Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Art Biz Mama: Belinda Kemp

An ARTIST, a MOM, a CREATIVE BIZ OWNER. What happens when you combine all three? Welcome to Art Biz Mama.  A series of inspirational interviews about being a mom, an artist and a creative biz owner.  

In an effort to connect, share and get to know some of my favorite artists (and I am sure they are yours too) a bit better and because I am a mama who has creative biz visions myself I have asked for a sneak peek into their very busy lives. To share a bit about just what it means to juggle these roles and how it all really plays out.

I know this is a topic that has been discussed plenty but for me (and you) I need to hear these stories. To know there are others reaching for their dreams and maybe stumbling at times, all the while caring for themselves and their family.

I believe we will glean a bit of insight from these smart and talented women that can inspire us all.

I just want to take a minute before getting to the interview to say that I am so thankful to and inspired by all of the wonderful women who have been here as an Art Biz Mama. Your honesty and sincerity are greatly appreciated. I really believe that we all have our stories to share and something you say can touch another in a way that you may never imagine. And really you have ALL touched me!

This week I have lovely Belinda Kemp who I first came across way back when I discovered art and design blogs. I was really attracted to her art and I am so excited she is here today!

Could you please share a bit about your business, yourself and your family?

Thanks so much for inviting me to be a part of this series ~ it's a really fascinating topic :)
I live in Melbourne, Australia with my husband and 2 sons {aged almost 6 and almost 3}. I work from home{part time} as an artist ~ I paint, draw, collage, stitch and blog!

When did you make the decision to start your creative business?

My working background is in publishing and graphic design. Before I had children I had decided that I didn't want to work full time, or in these areas anymore. I found that my creativity was being stifled rather than fueled working in these jobs! I was looking/thinking vaguely {as you do with small kids} about what I could do down the track to make a living. At some point I discovered the very exciting world of Etsy and blogs. A whole world of possibilities opened up! I found people who are doing amazing things and also people who value the same things that I value. 
I didn't think of selling my work on etsy as a 'business' as such, I just thought I should try it out ~ there was nothing to loose! {I had been making a lot of art and the house was filling up!}.

How has having children affected your business and creativity?

Having children is what made my whole business possible! Somehow they bring out the creativity, just by being! They are constantly inspiring in the way that they think and work {I love to paint, draw and make with them}. But also there is very little time for my own creative work. I find it hard to switch off my own creative brain and come back to the requirements of the real world a lot of the time.

Would you please share what a “typical day” is like for you? Is there school or childcare, etc. while you are working on your biz?

I have 2 'child free' days during the week to work.
Mornings start at 6.30-7am. Most of the getting ready is done by 7.30 when my husband leaves for work {he gets the kids dressed and breakfast while I get showered etc}. Then there is the school and childcare drop off. Usually I'm back home by 9.30. Then I have coffee #2 while I read blogs + emails. This part of the day is like a guilty pleasure as by the time I get back from dropping the kids off I kind of need to sit and collect myself and get into that quiet focused work mode, but I also have to be as quick as I can!! If I'm leisurely I can use up a big chunk of the 5 hour work day! I try to know before the start of the day if it's going to be a creative day or a computer work day, or a combination ~ the best days for me are the creative ones! The morning is good for creative work ~ I don't like the panicky feeling of starting to get into something in the afternoon, knowing there's only a short time left to either finish or leave it for another day. I like to squeeze in a little more blog reading over lunch then get back to work at my 'studio' desk or just keep on the computer for the 'business-side-of-things' work. Before I know it, it's 3.20 and time for the school and childcare pickup.

How many hours do you give to your business each week? Are you working during the days/evenings/weekends?

It's hard to give an hourly figure for my work. I tend to go through phases of working at night a lot and other phases of really just wanting to relax at night. I have my {up to} 10 hours a week during the day and then during the winter months, one day of the weekend. If I work at night, it's kind of a squeeze! Usually there's only about an hour at most between dinner and bed where I'm capable of using my brain!

So far none of the Art Biz Mama’s have felt there is a balance between their family life and biz life. How do you feel about the topic of balance? 

Mmmm.. I'd have to go along with other art biz mama's and say that finding a balance must be the hardest part of this creative life. There's always the feeling of guilt, that I should be spending more time with the kids ~ and not just the 'getting through the day' kind of time. I'm feeling this now especially as our eldest son started school this year and our youngest is almost 3. The baby days are pretty much almost over. I feel that for my business I'm super impatient for more time to work, and I really need more time to make a good go of what I'm trying to achieve, but then to have more time is to have no kids around! 

Then there's the thing of finding time to do family things and to take time off to relax and re~coup! My husband and I really don't take time to do this ~ it feels like there is no time! I'm just starting to feel the impact of this kind of schedule on my health and would love to discover a solution to fitting it all in {without giving anything up!}. I have no idea what this actually means at this point!! I do know though, that the best days seem to be days that I had planned to work, but decided at the last minute to spend with the family! 

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us today? Any words of wisdom for other artists/moms out there who wish to create a business out of their art?

I guess the advice I wish I had listened to {and remember on a daily level} is to try not to expect too much of yourself! I often expect to have things going along as they would if I worked full-time on my business and then feel disappointed that I can't do it all. It's better to set small, attainable goals and then feel great about each success! Also, if possible, try to fit in a weekly yoga class!

To see/learn more about Belinda please visit her here:


jacqueline said...

This is another very inspiring interview!! I adore Belinda's art work and she is soo inspiring! Thanks so much for sharing sweet dana! Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!

Kolleen said...

wonderful interview and i could relate to many things that Belinda touched on.

it is so difficult to not have those guilty feelings when you are creating and could maybe be doing something with one of your kids or your hubby.

i loved her piece of advice regarding setting small, attainable goals.

thank you beautiful Dana for this inspiring interview!!


Kylie said...

Fabulous interview! I love Belinda and her work is just divine :) I'm so with you on the 'don't expect too much of yourself' thing Belinda - I plan one definite thing for each day... and when I achieve more, I feel like a super mum! ;) Great photos. Kx

74 Lime Lane said...

love reading about one of my favourite creatives
Belinda does an amazing job and her art is beautiful

Anca Pandrea said...

Lovely interview. Nice reading some more about Belinda, which I admire a lot, and also discover your blog and this series of interviews.

Greet said...

oooh, how nice to read a little bit more here about Belinda
Oh yes, I regognice the balance feelings between creatieve work, kids and hubby, in fact a day counts not enough hours for us, creative people! lol!


prettylittlethieves said...

wonderful interview! and belinda does such lovely work!

Mousy Brown said...

Thanks for introducing me to another Art Biz Mama - even more inspiration and stuff to think about! Love, love, love this series please keep going! :D

belinda marshall said...

thanks dana :)
thanks for the lovely comments too.

AG Ambroult said...

Yay, another inspiring woman who I can completely relate to! Heading over to belinda's sites to learn more about her :)

ELK said...

one of my favorite artists .. does wonders with each piece, so nice to see her here and learn more of her creative life ~ ELK

Juliette Crane said...

wow! so inspiring to read! thank you for sharing!

xoxo, juliette

amy friend said...

i love the honesty in this interview ~ and the proof that beauty still shines through, despite the overwhelming feeling that there will never be enough time...

Kim Y. said...

great post. You summed it up for me when you said you "found it hard to switch off your creative brain and focus on the real world requirements". I can't seem to shut off my creative brain and it gets so frustrating! TV usually helps but then I'm just watching TV. Being around my kids helps too. All in all, it is a hard balance. Good luck!