Most of us artist moms settle on a career break once we choose to have kids and decide to raise them with full mindfulness and ease. Most of the times we limit ourselves to our homes and schedules that we intently set for our kids to follow. As the time goes by, hardly do we realize the extent to which we get accustomed to our comfort zones.
We may find ourselves in the middle of cluttered brain activity the moment we decide to hold a brush and start to paint or anything, like for me; “I guess the dresser needs to be dusted again”, ” may be a nap is a good idea”, “lets surf a bit more on what to d
raw” or ” I promise I’ll sketch only after I’m done watching a movie” and above all “why paint with so many distractions?” was all I struggled with, initially, as I decided to grab a pencil and actually draw after a long career gap. Trust me, nothing has been more challenging than dragging myself out of my comfort zone in to initiating my creative journey once again.
I followed a few kick start tips that I would like to share on how to resume art career after a long break, specifically for artist moms. Here are a few that worked for me, of course they might not be everybody’s cup of tea, even so, have a crack at them:
- Re-focus, Re-align, Re-engage
Grab a pen and a note book and ask yourself 3 questions;” What is my creative focus?, Where do I place my passion in my priority list?, If I pursue my passion would it still make me happy?”, answered? move to the next point.
- Modify your creative focus, if needed
Open up yourself, explore and list down art careers that interests you. Choose the one that suits you best depending on your present lifestyle. I started off as designing home adornments and absolutely loved embellishing mirrors, pottery, cushions, rugs and vignettes. However, such delicate and focus oriented work craved for more time and space then I could spare later on in life, so, I hopped on to another creative yet manageable domain of visual arts which excites me as much as the one I postponed for a while.
- Take an art course as a breakthrough in to art field again
It doesn’t have to be a long one. After all these years, it took me 4 art classes to find myself again. I took them on weekends so I had a whole week to practice and re-align my imaginative self. Thanks to a really treasured artist and dear friend of mine Shahnila Rashid(aka Shaila) for her flexible attitude and giving me luxury of schedule adjustment just the way I wanted. Will soon share her art journey with you all.
- Connect with an art buddy!
Get in touch with a friend having similar interest and plan visits to exhibitions and art-fairs. Meet other artists and indulge in conversations, do not hesitate to ask questions. I usually prefer to take my kids along as well, mostly to blow the whistle on the world of colors and imagination that their mom belongs to. You can also plan a “painting day” with your friends, have them over to your place and paint together, the process becomes much more interactive and upbeat.
The artist behind the beautifully painted chair ( Top left photo ) is known as Zehra Ali; mom of two boys and exceptionally talented artist.
- Pen down your daily schedule
Its important to write, either on your planner or notebook and adjust your artwork routine among all the other important tasks of the day. Fix hours or don’t, it totally depends on you. Early morning works best for me or after putting kids to bed at night. Sometimes, I sketch in the car or even in a public transport, its actually fun!
- Shop for some art stuff!
My husband says” That beam on your face every time you spot a bookshop or an Art shop is unmistakable”, I say, he knows me so well:). There is nothing better than the moment I enter the art shop and re-connect with colorful art accessories. They, undoubtedly, act as a motivational boost. Additionally, I get to meet other artists which helps in updating myself with new mediums and trends.
- Art books and online tutorials
Books and tutorials help a lot in enhancing and updating your knowledge about Arts. I Will update you about my favorite artists, books and tutorials in my posts to come.
- Develop a habit of sketching. Anytime. Anyplace.
Get hold of a sketch book as small as size A5 and carry it in your bag along with a sketch pencil. You can sketch on the go, in a waiting area, cafe, in the kitchen, while kids are busy playing indoor/outdoor, all in all anyplace that you choose to go at anytime of the day. Its all about convincing oneself in developing a habit.
- Last but not the least avoid procrastination.
Worse enemy. Indeed. Avoid delaying projects otherwise you’ll feel stagnant and ultimately demotivated, and you wouldn’t want that, right? for after all the effort you have put in you need a regular driving force. Steadiness and consistency is the key, keep a hold of it.
It may seem like a no-brainer to someone who has a benefit of 7 to 8 hours of liberty to sit, relax, walk around, surf, plan a day out with friends, and peacefully wait for the perfect moment of inspiration to kick in, grab a brush and start painting. Yes, we all have been there, something we miss a lot and now value with all one’s heart. But then again, we have moved forward into the world of motherhood with “multitasking” as a hand-me-down gift of womanhood, I believe we can, undeniably, bring about our dreams one baby step at a time.