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Rising Stars: Meet Tim Martin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tim Martin. 

Hi Tim, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I am a local “townie” raised in the Athens, Ohio area. This is my home from school, higher ed, to work. I graduated from Ohio University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. From there I worked for as a designer for a biotech company and then to a small web company called EV. While at EV I started Ohio is Home, my retail business, in which I design and make apparel and other gifts. This business started out online only and I was storing and shipping items from the guest bedroom of my home. I eventually took over the business I was working for and rebranded to Red Tail Design Co. From there I was able to grow and evolve the design and web business to add more capabilities such as woodworking. This dovetailed perfectly in my production of producing items for Ohio is Home and now making items for my B2B clients. So, I went from doing mainly just website design and some logos to a full design house. Where I made logos, print materials, promotional items, labels, awards, etc… for various clients ranging from large universities, breweries, hospitals, small businesses, and more. It’s been extremely rewarding to see the growth of my business as I am helping other businesses grow too. 

A random shining point in my career so far, I was able to design the logo for the 2018 Transformers Bumblebee movie. They reached out to me on a whim liking some of my designs and I was able to make a logo for them. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize what the project was for until after I billed. Regardless of not making much money from it, it was an honor to be part of that legacy, especially as a fan. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Running a business is like being on one big rollercoaster. There are many times where you think you won’t be able to meet payroll or not be able to purchase something for the business, but luckily for me, it somehow works out. Every time I think we may not get some new work, it comes in. I believe the work we do speaks for itself and we have been able to produce a good amount of “word of mouth” demand. At the end of the day, the long nights and hours and stresses are worth it. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I have always been into art. As a kid, I wanted to be a cartoonist, which eventually led to the pursuit of art professionally in the form of Graphic Design. I think of my art as a reflection of me, and I hope the reflection is always quality. If I am not putting out something I would want to buy or enjoy, then I don’t take on that work, or sell that product. A lot of people just shove work out and don’t care as much. I think a lack of care is a big problem in a lot of work these days. I probably care too much sometimes, but I think that care makes my work better. 

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
My dad was probably my biggest influence in always buying me art supplies and pushing me to pursue my dreams. He always worked with me in the garage to make things and included me in his little projects. My dad was also a psychologist so I think that rubbed off on me in my love for Graphic Design. Learning what people like and how they think is part of my job and I really enjoy that. 

My Highschool ceramics teacher, Amy Douglas was also a big influence. I took a lot of classes with her and she always worked with me to perfect my skills in ceramics as well as sketching. She helped me and many others pursue our dreams in art. 

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Image Credits

BFlick Photography

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