Introducing the Muralist and Author Phillip Martin
I have traveled the world for as long as I’ve been able to begin my wanderings. My adventures have taken me to every continent, except for Antarctica. (It’s still on my list.) I’ve been to just over one hundred countries, but I’m ready to visit the other one hundred as soon as I can.
My clip art is known around the world by teachers and students. My friends have spied my art at a kibbutz in Israel, an orphanage in Cambodia, on T-shirts in the Philippines, and English textbooks in Moldova. There’s no telling where you will find the clip art. My sister even spied my cartoons at a Maya museum in Central America in a location that neither of us can pronounce, Xunantunich.
The clip art brought about my community murals when someone from a daycare for AIDS orphans asked if they could use my art to decorate the center. I said, “YES! But, I have to help paint the mural.” So, I went to Namibia in southern Africa for my first mural. It was huge, and it never would have been painted without a community of 50 volunteers eager to grab brushes. It was my first mural. I knew it wouldn’t be the last. So far, I’ve painted 63 murals in 27 countries.
When a certain nasty virus shut down the world for a few years, there were no communities that wanted to gather to paint community murals. Trapped at my home with my computer, I decided to write down and illustrate children’s books. Most of them are folktales from around the world. I’ve gathered them from my travels, mostly with my murals. Each book reminds me of the friends I’ve made along the way, the murals we’ve completed, the food involved with these projects, and the communities that have been strengthened around the world.