What's Up South Texas: San Antonio artist wins world record for mini art

By Japhanie Gray - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Miniature paintings got one San Antonio woman enormous recognition with the Guinness Book of World Records. Martha Ochoa began painting tiny art after having a life’s experience of painting many pieces. 

“It’s not only painting a wall or a canvas,” said Ochoa. “No, there's art in absolutely everything and we all do it."

Ochoa was born and raised in Peru, and has been painting since she was a young child. 

"It always came natural to me,” Ochoa said. “I love the simple things of the lights. They are pretty. My favorite things to paint are nature and flowers.”

She came to the United States 30 years ago, and though English has been an obstacle for her, it hasn’t stopped her love to serve others through her paintings. 

“I am a professor of fine arts for special education students,” Ochoa said. “Students who have difficulty learning or are struggling with something. I help.” 

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Ochoa said she was inspired by a painter who used grains of rice as his canvas for his paintings.

“He showed the collection under a large magnifying glass, which caught my attention, and also motivated me to show my small paintings, that each time were growing in number and you did not need a magnifying glass to appreciate the shapes and colors,” Ochoa said.

Over the course of years, Ochoa successfully painting 5,000 miniature paintings.

“I have several friends who are artists and they saw my work and said I should fill out an application for the Guinness Book of World Records,” Ochoa said. “So I did and it was a very long process.”

There were certain factors Ochoa needed to officially earn the title of a Guinness Book of World Record holder such as a venue to exhibit her art, and each piece needed to be named and framed. 

She ended up winning the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of miniature paintings in August of 2018. 

“We think that art is just grabbing a piece of paper to draw or paint,” Ochoa said. “No! We make art everywhere. Setting the table. Fixing up the house. There's art in everything. We all make art, all the time.”

In the decades of her artistry, Ochoa has also won several other awards including an eternal rose from the Hispanic-American Cultural Society and recognition from the Department of Homeland Security.

No matter the amount of achievements she has had, Martha said her biggest achievement is inspiring others to be their own artists.

“My message to the community is for them to persevere in what they like to do. We need to focus on doing this all the time,” Ochoa said. “We all have many many talents. We need to always express them.”

Ochoa said her next goal is beat her own record by painting a collection of 10,000 pieces. 

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