As if life wasn't busy enough becoming a stay-at-home mommy, I decided to open up my Etsy shop in May to share my work with the big, wide world and in hopes of helping contribute financially. It's a huge challenge to keep up with Mr.C, cook, clean, and create, but somehow it works.
I would like for you to meet two artists, also busy mommies, who started creating when their little ones came along, and they still find time to do it all AND create. Please check out their Etsy shops for more of their great creations.
"When I was 30 weeks pregnant with my first child, I wound up on bedrest due to preterm labor. All of the sudden I was told I could do nothing but sit on the couch all day and veggitate. I'm sure for some people that would sound relaxing, but I am not a sit still kind of person! I suppose it was a combination of the pregnancy hormones, the anticipation of the arrival of my little one and my innate creative urges; but I developed this need to draw and create that I just couldn't ignore. I had these silly little knobby kneed characters invading my thoughts and bouncing around my head and I just had to get them out of there and onto paper. This is how Ferntree Studio was born. I didn't choose to start this Etsy business, it chose me!
I find now that I am a mama to an almost 6 month old and a full time elementary school art teacher, that my lack of time is my biggest challenge. The ideas flow readily and I have at least a half a dozen new drawings floating around in my head at all times. What I need is 3 more of me to do all the other things, like housework and errands and that pesky 9 to 5, so that I can have the time to create my artwork. I try to spend all my at home time with my little man, so I find that my creative time is after he's gone to bed at night. I'd say it makes me tired, but the fuel to draw is always there. I have to make myself go to bed! It's hard work, but it's very rewarding. Kind of like motherhood. :)
My favorite piece right now (this can change daily) is probably Bumble, my knobby knee bee. Mainly because I feel like there is a story there. When I look at him, it just seems like he wants to talk to me about his adventures. I love when this happens with my drawings, because it happens spontaneously. They come to life all on their own; with their own personalities and everything. It's quite magical." ~Angie
"We were just We. Now we're We and the Bean. And we're on Etsy.com! I've been a graphic designer, a manager and a third grade teacher, but when we had our daughter, my husband and I were both determined to stay at home with our daughter rather than place her in daycare. The owner of an art gallery around the corner from us asked me to paint a series of canvases for children. They sold. I produced another and then another. Five years later, I still show at the same gallery and have my Etsy shop to compliment the bricks-and-mortar side of this unexpected but very rewarding business. Etsy has allowed me to create a variety of items (stuffed friends, sock monkeys, and growth charts as well as prints of my paintings) and send them off for folks to enjoy in all parts of the world. I love making little things for little people (and big people too!) and feel really lucky to (along with a part-time job and my husband's income from his profession in the non-profit sector) actually make ends meet doing so.
My biggest challenge as a stay at home mom trying to find time to create:
I don't get enough time - or better yet, time comes only if and when I sacrifice sleep. I work part-time for our local library in addition to watching our daughter and maintaining my art business. It's a lot to fit in. I guess the biggest challenge is accepting that some things just have to wait to get done, or perhaps will never get done. For example, I would really love to participate in the Etsy communities more, promote other artists, and keep my shop more up-to-date (all my prints are available in 11x14 sizes, and yet, it's been months and I've not gotten them up there) - but there just isn't time. And I have to be okay with that.
Oh, by far my favorite creation is Storey, our daughter (smile). But if you want me to pick an actual item from my Etsy store, then that would have to be the Baby-safe Fleece Baby Birds - Beep, Bop and Boo http://www.etsy.com/view_transaction.php?transaction_id=7727962 from last year. I don't know why, but these little things made me smile so much. I loved them. I hope whoever has them likes them. I imagine little hands playing with them, counting them, making them fly around and then head back to the next to get some zzzs. Those birds ended up inspiring similar birds in some of my paintings and now I'm working on a whole series of paintings featuring just these goofy, round, colorful birds doing funny things." ~Kris