Martin Karadzhov studied art for 12 years in his home country of Bulgaria before moving to Miami in 2003. He always loved art, and was determined to pursue it even if he was his only supporter. Being accepted to the oldest and most prestigious Art School in Sofia, one of only 6 students in the whole country, he paid his way by painting portraits for his peers and community. But during all that time, South Florida was a dream of sunny weather, warm winters, and bright days. Taking a chance, he applied for and was selected for the international green card lottery. From that day he knew Florida would be his forever home.
He had only saved enough to pay for his first, last, and security deposit when he arrived in Florida. He had to find work immediately to make his new life a reality here in the Sunshine State. Despite having his extensive education and masters in Fine Arts for Mural Painting, here he had to fall back on painting portraits to make ends meet. But his talent spoke for itself. Within 6 months, after painting wedding portraits for a couple in Miami, they shared his work with their peers. One of them asked if he could do a mural for her home and since then he’s been able to paint luxury murals for an elite clientele all over South Florida.
He’s had the chance to paint for the likes of Chris Cline, listed as one of Forbes Magazine’s 400 Billionaires in 2017. His work has also been commissioned for the HouseWives of Miami Reality TV Show. Even though he’s had the opportunity to work with several wealthy people because of his art and his passion, he says his main pursuit was never the money.
“I always believed in myself [as an artist]”, and that is what has brought him the success he has today. He urges fellow artists and anyone with a passion, whatever it may be, to take the time to get the training and learn all you can in your craft. Don’t short change yourself by learning the basics and trying to make money with that. The goal is to be the best. “I don’t want to be good. I want to be the best”.
He truly feels that the reason he has made a name for himself as the most reliable, talented, and professional mural artist in our community is because of his years of experience and learning his craft. He mentioned that many artists have tried to take advantage and claim his work as their own, but clients can tell the quality and attention to detail is simply not up to par with Martin himself.
Each piece he creates is an individual work of art and he refuses to ever duplicate a mural because as an artist he loves to create something new. The time it takes to create unique works, sometimes up to a year and a half, is worth it to him to be able to let inspiration flow and let pure creativity come through in every piece.
The beauty of his work is in the color and skillful crafting of textures and dimension, he says. He’s had the chance to work with 24K gold leaf as part of the paint selection, and he totes that he uses only the best materials in the art market, because it is his desire to create not only the most stunning unique pieces, but lasting murals that can be seen and admired for generations.
When working with home owners, he strives to capture the spirit and energy of their style and the architecture, while offering his own input as an experienced visual artist to create something they will ultimately love. The preparation phase is just as important to him as the creating phase because it guarantees customer satisfaction. Most of his clients work hard, and have busy lives to be able to afford his services. He understands this and so makes it a priority to get his vision and their vision on the same page, building trust and collaboration so they can rest assured that the finished project is everything they hoped for.
Murals are not all Martin does as an artist. He still paints portraits and supports our local arts community by participating and attending arts events. He was a participant and Round 3 winner in last year’s most recent Art Battle Fort Lauderdale, and he’s had some smaller works shown Local Galleries. But right now, he’s grateful to be so busy with Luxury Murals, that he generally doesn’t have too much free time for small projects. The big murals have always been his joy, and he’s content to be able to make his living with his passion alongside his wife, who he met here and is ironically also an artist who moved here from Bulgaria.
Most of his work is in residential homes and some commercial buildings for a more reserved clientele, which means there’s no easy way to have access to the glory of his baroque style artistry, reminiscent of the mural work you might find in the historic Vizcaya Estate in Miami. But recently he has purchased a property in Oakland Park, where he will house his Luxury Murals Showroom. This will be open to the public later this year. In the mean time find high resolution images of his portfolio online at LuxuryArtMurals.com and on Instagram at @Luxury_Art_Murals.
Brittany Hopwood was born and raised in Broward County and completed her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Central Florida. As an avid writer and artist, she spends most of her time designing new pieces for her self-care jewelry line, Violstones, and revising her most recent novel, written this past year. Her passion for writing and overcoming mental illness has lead her to develop a devotional Ebook based on her experience with overcoming severe depression, which she hopes to release later in 2020.