It may seem that your average Disney Princess is fooled into a fairytale of only having the hopes and dreams of being rescued by Prince Charming, but Marta Ruiz gives them a second chance to their somewhat inconsequential lives.
Immersing Disney favourites into everyday street culture, these Princesses are granted a new sense of individuality, aspirations and a killer wardrobe, even we're a little bit envious of these damsels in distress.
Having studied Advertising and Design, the Madrid native has always been drawn to art, with attraction to colours, typography and corporate brand identity. Marta's refreshing illustration style is without a doubt making waves in an ever so competitive world of art, but this is only just beginning and we can't wait to see what's to come.
What's the story behind your Instagram name Martinailsss?
My real name is Marta Ruiz. But “Martinails” comes from long ago, when I started doing nail art. In fact, you can see some of my work in my first Instagram posts. I loved it, but now only do it occasionally. Since then, I've liked nice long nails, so we could say that they are part of my identity and style.
So what were you doing before you started illustrating?
I've always liked to draw , so I think it's something I've done since I was a child and I don’t remember when I started. About my artwork on Instagram, it all started when I saw a scene from a Disney movie and I thought: “What if I put a sneaker box here? It could be funny”. Then I began to see that sneakers could appear in many movie scenes. After seeing the impact of my first illustration (which surprised me) another came not long after. And without realising it, combining sneaker culture and Disney became a fun challenge for me.
Then it's safe to say that you're a Disney fan?
Absolutely. I 'm a 90’s child, so Disney movies have always been present in my life. I think Disney transmits some really beautiful and necessary values . Although I am the last person to identify with a Disney Princess. I think in this factor, the characters are the ones who need a change. The Disney Princesses do not have hobbies. They have no aspirations beyond marriage or beIng rescued. So I think that integrating them into urban culture gets them out of that simple role and gives them a second chance to express themselves.
What is your favourite piece that you've worked on so far?
It's not the best I have, but I think it 's my favourite . Granny from the film "The Fox And The Hound" with the Nike Air More Uptempo. This image gives me tenderness. I think many girls in the future will be like that grandmother (myself included), caring for our treasures and fondly remembering what it made us feel.
Are there challenges to being a female illustrator in Spain or generally speaking?
From my point of view, there is always competition in art, no matter the nationality or gender. MixIng urban culture and cartoons is not new. What is really difficult is to make it yours. Social networks are an advantage, because they allow to share your work without barriers. I have seen much of my work in foreign accounts (even without my permission) and am far from angry, I felt flattered. People like my work, identify with it, and that's what motivates me to continue.
We love that you've expanded into apparel as well, what's next on the cards for you?
Urban culture is a world with an incredible heritage. From music and art, through to shoes and clothing. As a person who grew up with it, I think it's a world full of creative ideas. My artwork is a reflection of what I like and how I live every day. The possibilities are endless!
Would you consider yourself a sneaker enthusiast then?
Ha! Okay, I have to admit. I love shoes. I love the culture. I do not consider myself a “sneakerfreaker” (mostly because I don't have the money to maintain that lifestyle). But I have several pairs (many or few, depending how you look at it). I have always liked them and today I work in a shoe store, so they are always present.And lastly, tell us your favourite spots in your hometown to...
Eat: This the most difficult question! It’s very hard to say only one! But if I have to choose, maybe Alfredo’s is my favourite one. The best burgers in Madrid, I swear it! And for dessert. I'm really in love with a place called Crepes & Waffles I 'm there so often to eat waffles that they should give me a membership card.
Shop: I can't deny, I'm a bit tacky and I really like second-hand clothing stores. But to buy sneakers, my favourite store is Storm Shop. They make you feel at home, literally. Sometimes you can even go and eat paella!
Chill: My neighbourhood has many quiet places to have a drink and hang out with your friends. Although my favourite way to chill is listening to music, especially by the queen Erykah Badu.
Want more Marta?