I started this small passion project a year ago, and even though you all know by now that I’m the type to let big dreams run rampant, I never anticipated what Carve Out Time for Art would organically turn into. In May 2015, I launched these interviews with the intent to disprove the often stated misconception that mothers can never do anything for themselves, and if they do want to or have time -- they must be a terrible mother. I was astounded to see how much I needed and yearned for art in my life after my son was born, especially when faced with the preciousness of my limited free time. Something about having a child made me more efficient, fearless and focused. I was able to do painting commissions with a newborn for a deadline. Then I took time off. Then I came back to art and felt empowered to call myself an artist again without disqualifying it.
Before my son was born, everyone told me I’d never have time for myself. Part of it was joking around and just something people say. But when we hear things repeatedly, we internalize and believe it. Especially new mamas who don’t have anyone telling them otherwise.
It’s hard enough to be a new mama, let alone have the self doubt and fear (and lack of sleep) that you will never have a moment to yourself. If you’re a creative or an artist, a few moments to yourself to create are crucial to your well being. Not everyone gets it, and it can feel isolating if you don’t have anyone who understands this is not a frivolous need.
Well, the 10 interviews I set out to do turned into about 50 interviews. I love each one of them and the women who shared their hearts with us. They made me tear up I felt such pride when I read the words, especially as I knew it was vulnerable and they were happy to help others who may be struggling. I was so happy at times and want to someday hug every single one of you. It is an honor to have a platform to share these stories.
Supporting artist mamas will always be my priority. I don’t think that’s a secret. That’s why Heather and I are writing a book to spread this message to an even larger audience.
Early motherhood days on a deadline. Being gentle with myself.
Recently I've noticed in proving that moms can make time, many common threads are emerging that are becoming fascinatingly repetitive. Obviously there is a method to the mayhem. I do not want these to get stale, it would do such a disservice to what we want to promote. It’s our responsibility to share people’s stories in the best way possible. So Heather and I have taken a step back to think of our mission. It’s been so organic, that we needed a moment to collect our thoughts which we are doing.
From the beginning, I have been the most interested in how people find time to do what they love, even when they have limited free time and struggles. I love when people turn to art later in life, or find time after a busy work day, or are in grad school and start painting to de-stress. I’m most passionate about rooting for people who are making their dreams happen, however that may be. So I want to share more of that, since our community is really about THAT. Empowering people and connecting them with the resources and people to do their work and not feel alone.
I LOVE that I’ve spent the last year showing how artists with kids can thrive and find time to create. It rarely enters my head that it’s extraordinary now, because I know people who make it work every day. I WANT it to become normal that women can create or do what they love, kids or no kids. I want to banish the mom guilt. I want the next generation and the mother struggling now and people wondering if they can have kids and be an artist say.
"WE GET IT. YOU CAN BE A MOTHER AND STILL MAKE ART."
I am so happy to have found a partner in Heather Kirtland for this book and endeavor. It has become bigger than me. Bigger than the two of us. Bigger than our Carve Out Time for Art Community.
We are one spoke in a wheel of so many resources and the larger art-maker-creative-kind-positive-big dreaming-IG sharing-keeping it real community.
We all have doubts. We all struggle. We all have fears. We all compare ourselves to others sometimes and think, what is the point?! We all are making it work. Oh, and we are all amazing.
To me, the need to create is so strong, it finds its' way. Always. It may not be in the form that you would think it is. But it busts through the cracks like tree roots in a sidewalk, or milk that your toddler spills on your keyboard. If you want and need it badly enough, you will find a way to get something accomplished. A page in a sketchbook. A full body of work with a toddler in a sling. A 100 day project.Painting for fun with your kid.
We'll be sharing more and hope these changes will help support our larger community, without losing our mission and values. Thank you for supporting us and being part of this.