Chilean-born, award-winning comic artist and illustrator Ricardo Martinez Ortega lives and works in Spain – and his stunning art is something of an online sensation.
Ricardo began his professional career towards the end of the 1970s, initially creating illustrations for publications, advertising agencies, and comics.
Moving to Miami in 1981, he worked at an ad agency, conceptualising ads for brands such as Seven Up and American Express, and creating film posters.
He was soon hired for a staff position at the The Miami News as a designer/ illustrator/graphic artist, but moved to The Miami Herald when the News was sold, becoming the paper’s Op/Ed illustrator.
While in Miami, Ricardo and his childhood friend Nacho created “Goomer“, a comic strip that has been continuously published since 1987, first in the Spanish daily El Pais and since 1990, in El Mundo. The strip has been syndicated in the United Stated by Creator’s Syndicate since 1991, and has enjoyed a stint in papers worldwide. It was made into an animated film in Spain in 1998, which was awarded the prestigious “Goya” for Best Animated Feature Length film that year.
In 1989, Ricardo returned to Madrid with his American wife to be a part of the founding group of the newspaper El Mundo. He became the Assistant Managing Editor and headed the Art Department, supervising both illustration and graphics.
In May 1990, he began to publish editorial cartoons, working with the writer and business partner, Nacho until 2002, when Nacho stopped working on them, continuing as both writer and artist.
While at El Mundo, he also worked freelance, creating illustrations for Coca Cola, Madrid City Hall, Telefonica, UNICEF, Amnesty International, and Renault, among others.
His work is hugely popular, many original drawings bought by the celebrities that include Kofi Anaan, Juan Carlos I, the King of Spain, Bill Clinton, and Juan Antonio Samaranch.
Ricardo has won many awards: eight gold and a “Judge’s Special Recognition” from the Society of Newspaper Design, for his illustrations on the Sunday Op/Ed pages that he did for The Miami Herald and El Mundo. He also received the International Press Award given to him by Kofi Annan, the prestigious Madrid Premio Tono awarded to him by the Mayor of Madrid, The Haxtur Award in Gijón, Spain Comic Festival, the “Gat Perich” given by the editors of newspapers in Barcelona.
His works, some held in museums worldwide, have appeared in the Annual collections of The Society of Illustrators in New York, and in several collected works, including Goomer and his political cartoons.
All art copyright Ricardo Martinez