Lockdown Art: Pinay single-mom in Japan finds comfort in art


A Filipino artist in Japan has found a way to express herself through art. 

Toniko Martinez is a single mom who has been living in Japan for over two decades. A self-taught artist, she preferred painting using acrylic and draw using colored pencils.

Currently, she is earning from painting on bags with people’s faces and imaginary people as well. 

Art has always been a medium to express her struggles of being a single mom, balancing career and child care. 

Martinez is presently working as a career adviser for a Japanese recruitment agency. Since she can speak six languages, she was assigned to be the person in charge of foreign applicants. 

“I have been drawing since I was five. My parents used to work in an international cargo ship. I and my brother were taken care of by our aunt who used to run a small shop that sold second-hand clothes and sari-sari goods. To keep me occupied, she used to hand me a piece of paper and a pen and instructed me to copy her drawing a lady,” she said. 

The career adviser in Japan always dreams to be a full-fledged artist in the future. 

She has also launched a YouTube channel where she posts her creations and does tutorials sometimes. 

“I do admire a few artists like Gustav Klimt, Alfons Mucha, and a few contemporary artists like Candace Mckay, Leilanie Joy, and Audrey Kawasaki. Looking at their work inspires me a lot,” she revealed. 


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