We had the good fortune of connecting with Heather Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Heather, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind my success is developing a decision model based on my values.
I have two sets of values: personal and professional.
My personal values include:
Being of Service to others in my field.
Developing my Apperception and the profound embodiment of understanding.
Fostering meaningful Relationships through collaboration and by setting boundaries.
Exercising and being appreciative of my Autonomy.
Practicing Creativity and self-expression.
My professional values include:
Staying Curious by practicing non-judgement and continuously learning.
Practicing Depth by going straight to the heart of the matter.
Staying authentic and being willing to do the work by being Vulnerable.
Being Inclusive by embracing the whole person.
Making an Impact that can be felt and measured.
My decision model looks like this. (See attached)
Opportunities and ideas come in from the left and must pass through the criteria filters down the middle before I act on them.
We make tens of thousands conscious decisions a day. Considering how many unconscious decisions we make, I feel that having a framework helps me stay on track with my vision and strategy.
What should our readers know about your business?
As a visual practitioner with a fine art background, I firmly have a foot both in the commercial and fine art worlds. Which means I help design, facilitate, and create visual artifacts to support group processes which may include: strategic visioning, team building, and specific initiatives and projects. It’s not a common role in companies but I have worked both as an independent contractor and build visual teams within organizations.
It’s exciting and rewarding to have fulfilled nearly everything on my bucket list: graphic recorded on stage at a TEDx event, built a team of visual practitioners for a systems engineering firm in Washington, DC, traveled the world and drawn on walls, presented at international conferences, taught thousands of professionals and facilitated meetings in-person and online.
Getting here was a long road, but leveraging the right tools helped define my path and story. For instance, early on, I applied the SHIFT-IT® Visual Coaching system to help me make career changes and later became a certified SHIFT-IT coach for others. Investing in professional development is key. For every thousand dollars I invested in myself, I received 2-10x that amount in income within the next year—year after year. The best investments I made in my career was studying calligraphy, becoming an Appreciative Inquiry facilitator, and taking a gap year to participate in 3 month-long artist residencies throughout North America.
After suffering from a head injury, this work saved my life. I was able to rebuild my cognitive ability quickly using Sketchnotes and leave behind my previous life as an artist to help others and organizations on their journey. Each project was an epic win and led to the next. A huge lesson that I learned is that no matter how many of the world’s experts I work with, I always had more to learn. Staying curious has kept me motivated and engaged in the various projects that come my way.
Because I have made many shifts in my career over the past 20 years, I’ve had to also learn how to shift my brand. I have always incorporated art, design, technology, process facilitation, coaching, and teaching into whatever I am doing. To help keep myself sane, it has been about expressing what I am doing now to attract the work I want and leverage it for more like work. I currently teach lettering to other visual practitioners and keep up my practice so that I can coach them in their practice too.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Southwest Colorado is full of beauty! Knowing my best friend, we would spend some time hammocking along the Animas River, eating at one of the great restaurants downtown (my favorite is Seasons). Then take a short road trip north to Ouray for a high-altitude camping in my 1947 teardrop trailer, Flo and a short road trip south to explore the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have 3 humans in my life who have modeled the way for me in profound ways. They all three believed in me when I didn’t, made an opportunity for me that changed the trajectory of my life and career, and are true citizens of the world: Patricia Burk, Carol DuBosch, and Wendy Ryan.