We had the good fortune of connecting with Josh Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Josh, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking is an important part of the entrepreneurial process, and although I like to think of mine as calculated, sometimes you just have to believe in your idea. I started my company with only one guaranteed customer, which goes against the conventional advice of having a steady flow of work before diving in the deep end. It was a risk I was willing to take because I was confident in my abilities and had a strong belief that once people saw my work, I would soon build a client base. Not every risk is a success, but failures leave you with the comfort of knowing you tried.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My business, Derly Design, does a variety of design projects ranging from drafting and design for engineering firms and fabrication shops to paintings, sculptures, and metal art. There are many people that specialize in each one of these, but not many that are able to integrate art and design and this, I believe, allows me to create a unique product. For example, I recently made a set of custom golf trophies for a company called VXA, who helps combat veterans adjust to civilian life. This project required many of the skills I acquired over the years like concept sketching, 3D modeling, metal fabrication and painting. Even though I was happy with the end result, what gets me most excited about projects like this are the customer’s reactions the first time they see the work. I started working at an engineering firm about 8 years ago as a drafter/designer. During this time, I learned a few design programs and a lot about metal design and fabrication. For as long as I can remember, I have always been into art (drawing, painting, sculpture) but it was at the engineering firms that I began to merge my artistic ability with creative design. This was a difficult process at times because I felt like my creativity was being stifled by engineering drafting work but, in reality, I was acquiring a completely different perspective on art and design, which I grew to appreciate.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There is so much to do in the DFW, I don’t know where to begin, but since I live in Fort Worth let’s start there. The Fort Worth Nature Center is a great place for a hike or kayaking and would be a good way to start a long trip as well as the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. There are also hidden gems on some of the hiking trails like Hidden Waterfalls near the Airfield Falls Trailhead. As far as food and night life, if you worked up enough of an appetite there is always Texas de Brazil. Another one of my favorite restaurants to take people in Fort Wort is Edlweiss. Wilde Acre Brew Pub is also high on my list. And can’t leave out bar hopping on 7th street. In Arlington, you have Texas Live! which has a little bit of everything including one of my favorite BBQ stops, Lockhart. There are also a few good breweries in Arlington, but you can’t leave town without eating at Prince Lebanese. I just mentioned FW having hidden gems on hiking trails, but you can find some literal hidden gems at Crystal Canyon Nature Area in Arlington, this would definitely be on the itinerary as well as River Legacy. I don’t know Dallas as well as Arlington and Fort Worth, but I do have some spots I really like and would want to take my friends. I’d start in the design district on Dragon Street, some of my favorite art galleries and artist are there. Also in that area is, in my opinion, the best BBQ place in the DFW, Slow Bone. As far as night life, Deep Ellum is more my kind of scene as well as my friends. I would say I’m drawn to things off the beaten path. I’ve met the most interesting people at smaller, more intimate places like hole-in-the-wall restaurants and bars. The DFW area has plenty of them, you just need to know where to look.
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 had many mentors throughout my life and although this resulted in years of knowledge and experience on various subjects, nothing can compare to what my parents taught me about myself. They have always been my biggest fans and without their love, support, and encouragement, I most certainly would not have gone down a path of pursuing creative endeavors. I owe them more than I could possibly return.