Toniko Kanashiro Martinez is a Pinay-Japanese self-taught artist based in Japan. She is third-generation Japanese through her maternal grandfather who was originally from Okinawa. Born in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, Toniko immigrated to Japan in 1999 though travels frequently between Japan and the Philippines, calling each country home. She is a single mother to two lovely daughters, ages 18 and 14. While pursuing a Business Administration degree, Toniko took an interest in fashion design.
Her early days as an artist began with simple design sketches with only pen/pencil and paper. It wasn’t until 2008 when she began experimenting with acrylic paint. Toniko continues to develop her style hoping to use oil in future projects. She also founded her own T-shirt brand, LexSha Republika, in 2014 which has been on hiatus but one in which she hopes to resume in 2019.
Currently, Toniko is focused on providing for her mother and children. While juggling career, single parenting, and her art, Toniko looks forward to the day when she can devote herself fully to her art where she not only hopes to master her craft, but she also hopes to explore her interests in interior design and landscaping. She continues to have a strong connection to her hometown in Guihulngan City and hopes to contribute to the growing art scene there.