How would you describe your style?
My ceramics style is a mix of southwestern and folk. It aligns a lot with my aesthetic as a illustrator/graphic designer as well. I love to incorporate bright colors and hand lettering to give each piece personality. Often, I'll include the ruggedly beautiful elements of nature around me to make each piece authentically unique.
Are there any artists / designers that you particularly look up to?
YES! I really enjoy watching any videos of this ceramicist named Eric Landon, he makes the most amazing large vessels that I could only dream of creating. I'm also constantly inspired by my former design-school classmates and teachers. I love seeing people that I've known for a while grow and develop their own style.
What do you feel makes your work unique and truly your own?
When I first started experimenting with ceramics, I was buying bisque fired pieces and painting them. Sort of like painting on a pre-made canvas. This was fun for a while, but I felt limited by what I could make. So, from there I decided to buy a few blocks of clay and start making my own pieces. I started experimenting and in the beginning made a lot of things that came out pretty badly, but from that mess, I also got a feeling for what I really wanted to create. I like to have fun with my ceramics and add a bit of humor to them. Whether its a gold luster cactus or a snarky saying on a coffee mug, I try to incorporate a fun personality to my pieces.
What sort of things inspire you?
I'm very inspired by the southwest. I love seeing desert plants and animals and then putting my own eclectic spin on them when I paint. We live out in the middle of nowhere, so I'll go on walks just to see all of the crazy different types of cactus that grow all around my house. I'm also largely inspired by the people I follow on Instagram. It's fun to have a stream of creative people delivered right to my phone. The perks of technology, right!? I follow a wide variety of artists from sign painters to leather artisans and I love seeing the world from their point of view. Most importantly, I'm inspired by my two children. When we draw or do art projects together I love seeing what they come up with. They are a constant reminder that while I take my job very seriously, I shouldn't take the same approach with my art, its better to keep my pieces light-hearted and out of the box.
When do you feel the most creative?
I feel the most creative when my hands are dirty and I'm making something with clay. The tactile processes of pouring molds, hand building or wheel throwing are what made me fall in love with this craft. I love all of the possibility and being able to control the outcome of a product from start to finish. Although I enjoy seeing a finished product come out of the kiln looking shiny and fabulous, I probably feel the most freedom in that beginning part of the process when I'm making something new.
What is your creative process like?
My ceramic making time is squeezed in between the time I spend doing my graphic design and parenting, so it can be a little hectic. The entire process of creating a piece takes several days and at least 2 kiln firings, (3 if I'm using gold luster). So I have a bunch of pieces, all at various stages of completion, all over my studio. I find that I do most of my ceramic painting at night. This is the part that requires the most time and focus, so it is a really nice way to unwind after a day of looking at the computer.
What's the coolest artistic tip you've ever received?
I guess this isn't an artistic tip, more of a life tip. One thing that we were taught over and over again in design school is to keep pushing yourself and your ideas further. So I try and do that every day, weather its a logo project or a new concept for a jewelry dish, there's always room to improve or refine your craft.
Where can we learn more about you?
My website: www.laurajonesmartinez.com
My etsy shop: www.laurajonesmartinez.etsy.com
or for a daily does of what I'm doing, my instagram @laurajlaura