Reflections on Being an Artist Mum - One Year On
It’s almost a year since I took the plunge and started Studio Seck officially, launching my website selling my artwork in the form of cards, prints and paintings.
It’s hard to imagine that back then, none of us imagined that a year later, we would be in the midst of a pandemic. This has changed much of my social interactions and the way I run this studio.
On top of that, I decided to do all this right after my son was born! Was I crazy? YES! ( It was like giving birth again to another baby!) Has it been worth it? An absolutely YES!
Here are 5 things I have learnt these past 11 months balancing motherhood and being and artist. I’ll keep them as brief as I can and hope to expand more on the topics sometime in the future!
1. There’s never a Right Time to do Art
Before becoming a mum, I would procrastinate a lot more and wait for the ‘perfect mood’ to create art. I was most productive at 10/11pm when there was no one to disturb me. Now with a baby, I find that I work on my art pieces in a ‘start-stop’ manner, picking up the pen or brush whenever there’s a window of opportunity!
2. Practice and Consistency is Key
Earlier this year I read 2 books which inspired me to just keep practicing and creating art even during quiet periods when I had no commissions or sales. One was ‘Grit’ by Angela Duckworth and the other was ‘Draw My Day’ by Samantha Dion Baker.
Just look at babies, we never stop them from trying to sit, to walk, to talk, and they achieve these milestones. We don’t discourage them from practicing and trying. I remind myself that if I want to be an established artist, the discipline of deliberate, purposeful practice is so important. It applies to any interest you have that you would like to develop – be it a sport, writing, cooking, speaking, you name it!
3. You don’t need fancy equipment, but the Right Tools help
I’m a stationery and art shop junkie, and I know there are many of you out there too! I have spent a great deal of my money on my art supplies. (That makes it easy for my husband. No need to buy me expensive bags, clothes and jewellery!)
My conclusion is that you don’t need to spend a fortune on quality supplies, but you do need to buy the right stuff… it will give you encouraging results in your early attempts, which will help keep you creating!
4. When people Offer Help, Accept it!
I used to feel quite ‘paiseh’ (embarrassed) when people offered help, and my ‘polite’ response would be to decline help. As much as I would like to think I’m one, I am no superhuman or superwoman. Taking on too much on my plate will only result in much stress, tension and defeat.
Now when my parents or husband offer to take care of the baby, I’ll say ‘SURE! THANK YOU!’ I’ve accepted that they won’t take care of the baby the same way as I do, but he’ll be well loved and well taken care of, and to trust them. It gives them the opportunity to bond with each other, and also gives me a break and rest!
5. It’s all in God’s hands
I can’t control how long my baby naps and sleeps, or when my next sale or commission would be, but I can count on a God who loves me and will take care of it all. There have been lessons of patience, perseverance, gentle rebuke and provision during this season of my life. It’s wonderful to be able to express them through art, and sharing them to encourage others and all of you.
Alight, that’s all for now! Even if you are not a mother or an artist, I hope this gives you a small glimpse of my life and encourages in some way!