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(Image: Courtesy of Andrew Martinez)
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Artist of the Week: Andrew Martinez

Andrew Martinez is a Seattle-based musician and artist. His design recently became one of 10 chosen for PBR's milestone 10th Edition Art Can Contest, featured on 140 million cans this fall.

Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? What mediums do you work with?
Andrew Martinez: I literally think I've been drawing before I could even write my own name. I can't think of a time I wasn't creating. I remember being a tiny child and getting in trouble for drawing on the door of my bedroom.

I mostly draw and do graphic design these days. By the time I got to college, I really made it a point to try a lot of different mediums. I was studying film but taking lots of art classes of different kinds, including drawing, painting, 3D, film photography and printmaking. I ended up switching my major to oil painting. I'm also a musician, and I write a lot of music and play multiple instruments.

Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
Every project I take on has a slightly different process. With the design work I do, there's a lot more initial planning stacked on to my artistic process. Graphics can be tricky because you really have to start with the end result in mind. You have to be really organized from the start because you're creating art that could potentially exist on many different objects and viewed in many different ways. If it's a branding project, there could be a lot of research that becomes part of the process, too.

Tell us about where your inspiration for your art comes from.
I'm consistently surprised by where inspiration can come from. It can come from anywhere or anything. However, I've gotten really good at being as much of a consumer of art as a creator of it, which I think is really important. Immersing myself in art as much as possible keeps the inspiration coming. If I go see a good band play, it makes me want to go home and pick up a guitar. When I hear a good record, it makes me want to write. A lot of the time, what drives me is wanting to be a part of something.

Do you have a specific "beat" you like best – nature, food, profiles, etc.?
Nope, not really. I'm really open-minded to anything, but I have always really enjoyed painting and drawing figures. I like drawing people. Being a graphic designer, a lot of the time subject is given to me, though, and it's more of a problem-solving role. I like the problem-solving aspect of that kind of work.

Do you have one piece of art that means more to you or is extremely special to you?
Not particularly. I like creating for others, so I don't actually end up keeping any of my own art. I've never been very sentimental about my own art, either. I think I'm just more interested in seeing how I can get better. My mom has saved a few things from over the years. There are a few paintings in her house I still dig, and a few that make me cringe, haha.

What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
Art has always been something I have used to express feelings, especially in my writing and music. My experiences with my friends over the years have inspired my art-making probably more than anything else. I love working with others and collaborating on art. I'm lucky to be a part of a really solid group of people creating quality stuff and consistently inspiring each other.

If we want to see more of your work, where should we go to find it?
Check my website! It's my official portfolio, and I keep it up to date, Andrewmartinez.design. You can also follow me on socials @andrewrawrtinez.

What is next for you? Anything you're working on right now that you're really excited about?
Right now, I'm just plugging away on projects for bands, mostly show posters and merch and some branding stuff. I also just started on a press journey for Pabst. My Art Can is in stores now. I just did a pair of posters for a really cool David Bowie Tribute concert that SMASH Seattle is putting on. I'm really excited about that, too.

Lastly, how do you take your coffee? (We ask everyone!)
I admittedly don't drink coffee anymore! Wanna meet up? Invite me for a beer!

About 'Artist of the Week': This city is packed with artists we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at hello@seattlerefined.com. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you! See all of our past Artists of the Week in our dedicated section.

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