© 2020 Marti McGinnis


Marti McGinnis, like many other artists, arrived at her art when as a natural offshoot of her varied interests. Art was always there for her. Hers is a happy story…

Marti’s unique point is the association of her art with happiness.

Q+A with Marti McGinnis

What is your art platform?

I draw, paint, blog and explore other media to express happy ideas.

When did you start your art?

I made my first little illustrated story book when I was a little girl, then I went off to college and studied just about everything but art. I got a job as a professional marketer and after only a few years decided to try something completely different. So I applied for the Peace Corps and actually got an assignment to be a pamphlet designer for the Health Education Unit of the Ministry of Health in Suva, Fiji.

While there I drew a comic book entitled “Worms and Germs” for the World Health Organization which then gave me the confidence I hadn’t had before to embrace my inner artist. When I got back home I began pursuing art as a career.

Have you had any formal training?

Very limited. I am largely self-taught. Actually I believe that degrees and educational experiences notwithstanding; most artists really ARE self-taught.

Do you think that you had a natural talent for this?

Passion more than talentWhat I have is a natural DRIVE for this. It is a passion that is deeply rooted. Whatever talent manifests from that is from sheer cussedness.Is anyone else in your family an artist?I have a sister who’s a chef and another sister who specialized in not finishing any of her started paintings until she went on to other pursuits. My mom draws a funny doodle cow.

How did you get started?

When I returned back to the states from the South Pacific, I took the small lump sum all Peace Corps Volunteers get when they finish their service and invested in a festival tent, some white t-shirts, fabric dyes, photos of my work and show fees and went out on the road – literally – selling hand painted t-shirts at outdoor art fairs. My big break came when I scraped the funds necessary to set up a booth at wholesale craft show in Miami, Florida. This launched me onto a more national scale and eventually allowed me to stop the traveling to outdoor fairs and settle down, which I did in Chicago. I have worked my way through multitudinous media.

Does your work have a particular theme? If so, what, and what inspires it?

My work is generally upbeat even if the topic is challenging.

Would you classify your work as pure entertainment, as social commentary, or as a bit of both?

My work while seemingly light hearted and bubbly – embraces very deep subjects and reaches far into the fields of quantum physics and spiritual connectedness.

Do you have a favorite piece?

Almost without exception my favorite piece is always my latest piece. Follow me on Instagram for the latest!

Do you have anything that you feel is important to share with other artists?

I like to encourage other artistsI I help people:

  • find their particular artistic voice, and

  • discover ways to best present your unique ideas.

In addition to making art, I have also had opportunities to teach art. Among my most favorite experiences doing that was showing pre-teen boys how to express themselves via their own cartoons. My whole schtick with that was to just describe techniques and give them space to express.


Marti McGinnis