Wow! Thank you all for an amazing kick off week of Creative Mothers! I can't believe how many responses I received and am still receiving. I am truly grateful to all of you for sharing and participating. From now on I will just be posting one interview per week, so I don't drive everyone crazy by only posting interviews. I can't wait to share all the amazing interviews I'm getting, but I know it's best to space them out.
Anyway, let's get this next interview started. I related so much with what Jen says she has to change in order to reach her artistic goals. I too need to "JUST DO IT!" Thanks so much Jen for participating and for the inspiration!
1. What is your earliest memory you have of creating?
Sewing! My mom has always sewn, either with her sewing machine or counted cross stitch. From an early age I was introduced to fabric & thread & pins & needles. It wasn’t until after high school that I actually sat down at the machine and seriously began sewing myself, but I would always use her supplies in my imaginative play.
2. When did you realize you were an artist, writer, creative etc.?
Oh gosh, only recently really! I’ve sewn & knit for years now. That’s just a part of who I am. But putting the word “writer” onto my creative resume has slowly happened over the past few months. I am not published (aside from the writing I do on my blog!) but putting down my thoughts, ideas, small stories in my journal is showing me that I am writer & I need to embrace this creative part of my life!
I have this need inside me to put my mark on things. To say I was here. It’s my way of expressing who I am and showing love to my daughters through the socks, sweaters, little toys I knit for them. My writing helps me to be more mindful of the present moment. I am more aware of the details of the everyday when I view them through my writers eye. Sitting & writing out moments from the day helps me to be more intentional in how I live my life. If I couldn’t create anymore I feel like I’d lose a part of myself. Creating is how I express who I am; how I express my love for those around me.
4. Did you create before you had children? After? How has becoming a mother changed or enhanced the way you create?
I did! Although it wasn’t until I was pregnant with my first daughter that I really began to be creative in my everyday life. That is when I began to seriously knit. All those sweet baby patterns needed to be made! I have kept up the knitting ever since. I have to say, becoming a mother has enhanced my creativity. I want to see my girls seeing that I am creative as a way to encourage their own creativity. That has caused me to branch out and find new ways to express myself.
5. What is the most challenging thing about being a mother and an artist? How do you handle those challenges?
Time!!! I like to write in quiet, with no little voices chattering along beside me. And I enjoy being creative in many aspects of life and there never seems to be enough time to do it all. So I take turns. I am slowly moving into a season where instead of knitting with my free time/hands when it comes along, I will be picking up fabric & needle to embroider. And this spring summer I will get outside to get creative in the garden. I have to pick & choose where my heart wants me to be creative & at what times of life those things need to happen.
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?
All the time!! If I am sewing, my daughter has a pile of fabric she sorts, “irons” folds. If I am knitting she has her own small bag of scraps of yarn & a few crochet hooks. When I write she sits at the table with her notebook & fills it with her scribbles. When I find some sort of art I am interested in, it never crosses my mind that I wouldn’t do it in her presence. And more times then not she is interested, asks questions, and ends up getting creative right alongside me!
7. What have you sacrificed in order to make art?
Sleep. I have never been much of a morning person, but am finding that the early morning is a great time to write. There is something different about the morning quiet then the night quiet. While I do, at times, write or knit late at night, I prefer the early time now!
8. What have you gained from creating art?
A sense of who I am. It is a way for me to get out feelings & thoughts. I am more relaxed if I am creating. And I certainly have been living a more intentional life since I’ve begun writing. It’s amazing the different way one looks at the world when you are planning to write about the experiences you are seeing!
9. Where do you want your art to go over the next few years? Goals?
I would love to eventually write up some things to submit to a few magazines. Even if nothing ever gets published, just being able to say “I tried!” will be awesome.
10. At this time, what could you sacrifice, change, or simplify to help reach your artistic goals?
I just need to DO IT! I need to get off the computer reading about others writing habits and get to work on my own! Put the pen to paper and see where it leads me. It’s not going to happen without me so I need to make it happen!
11. Do you homeschool? Do the kids go to school? How does this affect your creativity and art making?
My oldest is 4 and youngest is 3 months so we aren’t in the school stage yet, although it is coming quickly! I’m honestly not sure yet where that journey will take us. But for now we are learning all the time. We believe that life is learning, every experience you have is an opportunity to learn. And that includes sitting down and being creative with our little ones!
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?
Our day starts on the later side, as both little ones enjoy sleeping. This gives me an opportunity to wake up slow so when the girls get up, I am awake & ready for the questions & conversations. Our day goes on from there. Some days we spend the morning doing art; library trips; errands; adventures. As the weather changes, we will begin spending most of our day outside exploring. Aside from my morning writing time, I try to create throughout the day as I can. Sometimes that takes place in the kitchen through cooking or baking. Other times through sitting with some hand work.
Just do it. If you feel like you want to create, then do it. I know it may seem hard to find the time. But include the little ones in it. Want to learn to paint? Get some kid friendly paint & do it with them. Want to write? Set them up with their own notebook & writing utensil (my little one can’t write yet. That doesn’t stop her from “writing” stories!)
14. Finally, name an artistic mother who inspires you. Why and how does she inspire you?
Oh there are so many! But there are two who have really helped me in the creative process. First is Amy Hood. Without her encouragement I wouldn’t have started to do art with my little one. Amy is the one who told me to find that kid friendly paint, sit down at the table with the little one & paint alongside her. Because of Amy’s gentle nudging we have done so much art together the past few years. Art that I know wouldn’t have happened otherwise.
Second is Amanda Mays. I wouldn’t have the confidence to call myself a writer if it wasn’t for Amanda. Thanks to her mentoring, her daily prompts & her writing course, Write Now, I wouldn’t have stepped into the writing journey I am on. She gave me the freedom to say that I can do this, and the tools to help me start. I will forever be indebted to these two women who do such wonderful work to encourage other mothers!
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
Suzi Banks Baum
Shelli Bond Pabis
Elizabeth B. Borowsky
Kellee Wynne Conrad
Kisco Print Shop
Art by Megan