Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Art Biz Mama: Maegan Beishline

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.

This week we have an interview with photographer Maegan Beishline. She is one busy and talented lady. I very much enjoy her blog, Life Set to Words and her beautiful photographs. Enjoy!!

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

I’m a wife and a momma to three beautiful girls {age six and under}. This is always and will always be my primary job. But I’m also a fine art and portrait photographer and the writer of Life Set to Words. My creative work allows me to flex my non-momma muscles while still being at home and making my family my first priority.

When did you make the decision to start your creative business?
I got into photography a few years ago while I owned and operated a soap making business. I needed good images for my website and Etsy store and, in the process, began loving the art of taking pictures. I found myself wanting more time to focus on my new hobby and not having the time or heart anymore to make and sell soap. So a year and half ago I closed the doors to my soapmaking business to develop my photography skills.
In April, I opened an Etsy shop and began selling my fine art prints. This past summer, I began taking portraits professionally and just last month launched my new photography website!
I have been blogging about my creative journey since 2008…journaling my experiences with making and selling soap, motherhood, my transition into photography, and now my experiences starting yet another new business and all the growing pains that come with it! All the while, my blog has carried an underlying tone valuing the importance of creativity. Last spring, I hosted the Creativity Boot Camp {a two week intensive creativity building e-course} which turned out to be a huge success!  I now host a weekly creative prompt and link up called The Sunday Creative.
So, there’s just no simple answer to that question. I guess I should have asked “what creative business?”

How has having children affected your business and creativity?
Wow, you know…I have never been as creative as I have been since becoming a mother. I actually wrote a guest post for the Wishstudio last April about how each side of me {the creative and the mother} actually contribute so much to each other. So I don’t know that I would be here today, doing what I am doing, if I hadn’t had children. The very ironic part is that, since having children, I have less time for anything creative than I ever did before. But I think that the challenge helps me to stay motivated.

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?
A typical day includes me getting up and ready and getting my eldest off to school. Then I usually spend some time answering emails and checking in on FB & Twitter while my little ones play and watch Sesame Street. Then I’m pretty much just a momma until nap time when I can do some photo editing, write on my blog, or do any other computer related business work. Then I’m momma and wife again until the kids go to bed…when I usually catch up on my blog reading.
I have my camera with me constantly so I’m always taking pictures. I have the majority of my portrait sessions on the weekends when my husband is home and our time is not so sparse. As I mentioned, my family always comes first for me, so I tend to those needs first and fill in with work when I can.

How many hours do you give to your business each week? Are you working during the days/evenings/weekends?
That would be really interesting to know…but I would have to really count hours for a whole week to know the answer. I don’t have set working hours. But I do make sure to take entire days off…no “work” allowed. Also, there are days and times when things need to be done for work so I make sure I really concentrate then. But other than that, I work whenever I get the opportunity and don’t feel like doing anything else. I love my job and therefore it never really feels like “work.”

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?  
I think balance is an elusive concept. I’m not sure it exists. But I do believe in the constant pursuit of balance and the need to evaluate where our time and energies are going. It’s a continual process.

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?
Do it! Don’t wait until that perfect moment…it simply doesn’t exist. And all those things you may be waiting to figure out before you jump in may just need to be worked out as you go. Try things and then, if they don’t work out, try something else. Don’t be afraid!!!

Thanks Maegan!

For more of Maegan please check her out at:

Her site:
Her blog:
Life Set to Words

Her shop:


Robin Norgren, M.A, R-YT, Spiritual Director said...

Dana, I am SO EXCITED about with series! We need to here again and AGAIN there is no magic formula for how to balance this chaotic life. But to not exercise that creative muscle would be a detriment to our spirits as women!

AG Ambroult said...

oh how I love to read these. I always end up with renewed motivation, knowing that I am not at all alone in the unbalanced crazy world of an Art Biz Mama. Off to click around on Maegan's sites!

Faith said...

Another great interview, I am just loving what mamas have to say in answer to these questions! So insightful and encouraging!

Maegan Beishline said...

Thank you so much for asking me to be a part of this incredible series! I agree with the other ladies, these are so helpful to all of us creative mommas out there just struggling to find time for it all! I feel honored to be here. xo

Jamie said...

Maegan is an inspiration and an incredible talent. I loved reading more about her.

krissilugbill said...

it was so fun reading this interview, what a great series to have! I look forward to reading more. I am a mom interested in one day having my own biz so these interviews are very inspiring and motivational! thanks again

April said...

I seriously heart Maegan's photography....she makes you feel like you're right there.

I'm so glad I came across this post, and I love this interview series :)