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RSW Living Magazine

Renaissance Beauty - Artist Lia Martino depicts a fusion of art, fashion and style

Jan 01, 2016 11:45AM ● By Kevin

Opening the door of a home that’s a safari of glam, art and couture, Lia Martino welcomes guests with a radiant smile that characterizes this beautiful and multi-talented woman.

A powerhouse of beauty, liberated self-expression and style, Martino’s impressive resume encompasses exciting careers and entrepreneurships and, most importantly, great success. For a person as creative as Martino, it is hard to stay focused on one single project. “I have no idea,” she says when asked about who she is an artist.

However, she knows. The self-described “cocktail of art, passion and beauty” arises daily to produce, coordinate, arrange, rearrange, model, design, and dream of even more projects. There has been no rest for this go-getter since she first stood before a canvas at age 5. “I have a ton of [artwork and clothing] commissions and I feel so lucky! I have such great clientele,” she says, showing paintings neatly stacked against the walls of her home studio in Fort Myers.

“In August 2016, I will be having a fashion-inspired exhibition with big paintings and collaborations with other local artists that I love,” notes Martino, whose paintings depict popular subjects and fashion-inspired themes with abstract aesthetics.

DSC_0128An Illinois native, Martino arrived in Southwest Florida via Beverly Hills, California, where she had a successful career in modeling. That was in 2008. It didn’t take long for locals to notice her commanding presence and big spirit, unknowingly demanding attention with an unexplainable poise. Attracted by the beautiful coasts, especially the marvels of Sanibel and Captiva, Martino decided to settle in and bask in the happiness of becoming a Floridian.

Martino’s first painting exhibit was in New York. She was just 12, now recalling selling some of the work and feeling the need to do more. “My mom has always told me that I was born with a paintbrush in my hands,” says Martino, whose natural beauty and spontaneous personality would land her in fashion for Chanel at age 16. She also worked in luxury fashion for Armani, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. From that point forward, her life became a whirlwind of art, design and fashion; performing in runway shows in the United States and Europe while producing and exhibiting her art, mentoring other artists and operating a number of businesses, including a clothing design venture and a faux finishing company.

DSC_0146Martino’s desire to explore and experiment forces her to shift from one venture to another, in order to satisfy the need to bring her multiple ideas to life. The truth is she manages to do it all, timely and flawlessly. She is also working on commissioned portraits of client family members who have passed away, which requires extensive research and documentation for accuracy. “I love doing the research and finding out so much about the subjects, then I dream the paintings. I get out of bed in the middle of the night and paint,” says Martino, who is inspired by mostly everything that surrounds her. At the same time, she is producing a line of altered jeans and custom jewelry, called Dillon.

“Lia and I became immediate friends when we modeled and traveled together. She is a talented artist and fashion designer,” says Sandra Ward, CEO of Miami-based Catwalk Pros. “She sees everything with a pure heart, always finding the good in others and her paintings reflect her experiences in life and love for fashion.” Ward is co-organizing a not-yet announced runway show with Martino.

Artists like Lia Martino are born, not created. She is driven by the experiences in life and the desire to expose her soul to the world. We certainly look forward to more of her genius. More information about the artist can be found at

Written by David Acevedo, a visual artist, curator, former gallery owner, art writer, and current manager of the Union Artist Studios on the campus of the Alliance for the Arts. He has a degree in visual arts from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus.