Alum’s Instagram Account Nears 125K Followers

February 25, 2020 / Andrea Wenger
Illustrations and photos contributed to Eastern Mennonite University by Madeline Kate Martinez.
Illustrations and photos contributed to Eastern Mennonite University by Madeline Kate Martinez.

As her Instgram following — @madelinekate_illustrates — nears 125,000, Madeline Hostetler ’13 Martinez finds herself juggling a full-time graphic design job at children’s apparel company Hanna Andersson, along with offers from big name companies, and the less appealing administrative aspects of running her own business.

“It’s something I never would have imagined,” confesses the illustrator who has recently worked with Headspace, Aurate, Netflix, Adobe, and Four Sigmatic. She is also “in the process of illustrating two books, one is on its way to publishing and the other is still in-progress with a lot of work to do!”

Ten years ago in the 2009-10 school year, Madeline was in ninth grade, beginning to explore her style as an illustrator and photographer. And Instagram was created in October of that year. Madeline and her peers had recently retired AOL Messenger accounts for Facebook messaging and texting on flip phones. In those 10 years, the possibilities for a freelance artist have exploded.

“This kind of freelance work is perfect me as an introvert,” reflects Madeline, who would love to do the work exclusively and full time. For now, she clocks her freelance hours in the evenings and on weekends. It’s a full load. And, she says, “I’m also not a big fan of ‘admin’ duties involved with running a business, so that will forever be a drag for me in the freelance department.”

“I hope my work helps transport people to a moment of deep feeling, even if just for a second,” says Madeline on Ballistic, a “platform for creatives around the world to speak up about their work.”

“Those small moments of profound feeling make life meaningful,” she says, “and it makes me happy to share them with someone else.”

Madeline is married to Luis Martinez ’12, a chef at Eem Thai Barbecue, one of Thrillist’s‘best new restaurants in America,” and Portland’s best restaurant of the year for 2019. Most recently, the restaurant was named semifinalist for the 2020 James Beard award for “Best New Restaurant” in the US.” The business is located a few blocks from their apartment in Portland, Ore., where they make their home with their dog, Cooper.

You can read more on Eastern Mennonite University’s news blog; Madeline earned a bachelor’s degree in photography and digital media from EMU.

Follow Madeline on Instagram @madelinekate_illustrates and explore her online store.

Check out some more photos from this story

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