Hello, I’m Laura Jones Martinez!
I’m a freelance “graphic designer” but over the past few years, it has really expanded into more than just that, I now have multiple businesses that I work on.
I run my own design and illustration studio where I work with clients to develop email & social marketing campaigns or illustrate pictures for promotional materials, and I help with marketing strategy.
I’ve recently worked on a few book cover designs and illustrations and right now, I’m in the final edits of illustrating a children’s graphic novel. This type of work is really fun and I’m so excited to see it turn into a real actual book!
I also run my own small business making and selling ceramic homewares. I sell on Etsy, wholesale to various boutiques, and do a few craft fairs as well.
I live off of a few dirt roads outside of a small town in Southern Arizona with my husband our two girls and various dogs, cats, chickens, etc.
So, here’s my weekday routine. For the most part, anyway.
6.30 am (or around then)
Wake up time. We don’t use alarm clocks because we have a 2-year-old who is a really early riser, so sometimes I’m up at 6 or if I’m lucky it’s closer to 7.
We don’t use alarm clocks because we have a 2-year-old who is a really early riser, so sometimes I’m up at 6 or if I’m lucky it’s closer to 7.
I’ll let the dog out and we’ll go walk out to the garage and check on the kiln if it's been running overnight.
I’m getting everyone ready for their day.
Packing lunch for my third grader, getting the little one fed, dressed, sometimes even combing her hair.
And then everyone’s out the door. My husband usually takes them to school which is great.
I get dressed, check on the chickens, and get ready to start my day.
It has become an important part of my routine to actually get dressed. Even if it’s just my official uniform of cutoffs and a t-shirt. No working in jammies for me!
Check emails and respond to anything that needs attention, go over my to-do list, check in with my marketing calendar, and plan or have a check-in call with my long distance business bff (LDBBFF).
We talk or face-time at least once a week and do a good job of working through problems, holding each other accountable and encouraging each other to get shit done.
From here, my day can take two directions
Direction One - 9.30 am
I’ll go out to my studio and work for a few hours, especially in the summer, I like to get out and get whatever ceramics I need to build done before it gets too hot. When it’s really hot outside, the clay becomes kind of yucky to work with.
Usually, I go in with a plan of what I need to make and how many, and if I get done quickly or have leftover clay, I’ll play around for a little bit before going back into the house to eat lunch.
Glazing ceramics or taking pictures of finished ceramics. I like to get more complicated parts of glazing like any lettering or illustrating done during the day when the lighting in my painting studio is nice and bright.
Same goes for taking pictures. I’ve got some really nice bright indirect light in here!
The other direction my day could go is if I have a lot of office work that needs to get done, I may stay working in my office.
Direction Two - 9 am -2.30 pm:
Conference calls, client work, personal work, updating Etsy listings, planning and working on my own marketing calendar, billing, shipping etc.
At some point in the day, I’ll do a little social media-ing. I’m in a few business facebook groups, and I also enjoy using Instagram and Pinterest, both personally and for marketing.
If there’s a kiln load, I usually want to get it in before too late in the afternoon so that it has time to cool overnight and I can unload by mid-morning the next day.
I’m back into mom-mode.
I’ll go get the big kid from the bus stop, run into town to pick up the little one, swing by the post office to ship orders, run to the grocery store for dinner, piano lessons for the big kid, homework, dinner, sometimes an evening swim, bath time, all that good stuff.
Sometimes I watch tv (and social media-ing on my phone) with my hubs. Other times, I end up needing to work on my ceramics a little at night. Especially as I get into the fall/winter season, there just isn’t enough time in the day to get it all done.
I save the easy parts for at night, no fine detailed illustrations or lettering because it’s just too risky to make a mistake when I’m working late.
My husband and I made a new year’s resolution to go to bed earlier and among all of my resolutions, this is probably the one that’s stuck the most.
Going to bed at a decent hour makes it so much easier getup and be ready to take on the day!
Advice for other makers: Being your own boss can be a lonely job, find someone to be your business BFF! That’s been huge for me. It’s important when you work from home or work for yourself to still run your business like you would if you were reporting to a boss. Having a business BFF helps you both be accountable, support each other, and give each other that dose of tough love when you need it.