I’m Martina Ahlbrandt, a faith-filled, thoughtful designer. Colors, patterns and textures excite me. I look for beauty in the mundane and I love simplicity. I’m the adoring wife of (and sometimes assistant to) musician and realtor Jason Ahlbrandt. Ali, Zay and JoJo call me Mommy/Mom/Mama…1000x a day. I’m passionate about adoption and foster care, art, Jesus, interior design, midcentury modernism, home schooling and coffee. I’m a freelance designer so I can work from home, bus or plane and still spend most of my time with my favorite people. A friend and fellow graphic designer once told me that my design super power is choosing colors.
I was born and raised in Northwestern Pennsylvania plus a 3-year stint in Ann Arbor, Michigan. At 14 I fell in love with my youth-group sweetheart, Jason, who played guitar and wrote emo love songs, and was old enough to drive us on dates to the dollar theater and Burger King. Shortly after finishing high school my mom and I were driving past a little graphic artist shop in Erie, PA and decided on a whim to stop in and figure out what “graphic artist” meant. The kind shop owner showed me her portfolio of work. I had been debating what to put as my major at Edinboro University. I was between fine art—which I enjoyed but feared wouldn’t make a viable career—and computer science—which I liked but was afraid I would die of boredom. Graphic design to the rescue!
After two years of graphic design and general ed. at Edinboro, plus a wedding and our first year of marriage, Jason mentioned wanting to move to Nashville to pursue music with his band. I was excited to discover Watkins College of Art & Design and fell in love with the school during a visit. In summer 2004, we made the long distance move away from everything we knew and started our lives in Nashville. It was definitely one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. We love this city.
In December 2006 I completed my BFA in graphic design at Watkins. I had been working part-time through my senior year at Nashville Lifestyles Magazine. That experience helped me land a full-time job at Salem Publishing (CCM Magazine, YouthWorker Journal, Preaching Magazine and more), where I worked for the next 10 years. I’ve done all kinds of freelance through the years, too: logos, CD packages, business cards, wedding invitations, posters, flyers, websites, t-shirts, etc. At the beginning of 2017, like an eaglet shoved out of it’s parents’ nest to learn to fly, I launched into full-time freelance. After so much magazine publishing, I’m excited about the variety and creative challenges of a wide range of freelance clients. Let me know if I can serve your graphic design needs.
I blog at myMCMlife.com.
I sell vintage collectibles at ReAbide.Etsy.com.