I would like to share with you the story of the artist Veronica Martins. She recalls her simple beginnings, the transition to an unknown country and how her love for the artistic profession has helped her overcome obstacles and move forward.
Tribuna Newspaper – Veronica, to start, tell us a little bit about your personal life.
Veronica Martins- I am originally from Recife, in the Northeast region of Brazil. I come from a very simple family with seven brothers, five of whom are drawing artists. I always say that it is a gift from God, and my father’s inheritance. He worked for the federal police and used to draw in his spare time. In Brazil, I sold clothing and drew in my free time. I would pack a few drawings together with the clothes when I went out to sell them. I enjoyed showing my drawings to people.
Tribuna Newspaper- How long have you resided in the USA?
VM- One day, I decided to come to the U.S. for a 10-day visit, but life is a box full of surprises and reality can change in just 24 hours. I ended up staying in Bridgeport, where I have lived for 16 years. Like many people, I had to work cleaning houses to provide for my family, but I continued to draw on the side.
Tribuna Newspaper- What is your area of expertise?
VM- I have worked as an artist for over 30 years; however, only 24 years ago was I truly recognized as an artist, through the Pernambuco Museum painting contest, promoted by the 2nd COMAR (Comando Aéreo Regional de Recife). My expertise is realistic charcoal and graphite portraits. In addition, I paint using different techniques on wood, canvas, water paper, walls, mud and calcareous stone.
Tribuna Newspaper- During those years of hard work, which moments left an imprint on your life? Were there moments of difficulties when you considered giving up?
VM- I thought about putting art aside, but my love for the work always spoke louder. I have experienced several noteworthy moments in my career. One that left a deep mark was back in 2013, when the Department of Art and Culture in Bridgeport (BACC) recognized me as the city’s artist because of the “I Want to Be an Artist” project. Another instance was the painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe on calcareous stones a fresco – using painting techniques of the Renaissance period – located at the St. Margaret Shrine in Bridgeport. I have witnessed faithful followers kneel and cry when they saw the St. Guadalupe statue. I have also received awards in recognition of my work.
Tribuna Newspaper- Currently, you are creating art workshops with children and teenagers. When did you begin this activity and what is the mission?
VM- Created in 2012, the program “I Want to Be an Artist” was born out of observing my youngest daughter, who was nine years old then, using electronic gadgets constantly. This workshop aims to foster and exercise the creativity of those children and teenagers and in this way, minimize the number of hours they spend in front of a computer.
Tribuna Newspaper- What is the message you want to leave for numerous immigrants who, like you, left their country of origin to pursue the much-desired “American Dream”?
VM- I ask them to pray and not allow the virus of materialism to absorb their minds and hearts. We are just passing by in this world and we need to hug each other more often. We need to be united, do something good for others, do something to help the community, be solidary, for we are not here infinitely; we are on this earth just passing by.
To obtain more information about this artist’s work, visit her Facebook page at Drawing and painting by Veronica Martins.