I am so happy Dawn is the interview today! I have been twitter friends with her for a while and I love her work. I have a painting of hers that I can't wait to display once we get to Portland in a few weeks. Make sure to visit her links because she has so much more fantastic art that you should see!
Thanks Dawn for sharing. I loved your video interview so much!
1. What is your earliest memory you have of creating?
I think I always had paper and crayons, but if I had to pick something specific: scribble drawings. I’m not sure what we called them as kids. My mom would give me a blank sheet of typing paper and I would take a pencil and draw crazy squiggly lines all over it. Then you had to stare at it and see what images you saw in the drawings and color them in. It was sort of the drawing equivalent of staring at clouds and seeing animal shapes in them.
2. When did you realize you were an artist, writer, creative etc.?
When we started talking about careers in middle school, I always wanted to do something in art. That something changed and evolved. The bigger point was a few years ago. I had returned to art-making after a too-long absence, and I heard my son say, “My mom is an artist,” very matter-of-factly. I had been calling myself an artist before then, but to hear him say it made it feel official.
3. Why do you create? How would you feel if you could not create anymore?
I feel like I have to do it. I joke that making art keeps me nearly sane, but honestly, I feel like it saved my life.
4. Did you create before you had children? After? How has becoming a mother changed or enhanced the way you create?
I did. And then I moved and changed jobs and stopped making art., And then I had kids, and still didn’t make art. When I started drawing and painting again, it was something that I was doing for myself. It felt a little selfish. I had spent so many years pouring myself into my kids and not doing anything for me. It was a hard mindset to change. You need to take care of yourself if you want to be able to take care of someone else.
Making time for making art. There are always a million other things that need to get done. The more I work on it, the more I want to keep working on it, the more fulfilled I feel, and the happier I am.
6. Do you ever involve your children in your art? Do they inspire, help, mimic your projects, ask to learn, or be involved in your art?
My younger son has made artwork that looks like mine. He also claims his favorite type of art is abstract.
7. What have you sacrificed in order to make art?
A cleaner house?
8. What have you gained from creating art?
Some semblance of sanity. Some crazy friends.
9. Where do you want your art to go over the next few years? Goals?
I’m continuing with my #art365 plan which is to make some art every day. Beyond that, I don’t know! I let it go where it wants to. I have work in a lot of shows and sometimes it sells. Maybe: sell more art! It would be great if it was really a viable business. I’d like to get another grant and I’d like to be able to do residencies. The latter gets trickier with kids.
I sort of feel like a major purge of “stuff” would help. Then I wouldn’t feel like there were always so many other things I should be doing instead of making art.
11. Do you homeschool? Do the kids go to school? How does this affect your creativity and art making?
I do not and could not homeschool. I think there are lots of parents who are amazing at it, but I would not be one of those parents. My older son has special needs and I need the break that I get when he is in school. Most art-making happens while my kids are at school.
12. What does a typical day/week look like? Are you a morning or night person? Do you stick to a schedule or create whenever you can?
I don’t have a set schedule. I am up early with the kids. I prefer to paint earlier in the day when the light is better, but I also work when my kids are in school. Everything has to happen when they are in school, so there is a whole lot of how can I fit this all in?
13. Can you offer any advice or tips to other creative mothers on? Inspiration, wisdom?
Take care of yourself. If creating something makes you happy, you should do it. Your kids will be better off seeing you happy.
I'm no longer doing Creative Mothers interview, but this will remain as an archive. Thank you for all of the love!
About the Series
Let's face it, being a mother can be the most challenging, and the most rewarding thing. Being a mother who needs to be creative can be even more challenging, it can even feel lonely at times.
So let's dig deeper into the lives of creative mothers, share their amazing work, and get some insight into creating while parenting. Hopefully, inspiring other artistic, creative mothers, and women who may one day be mothers themselves, along the way.
Explore Past Interviews
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