I found Maura Segal's work on Instagram a few months ago and was mesmerized immediately. I was particularly drawn to her edited color choices, use of negative space, and playful and organic lines. Maura's work reminds me of plan view maps of cities and organized chaos. I just love her work and am so pleased that she was able to share with us today! Thank you, Maura. Also, I'd love to see your work on the side of a building in LA. Please make that happen!
Tell us about yourself. How old are your children? Where can we find you?
I was born in Texas and grew up in Los Angeles where I now live with my husband and three daughters, ages 21, 18 and 6.
Since I was little, I always loved drawing, pasting and cutting papers. It has always been something that has given me pleasure and transports me to another world where time stops.
How has your approach to painting, your processes, medium, or your inspiration changed since having children?
In one way, it became more challenging because of the physical time, which shrunk but in a different way, I became much more motivated due to that constraint.
I don’t feel I had to give anything up. Perhaps I cut down on my reading and gardening, but I was very conscious and content that, those two were replaced by spending time with my family or working on my art.
What worked for me was to embrace my choices and not give in to any regrets. To fully accept the priorities in my life: my family and my art.
As I get older, I learned to be more patient with myself and accept the things I cannot accomplish, just as much as being empowered with the things that I can.
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?
I made the decision to raise my own children and did not want to compromise. So in order to be able to accomplish that, my thought process and creative process sometimes took place while I was away from my studio. The idea is that when I sat down to actually work, I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to do.
I would like to think that I became very good at managing my time and became much more focused.
How does being an artist make you a better parent to your children? What do you hope they take away from seeing you as an artist doing something that fulfills you?
To me, parenting is all about modeling behavior. And I believe when my daughters see me as passionate and disciplined as I am about my art, it empowers them to believe that everything is possible.
By being an artist, I feel my daughters have the world open to them. If I can succeed at being an artist, then they can succeed at anything they dream of as well. That is a comforting and satisfying feeling as a mother.
They see the hours I spend in the studio and the passion I feel, and I see in my two eldest ones, the same about what they love to do.
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 have my own workspace room that is sun-filled and looks out onto the garden. I would love to remove my husband’s pinball machine and large collection of movies!
All of my girls, since they were old enough to hold a crayon, have been creating art. I used to draw and paint all the time when my eldest ones were little and still draw and paint quite often with my six year old. My 21 and 18 year olds still love to draw and paint, I feel in a very therapeutic way.
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?
I don’t feel there are any major shortcuts. I try going to sleep earlier, so that I can wake up as early as possible to have before the household wakes up. I make a point in limiting how much screen time my six year old watches, when she comes home from school.
I did become more efficient as far as cooking (which luckily my husband enjoys to help with) and other household chores.
Do you have any big goals or dreams for your art that you’d like to share? What would be your dream project?
My goals are to express myself through art and make a living as an artist. And to live as an artist with dignity.
My dream project is to create art for a very large public space and in a major metropolitan center.