use the piano and Piano Vision with them?

Cristina Martinez: If I told anyone that actually knows me, like, ‘Hey, I'm about to go to this event and perform the piano,’ you know, everybody's initial thing is to laugh. But when I was there, and I did it, it really was very cool. It was just like, it was a new first time experience for me, but it felt really, really good.

Upworthy: For Upworthy readers that will be seeing you and your work for the first time, what do you hope they take away from experiencing your artwork?

Cristina Martinez: I think more than anything, I hope that my art inspires people to have compassion for each other. We all go through these things together. I like to acknowledge the realness of life and challenges and hardships and things that are unfair. But also to remind my viewers that on the other side of that is better days, bigger blooms, whatever you want to call it. I try to find the little things that are lights in hard parts of life. And I want people to see that.


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