At one of my shows this year, a fan told me that it was unfortunate that I couldn’t produce as much art as I did prior to becoming a mother. I nodded and tried to absorb what she was saying. It wasn’t offensive, it was merely her expressing her wish for more art.
In 2015, our family grew by one. Our tiny human consumes and directs our life. She also brings joy, light and laughter into our home every day. She changed me as a person, as an artist. So when she fell ill this weekend (don’t worry, she’s very slowly on the the mend) I cancelled my trip to DC. I had a fleeting thought about my work and about my conversation from earlier this year.
I love my family and I love my career. They overlap, sing together, sing apart, and occasionally have friction. My days are scheduled and my art making hours are restricted. Multiple times a day, my daughter comes into my studio, sits on my lap and asks for one of my pens. Every so often, I drop by her room to sing a song with her and our nanny or distract her while we sneak a jacket on for their morning walk. I welcome these forays from my work.
I do produce less art. To think that I could be the same artist and produce the same quantity of work would be foolish. To say that parenting changes you is an understatement. I chose to cancel my trip and take care of my baby, but I will still raise money for causes I believe in. All proceeds for the sales of the print below (past and future) will be donated to the ACLU.
Finding the balance between my family and career has made me sharply aware that my power – our power – isn’t merely in our ability to stay persistent in our work – it is our ability to change, adapt and continue to do good work.
Original watercolor sold. Prints available here.