What was your path to what you’re doing now?
Kristina Robinson: I originally went to school at Alfred State College for Forensic Chemistry. After realizing that it wasn’t…quite my niche, I switched majors to Cyber Security, and later to Web Development. My school was holding a career fair, and there I discovered my previous employer and the advertising world. After interning for 15 weeks, I eventually earned the title of Web Developer and worked there for another two and a half years. Now, I work as a developer here in Buffalo at The Martin Group.
Katherine: After graduating from Canisius College, I moved back to Rochester and worked as a Designer for Nixon Peabody LLP. I then became the Art Director at CGI Communications managing a team of designers for about four years. Then, I moved to San Diego for about three years and worked for a division of Titleist. Currently, I’m doing digital design/development work in the Rochester office.
As a designer, what types of projects are you most passionate about? What attracts you to that type of work?
Kristina: I really enjoy projects that have a “think outside the box” mentality—something bold or something that hasn’t been done before. I enjoy building all sorts of things in the digital space, but always strive for a challenge to push my limits and widen my skill set.
Katherine: I love mixed media pieces. When someone takes the time to create something physical such as illustrating an icon, hand lettering a word, or scanning in a fun texture—these are the ingredients, in my opinion, that have the potential to transform a good design into a great piece of digital art.
What brought you into the world of marketing?
Kristina: A not-so-longer-time-ago, I worked at Journeys shoes, and numbers and goals were everything. Employees would have to hit 3/3 (number of shoes sold, accessories sold, total dollar amount for the day), and sometimes, you just really had to sell to someone why those sneaky no-show socks were perfect for that new pair of Sperrys they were about to buy.
Katherine: I’m interested in creating a feeling and a connection between the viewer and the brand. Working with a team to create experiences and products that are strategically smart, emotionally resonant, and visually pleasing has been very interesting to me.
How did you first learn about or get connected with The Martin Group?
Kristina: The 2019 ADDYs exposed me to The Martin Group’s incredible and admirable work. After the show, I found a Web Developer opening on their site and decided to take a chance and apply.
Katherine: When I was at Canisius College, some of the students in the Digital Media Arts department were able to tour The Martin Group office. I was so impressed by the office tour, the agency’s clients, and the creative work I saw!
What was your first-ever job?
Kristina: I was a front desk manager for a gym at a local ice arena. It was an interesting place—a rink downstairs, a restaurant on the 2nd floor, and a gym on the 3rd.
Katherine: Buffalo Bills training camp staff at St. John Fisher College.
Did you play any sports growing up?
Kristina: I played softball from 4th grade until my senior year of high school and volleyball throughout my high school career as well!
Katherine: Sure did! I played soccer from 5th grade through college (recreationally).
Describe your perfect weekend.
Kristina: A comfortable Indian summer day with my hammock tied up at the park, a hoop, and plenty of tunes to set the vibe. Very open to opting out the hammock for snacks.
Katherine: Spending the day on a boat in Canandaigua Lake, knocking a house project off my list, and going for a run outside. Bonus points if I can get my three sisters over and eat pizza/drink wine with some of our favorite shows.
Who’s the closest sitcom character to your real life?
Kristina: 1/3 Phoebe, 1/3 Kramer, 1/3 Pam [from The Office].
Katherine: Liz Lemon from 30 Rock.
What’s your favorite restaurant?
Kristina: Dino BBQ in Buffalo, very close to the office and very close to m’heart.
Katherine: In Rochester, Next Door Bar & Grill. Everything there is great in my opinion. Free champagne for the table if you have something to celebrate!
What’s your favorite movie of all time and why?
Kristina: The Lion King (1994) is hands down my favorite movie of all time. I love the characters, the story, and most importantly, the lessons and messages it teaches.
Katherine: The Holiday. I can and have watched this movie over and over again. The soundtrack, the set design, everything—I just love it.
What’s your favorite hobby?
Kristina: Hula hooping. I love and appreciate all flow arts, but the hoop speaks to me most. I’ve been hoop dancing for almost five years now (anniversary coming this December) and absolutely love it.
Katherine: Right now, probably doing some small DIY home renovations to my house. Nothing that impressive—mostly painting and being indecisive about pillows!
What is the top travel destination on your bucket list?
Kristina: Switzerland, somewhere in the countryside for sure. It looks like such a beautiful place to visit.
Katherine: Anywhere with mountains and lakes. Would love to go back to Vancouver, Canada.
Where are you from originally?
Kristina: A little ol’ town in Putnam County called Mahopac (mayo-pack), about an hour north of the Bronx.
Katherine: Rochester, NY.
You’re standing outside a 7-Eleven when the aliens land. They can only survive on Earth for two minutes and you only have two dollars. What snack do you buy to teach them about humanity and provide sustenance for their long journey home?
Kristina: Dark Side Skittles. The dark ones are better than the original.
Katherine: Reese’s Sticks. They’ll quickly be planning a trip back for more.