We're so excited to share our recent interview with freelance designer/illustrator, Cristina Martinez. She's the gal behind the blog Cautiously Obsessed where she writes about minimalist, everyday living. We first discovered Cristina's work through her sepia-toned, curated Instagram feed, @cautiouslyobsessed, where she shares her everyday work from watercolor illustrations and calligraphy. Totally enamored and inspired by her Instagram, we reached out for an interview! Today Cristina has created her top holiday gifts for the season! Read the full interview below, then make sure to check out her curated selection, here!
Tell us a little about yourself and how you began Cautiously Obsessed.
I’m a freelance designer/illustrator living and working in Madison, WI. I also run the blog Cautiously Obsessed which honestly came about while I was still an undergrad student. I initially came up with the blog thinking it was a great way for me to practice designing graphics on a consistent basis. At first I only intended Cautiously Obsessed to be a temporary project that would casually disappear as time went on, but instead it allowed me to connect with fellow designers and other creative individuals.
What does an average day look like?
An average day for me tends to start with waking up pretty early, I try to aim around 6am every day since I believe it’s important to keep a consistent schedule especially when you work from home. I always start my day with warm cup of coffee while I look through my emails and check Instagram. The rest of my day consists of working on multiple projects, hopping on the phone with clients or meeting up with them in person if they’re local, responding to emails, and multiple cups of coffee. I do my best to give myself at least an hour a day to read or paint.
What has been your proudest moments working as a freelance designer?
My proudest moment working as a freelance designer has to be being able to work with BUST magazine since it was a publication I read growing up. I remember having to beg my mom to buy me the latest issue at the bookstore and when she was kind enough to do so, I would rush up to my room and read the issue back to back. So when I had the opportunity of creating some lettering for them, it was a surreal moment to see my work in a publication that had such an impact on my youth.
What are some challenges you’ve come across working as a freelance designer?
Balancing my work and personal life has hands down been the biggest challenge I’ve come across while working as a freelance designer. After years, it’s still something I struggle with since I’m quite the workaholic and I’m guilty of responding to emails from bed at 2am or 3am when I shouldn’t be.
What do you love about living and working in Madison, WI?
I love the support that exists here for small businesses, it’s really great to see. I also love the weather, which was a huge adjustment at first but now I’ve grown to enjoy each season. There’s also an endless number of really great coffee shops and local restaurants here in Madison which I really love.
If you could have any other occupation what would it be?
Probably something to do with writing.
Where do you seek inspiration?
I tend to get inspiration from everywhere, I’m really inspired by nature and literature.
What is your favorite artist in any field, living or dead?
This is such a tough question, I don't think I have one specific favorite artists but I love the work of Frida Kahlo, Basquiat, Cindy Sherman, and Picasso.
Thank you, Cristina! Be sure to view her holiday picks for the season.