I had the pleasure of getting to know Jaimie Myers in Caitlin Bacher's Creative Biz Ladies Facebook Group which connects tons of like minded creative people and is a positive, inspiring and non-spammy group. Jaimie recently opened her Etsy Shop to sell original watercolors and prints, and has a new blog that is already filled with great tips on topics such as working from home with kids, accomplishing big goals, battling self doubt, etc. I found myself shaking my head in agreement while reading her posts, and am sure you will too. Especially on not following so many like-minded people and then going down a negative comparison spiral that does nobody any good! I like her honest and supportive voice, her positive contribution to this online community, and her openness to share her new ventures! I'm so happy to have you as part of this series, Jaimie. Thank you!
Tell us about yourself. How old are your children? Where can we find you?
I'm Jaimie Myers, a watercolor painter, photographer and writer living in Madison, WI. I have not always known that I was a creative person and spent a good chunk of life steering clear of anything creative. I wanted to be an astrophysicist when I started college! As a child, I wanted to be a children's book author and illustrator and later I wanted to be an actor or a chef, so I always practiced creativity, but never saw it in myself until more recently. My children are Evan, 7, and Mila, 4 1/2 and they inspire me in the wildest ways.
Website & Blog: www.jaimieemyers.com
Art Shop: bit.ly/jaimiemyersartshop
Facebook: Jaimie Myers
Has your approach to painting, your processes, medium, or your inspiration changed since having children?
I didn't start realizing how I loved art until after I had children, but having children definitely does influence the way I view art. I use it as a way to play and relax. And I want my artwork to always evoke that playful and/or relaxed state. I feel like that's what everyone needs - to either have more fun or to relax more. I paint mainly with watercolor because it is inherently a quick medium (at least for me). I am able to spend a short amount of time painting and still feel like I've made something complete, which is critical when you've got kids who demand a lot of your attention.
Is it easy or difficult for you to find/make time to create? Did you have to give anything up? Do you have advice on what works for you?
It is pretty difficult for me to find time to create paintings. That said, I work full-time from home as a creative director for The Inner Wild Creative Co. (www.theinnerwild.com), so I am often creating in one way or another, just not always for myself. Sometimes it stifles my ability to create and other times it inspires me to create more and to work harder. When I am having a really hard time finding the time to create, I paint with my kiddos. They love to paint as much as I do. I let them use my "good" watercolors and it really makes them feel included, so I get to bond with them while also creating. Also, I love to paint at night when everyone is asleep.
How does being an artist make you a better mother to your children? What do you hope they take away from seeing you as an artist doing something that fulfills you?
I pay attention to them so much because they are my biggest inspiration. They notice little things in life that I am just too busy to see. I hope they understand that creativity never runs out and that they can create no matter what or who they turn out to be.
Where do you paint or create? What are your favorite things about your workspace and what would you improve? Do you ever create art with your kids?
I would love to have a dedicated office, but my space takes up a corner of our living room for now. My desk is used for so many things - photography, painting, my computer, a scanner - so I am often moving things around in order to move to the next task. When my desk is a real mess, I'll take my paints over to the coffee table where I sit cross-legged to work. In the summer, I like to take my painting outside so that I can listen to the birds chirp as I work and feel more inspired by the nuances of color outside.
Do you have any tips to streamline / delegate / outsource household and childcare activities so that you can focus more time on your art? Has your lifestyle changed in any major ways?
Gosh, I'm probably the one who NEEDS the tips. I am a person who needs a lot of downtime to be able to do my job well. Being a creative all day, every day can be exhausting mentally so I often need a break. Sometimes I beat myself up for needing that instead of working more or creating more for myself, but I don't think my work would be where it was if I forced myself to do it. My husband is an AMAZING help in our home and always has been. It has never been trouble to get him to do the laundry and I am so fortunate in that way. Soon I will outgrow the ability to keep my 4 year old at home with me during the day (she goes to school a few hours right now) and will need to find part-time care for her, but for now, it's a lot about the juggle.
Do you have any big goals or dreams for your art that you’d like to share? What would be your dream project?
I have so many dreams and they change so often. Right now, I would love to work with a calligrapher on a collaboration project. My dream project would be to paint a HUGE super colorful mural on a wall in our city. We don't have enough of those and the energy of our city just begs for them.
Thank you, Jaimie! Okay, some awesome calligrapher should contact Jaimie for a collaboration proposal or give her a wall to paint. Just putting it out into the universe!