We had the good fortune of connecting with Amber Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Amber, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
The words, “Taking a risk”, is such a loaded statement, right? I think for me, growing up and taking a risk was a very intimidating act. I remember being afraid of everything. It wasn’t until I was pregnant and gave birth to my oldest child at the age of 23 that really accelerated this idea that if I could be pregnant and give birth to another human being especially in my early 20s when I had no idea who I was and what I was doing in life, then I can most certainly take a risk here and there and that is precisely what I did from that point on. I nudged myself to do so many of the things I was apprehensive of doing, those risks have paid off and they are still working in my favor. They have assisted me in raising two children, going back to school that of which earned me a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, it has also allowed me to follow my dreams of incorporating my art and creativity into a small business. I am still learning to take more risks to propel and further my dreams and goals. Risks never stop presenting themselves. My grandfather said to me as a teenager, “The answer will always be no if you don’t ask or try.”, and I looked at that as, “Take a risk, don’t give it much thought, just go for it.”. I now pass those words on to my kids. We aren’t given a ton of time on this Earth, so I say, take that risk, be brave, go for it!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art, whoa, how long do we have? Haha. Kidding. Let me start by saying that nothing I really do ever makes sense, except for my art. Well, it makes sense to me anyway. I have always loved art since I could remember so I am sure it came as no surprise that I have turned my creativity into a small business. My teeny tiny business turned 11-years old today, in fact, so what I can say is that it’s been a long, exciting, challenging, and rewarding road. What started out as a rainy day hobby has blossomed into something that I will forever be proud of. I have taken the love of my Chicano and Creole roots, macabre subjects, colorful pallets, daydreams, bohemian culture, and spirituality and expressed that into voodoo dolls, canvas paintings, and jewelry. It hasn’t always been easy but what keeps me going is that I take myself back to day one and remember how excited I was to start with that one piece of art and how many other pieces of art have followed since then. There are so many things that come along with building a brand for your visions and creative endeavors. Everything from motivation, that love you have for your work to the purchasing of supplies so you can create, promote, and ship our your creations, paying your taxes and business licenses. This all can be challenging and a bit stressful, but at the end of the day, you feel grown, you feel like you’re taking something that you created and you’re slowly raising it as if it were a child. Strange analogy, I know, but this is how I see my artistic endeavors. It takes patience, it takes making mistakes, takes confidence in yourself and it takes taking those several risks to getting where you want to be. Most of all, I want people to know that my brand and my story come from who I was as a child, as an adolescent, and who I am as an adult. My brand and my story come from the fact that it’s complex and full of emotion just like I am. I want to celebrate my culture, my ethnicity, my spirituality, and the love I have in my heart with the world and the best way I can do that is with my art.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love this question! I live in Denver, Colorado. We have some fun places and Colorado is beautiful. There are so many possibilities. We would definitely go to Georgetown, Manitou Springs, Morrison, Fort Collins, those are just a few favorites of mine. We would stop by Red Rocks, of course. Check out the art at the Dairy Block downtown Denver, walk through the Denver Art Museum, History Colorado Center, and check out some art galleries in downtown Denver and on Santa Fe Drive. Get a drink at the Denver Union Station, hit up TRVE Brewing Company in Denver, New Belgium, and Intersect Brewing in Fort Collins, Get some food at Jerusalem Restaurant, Santiago’s for breakfast burritos, Blue Sushi Sake Grill, tacos, and duck fat refried beans at Mezcal, some Czech food at Sobo 151 Bar and Grill, pizza at Pizza Casbah in Fort Collins and I can’t forget about the margaritas at the Morrison Inn in Morrison. There is so much nature and art to be seen, so it would be a great time.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh my goodness, so many people have been my support, my inspiration, and have given me love during my journey. I want to recognize and dedicate my shoutout to, my children, my mother, my little sister, my Mamu (grandmother), family members, my boyfriend, many good friends, customers, my followers on social media, and most certainly my ancestors. I am forever grateful for the love, the support, the efforts in which everyone puts forward to assist me in my visions, and in my success. It brings tears to my eyes as a speak on this because I truly wouldn’t be where I am without any of their belief in who I am as a person and artist.

Website: www.voodoodollsagogo.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/voodoodollsagogo

Facebook: www.facebook.com/amberama22

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.