Etsy Crush: Nerdy Dirty

Image courtesy of Nerdy Dirty

Graphic designer Nicole Martinez makes boldly colored prints that I can’t help but swoon over. The Miami, Florida native moved to Boston for her job as an art director for a local ad agency. “It’s nice to do side projects that are the furthest thing away from corporate,” says Martinez of her Etsy creations. “[It’s] just fun design that makes people laugh … strangers from around the world buying your art simply because they dig it is the greatest compliment.” Martinez humored some of my questions about her quirky creations.

How did you end up with a career in graphic art?
I was gonna go to law school, and my best friend told me I would be miserable if I weren’t doing something creative, and she was right. I enrolled at Miami Ad School for art direction, and the rest is history.

What caused you to launch your Etsy shop?
A couple of months ago, I wanted to design a love note and could only think of nerdy things to write. Once the concept of nerdy professions of love was in my head, the ideas just started pouring out. It also helps that I work with a bunch of design nerds who added to the brainstorming process. We had a lot of fun throwing nerdy dirties around.

The Nerdy Dirty motto is “Illustrations for Nerds in Love.” Do you consider yourself a nerd?
Absolutely. I’m a graphic designer. Computer geek and proud. I think a lot of people proudly consider themselves nerds. Steve Jobs, Game of Thrones, hipster fashion…the nerd has evolved.

What inspires your art?
Random insights. Art should always be clever. Even if the concept is subtle, it should provoke thought.

Tell me how you make your prints.
I sketch everything first, even if it’s just a circle and a word. I use Illustrator to design the image and Photoshop to add effects. Then the prints are off to the printer where they’re printed in archival quality to make sure they last forever.

Who are three of your favorite artists?
Frida Kahlo, Joan Miro, and Aya Takano.

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