Hilary Martin of Alchemy of the Pen

ArtistHilary Martin of
Alchemy of the Pen
ResidesUnited States
Print Shopetsy.com/alchemyofthepenEmailadmin@hilarymartinart.com
Follow the ArtistInstagram | FacebookThemesSound Synesthesia
Dark Art
Mental health 

About the artist

Alchemy, defined as the process of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, sometimes in a way that cannot be explained. Hilary Martin of Alchemy of the Pen is a New Jersey native and a self-taught artist who has taken this concept and flipped it on its head. Her work is known for combining imagery that often contradicts, yet melds effortlessly, in a way that encourages pause and to search for a deeper understanding. With a background in air traffic control, she diverted from logic and dove head-first into her art career in 2020 after finding solace in the absurd and the beauty that underpins much darkness, she found herself surrounded by. After a decade-long hiatus from the art world, she picked up a pen once more while living abroad as a means of therapy to counter mental health issues and subsequently rekindled a lost passion. From watercolor and pen illustrations to oil paintings, Hilary aims to highlight the ever-present beauty that is a constant even in the darkest times. 

She takes pride in finding herself a member of a modern-day Art Brut movement that allows her work to remain accessible to all. She frequently exhibits at music festivals, including the Firefly Music Festival (2021, 2022), Darkside of the Con 2021, and Dark Force Fest (2022, 2023, 2024). Additionally, as a freelance artist and printmaker, she is a regular feature within the oddities community and at national conventions within the United States, sharing both original art and fine art bamboo prints. As an independent artist, Martin effortlessly weaves between showing art in group shows such as The Hive Gallery: “Cute and Creepy” Los Angeles, 2023, and Brandywine Festival of Arts (2021, 2022) while continuing to build her craft and learning from other artists by partaking in intensives, including “Visionary Painting intensive 2023” hosted by Alex and Allyson Grey at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors.

Artwork Themes & Subject Matter

Music and sound are integral of Hilary Martin’s work and are as important as the chosen paint or brush. A synesthetic expression is at the crux of her creations and forms the backbone of her illustrations, from which they are then elaborated, embellished, and built upon. Timbre, pitch, harmonic tone, and sound frequencies are perceived as line, shape, and color, leading to the creation of the Macinate tour merchandise artwork, “11:11,” for musician IAMX and found published in the IAMX “Headstreams: Art and Poetry Book.”

“Dark, yet colorful” is a recurring phrase that is often used when describing her work. She is adamant that darker themes depicting decomposition, disconnection, anxiety, horror, and gore do not necessarily have to be blatant in their delivery. Those themes are inherent within us all and will naturally come out with a piece just as they come into play within our lives. Mushrooms juxtaposed against blooming flora; rosy flesh stands firmly next to bare bones, and color storms in to counterbalance the blackness. There is a quiet beauty in the concept of Wabi Sabi and an undeniable allure to the perfectly imperfect that stands at the forefront of her works. 


Hilary Martin’s art has been published in IAMX, “Headstreams: Art and Poetry Book.”


Selected Group Exhibitions


“Cute and Creepy”, Hive Gallery, Los Angeles, United States

“Skull Show”, Tattooed Mom, Philadelphia, United States


“Bold Will Hold”, Artworks, Trenton, United States


“Darkart Showcase”, Dover Art League Gallery, Dover, United States

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