Elizabeth inspires me so much with her ceramics, attitude, and grateful view on her life and her art. I am so happy to have found her through Instagram, and humbled that she loves this series so much. I can't tell you all how much this series has helped to keep me focused and creative as well.
Thank you Elizabeth for your insights and inspiration!
Elizabeth B. Borowsky Ceramic Artist
1. What is your earliest memory you have of creating, and when did you realize you were an artist?
I remember being engrossed in coloring when I was about 5 - 7 years old, and my dad leaned over to me and very seriously said, "Always sign and date your work". This is a special memory to me because my dad did not live to see me become an artist. He died when I was ten. During my upbringing, everyone called me Beth. Everyone except for my dad. He called me Elizabeth, all the time. So the name of my business, Elizabeth B. Ceramics, may seem ordinary to some, but it has beautiful significance to me, as does the signing my name on all of my work.
I realized I was an artist when I was a freshman in college. One day, I sat down and randomly had the urge to draw a portrait from a Bob Marley biography book. I was amazed that I could actually draw! So amazed, that I drew another portrait right after to see if it was all a big fluke or not! It took about 30 minutes after the initial shock that I could draw, for me to call my mom and ask her if I could change my major to Fine Arts. Thankfully, she was supportive! The rest is history! I have been engrossed in art, just like in those early coloring years, ever since.
2. Did you create before you had children? After? If so what is the biggest change in your art making since you have become a mother?
The biggest change in my art making since I have become a mother is how I spend my studio time. Knowing that my time in the studio is precious, and often limited, (unless it is before 7 am or after 9 pm!), I come to the studio focused, determined, and with purpose. I take a sketch book / art journal with me EVERYWHERE I go, on purpose. I am constantly writing down ideas and inspiration and working them out on paper so that when I get to the studio I can better excecute and maximize my making time.
3. I see that you are also a homeschooling family, which is awesome! How has this impacted your creative process?
Homeschooling gives our life a peaceful, hard working, yet un-rushed rhythm that I enjoy and that works for our family. Schooling is just a part of who we are, much like art is a part of who I am. I happily live and breathe both everyday.
4. What parts of your art are your children involved with the most? Have your children inspired you in any way?
I teach children's art classes at our local Dance Academy where my oldest daughter Emma is a student. My children, the "Fab Five" as I often refer to them, have a lot of input on the projects I choose for those classes. They also travel with us to many of my art festivals. I am inspired most by my children when I really take a moment to look into their big, bright, innocent, and curious eyes. They inspire me to make work that is honest, authentic, pure and true.
5. What has been the most positive influence on your children in regards to seeing you do what you love?
Let me start by backtracking a bit. My mom has been the most positive influence in my life. She started a small daycare as a single mom that grew into a large Childhood Education Center with 40+ teachers and 200+ kids. She taught me to work hard, to be positive in all situations, and to always treat others as I would like them to treat me. I pray that my children will learn from me, like I learned from her. I have a motto that drives me daily in the studio, "Work hard, stay focused, dig deep, and trust God."
6. 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?
Monday - Friday we have a "typical" school day. The kids spend their small breaks between subjects running ( we live on 5 acres of land ), playing, painting, drawing, lego building, and reading. I spend our small breaks posting an image to Instagram / Facebook, catching up on an email or two, or painting a coat of glaze on a few ceramic pieces. Afternoons are spent with more running, creative time, etc, while I get messy on my pottery wheel! My husband is self employed so any day he is off early I get more studio time, and Saturdays are typically a pretty productive day in the studio for me. Sunday we set aside for God and for family time.
I desperately want to be a morning person, and I try to be a night person. I am naturally -NEITHER, but I actually do both! In the morning I am start my day with a healthy dose of God's Word and large cup of coffee with extra cream and sugar!!! Having 5 kids and two businesses out of our home, we definitely function better with a schedule. BUT, our schedule is only the framework for our day. We are more than happy to bend it to meet the day's specific needs and priorities!
7. What is the most challenging thing about being a mother and an artist?
The biggest challenge for me is having enough hours in the day for everything I want (and need) to do! I have a HUGE passion for art and for my art business - H U G E. But I also have a huge passion for God and for my family. Recently my mom was diagnosed with Stage Four Lymphoma. She is a tremendous warrior of God fighting this battle with cancer. The way she puts it is, "I am not fighting cancer. I am beating cancer!!!" At the beginning of her illness she said something that I will never forget. She said, "A lot of things I thought were important are not as important as I thought they were." So as I go through my days and I feel like I have more to do than a 24 hour day will hold, I try to see my life through that lens. I take a step back and ask myself what is really most important for me to finish today? What can be held off until tomorrow, until my husband gets home, or until the kids are in bed? By looking at my days like this, I find that I experience more joy in all of my activities.
8. Where do you want your art to go over the next few years? Goals?
I definitely have specific goals that drive me. I have daily goals that include spending time in God's Word, completing our school work for the day, and spending at least three hours a day in the studio or on business (how ever I can fit in!). My yearly goals are to launch a business website for Elizabeth B. Ceramics and to learn how to screen print my hand drawn imagery on to my ceramic work. I have spent the past year and a half focusing mostly on form and texture, but I would like to bring more of my drawing into my ceramic pieces. My 5 year goal (which I hope to accomplish in 3!), is to be able to produce and sell enough work to maintain a steady, financially beneficial, part time job from home, doing what I love!
9. Where do you get the most creative support from? Family? Friends? Other local artists?
My family is physically and emotionally more supportive than I could ever ask for. I get the most creative support from other artists and makers online and from the different art festivals I take part in. I love Instrgram because of its visual feed. That is where I found Creative Mothers! I thank God for YOUR creative mind Megan Gray!
10. Can you offer any insight, or advice, to other creative mothers? Especially to those who homeschool, or are thinking of homeschooling?
It is humbling to be giving insight and advice, because I am often the one seeking, not giving. But, if I can say I have learned one thing in living a creative life, or a homeschooling life, it would be to BE YOURSELF. Make art that you like and don't worry about pleasing other people. No one, can please everyone. At the end of the day, all that matters is that God says, "Well done." Be who God created you to be, to the best of your ability!
11. Finally, name an artistic mother who inspires you. Why and how does she inspire you?
I met an artistic mother a few years ago that has always impressed me. She is a homeschooling mother of SIX and a beautiful seamstress and independent fashion designer. She makes the coolest clothes! I wish I owned one of everything! What inspires me most about Rachel Sample is that it is VERY apparent that she puts God and her family before her business. I have witnessed how God has blessed her business because of her faithfulness and hard work! You can check out her amazing goods at http://www.etsy.com/shop/SweetHomeBoutique
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