Ilona Martin was born in East Germany, studied at the University of Heidelberg, and traveled to safety from east to west on the Berlin Freedom train. She immigrated to America to continue her studies in journalism and law, living in several places ranging from the East Coast to California. Eventually settling in Carmel, she raised her family and began her design and manufacturing career, with a client list that included Lands End, Orvis, Eddie Bauer and LL Bean. After seventeen years, she relocated to Newport Beach. Ilona took her first art class at LCAD twenty-seven years ago, returning to join the Board of Trustees in 2010. She is presently serving on the Boards of The Laguna Playhouse and as President of Hoag Hospital 552 Board/Foundation. Ilona was given the Vin Jorgensen Award, and a member of the Art Council of Monterey, the Steinbeck Center, the Hemingway Society, and Slow Food International. She retired in 2005 from manufacturing for the surf wear industry. . Enjoying long relationships with QuickSilver, Billabong, Hurley, Stussy and more, Ilona enjoyed working with young talent and helping new start-ups with designing products. Ilona is now busy painting for her Carmel Gallery and Newport Studio and visiting her three sisters in Budapest. Most importantly she spends time with her family, teaching her grandchildren to paint, make chocolates and have a good time.