Thursday, August 05, 2010

Art Biz Mama: Regina Lord

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 such a great interview with the lovely Regina from Creative Kismet. Regina is a very talented and sweet lady. She does it all. Sews, paints, bakes!! All this while working AND being a mama. She is a huge inspiration let me tell you! Her blog, art and spirit really shine.

Hi Dana!  I'm so honored to be able to share a bit about myself with you and your readers.  I am a mother of two boys, ages 9 and 5, and have been married for almost 17 years(!!). I am also a registered nurse, currently working as a lactation consultant on a Mom/Baby unit at a local hospital on a per diem or as needed basis.  Besides this, I am also working on my own creative business called Creative Kismet. I make a variety of things, but my greatest passion of all is painting. It's the thing that keeps me happy and 

First, let me say a huge “Thank You” for taking the time to answer these questions. I know howbusy you are so it really means a lot to all of us that you took the time to be here today! So let me start by asking when did you make the decision to start your creative business?
I decided a few years back to get a creative business started, but it took me a while to actually set it up and get it going. I am a nurse by profession, but working as a nurse can be very mentally and physically exausting. I incorported art and craft projects into my life to decrease stress and flex the creative side of my brain which I've decided is an absolute necessity for my well being.  I started my blog in 2005 and saw others great bloggers successfully starting creative businesses. By 2008, I finally took the plunge and threw my heart out onto an Etsy page. Since then I've gathered up even more courage to submit projects to various books and magazine. The more I do these wonderfully creative things, like blogging and getting published, I can feel my spirit really soar. This is my passion and it is my dream to be able to share, teach and create for a living.

How has having children affected your business and creativity? 

I've always been creative, taking every art and photography class I could during my school years. But then there was a big period in my life where I didn't make anything outside of holiday gifts (usually food items). It wasn't until I became pregnant with my first child that my creative bone came alive again. Having babies and small children is hard work, but I managed to start sewing (a new hobby for me at the time) and I would ocassionally get out my sketchbook.  Taking pictures of my children was my biggest hobby during their baby years.  Now, my kids are a little older and the are able to entertain themselves and each other giving me a lot more time to be creative.  Still, it takes quite a bit of juggling between what needs to be done and what I want to do. It can be very frustrating at times, but I have a wonderfully supportive husband who helps me with the juggling quite a bit.

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?

In the summer we have a much more lax schedule than during the school year. It's also our indoor season as it is over 100 degrees throughout the summer and the kids don't like going out to play (I don't blame them). When I'm not working at the hospital, I set up my space on the dining room table, where I am able to check my emails and work on projects. The kids usually play in the living room where I can watch over things from where I am.  They will play on their own or come join me at the table, especially if I have my paints out.  There is a lot of getting up to fulfill there eating needs, which seems constant right now. Their dad mostly works from home as well, and we will take turns occupying the kids while the other works. It's also important to us that we get the kids out to the library, swimming and up to the mountain to cool off on a weekly basis.

During the school year things get much more hectic. This coming year will be our little guy's first year in school for half-day kindergarten. Although we will have a bit more time alone in the morning, we will be spending a lot of time driving back and forth taking the kids and picking them up for school. My husband and I are currently in the process of formulating a plan so that we both have the free time to do what we need.

How many hours do you give to your business each week? Are you working during the days/evenings/weekends?
It's hard to give hours when so much of what I do is indirectly related to my creative biz. I work hard to keep up my blog place and keep readers interested in what I'm doing. I spend a few hours a day making something if I can, whether its a food item, snap shots of my day, inspiration, or an actual project. I can really get things done after the kids have gone to bed. That seems to be my magic time, when I really become focused.. If I had to put a time on it, I guess I'd say anywhere from 15-25 hours a week.  I've got lots of new ideas and plans for my business and am hoping to be able to more hours in soon.

I know this is a subject that is always being addressed but I need to bring up balance. Do you feel you have a healthy balance between your work life and your family life? 

I NEVER feel like things are in balance for me. I have a job, I try to spend time with the kids, with my husband and with my friends. Sometimes it can feel like I'm being pulled a hundred different directions and there are weeks when things are definitely lopsides and totally unbalanced. But I'm trying really hard to just go with the ebb and flow of life and not get so freaked out by the chaos that is normal in an active family. Some weeks I feel really happy with my creative time and other times I crave it, because I've had no time to sit and paint. I'm slowly learning to stand up for myself and say "no" to requests that undermine me and my creative goals, making things even more chaotic than they should be. 
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?
Yes! I've learned that as your kids grow they began to understand how important it is for mommy to have creative time. That it makes mom very happy to do things she loves which in return makes a happy family. The house hums when I've have time to be creative and the kids love a happy humming house.  So does the hubby. Recognizing everyone's passions, hobbies and needs is so important.  And, my hopes are that my kids will grow up happy, with a passion and love for what they are doing in life.   

To learn and see more of Regina check her out at: 

AND I hope she doesn't mind that I share but Regina was also a guest on the Martha Stewart  Show!! I was very excited to find that out. Here you can watch her video!


Regina said...

Thanks Dana! It looks great. Your series is really a wonderful idea and it's great to have this insight to other creative mamas with the same goals. You are awesome!!

chrissy said...

thank you once again dana....regina is multi talented and really an inspiration. i am LOVING these interviews.
you rock mama girlfriend.
happy day

jacqueline said...

Dearest dana, i am a huge fan of your biz mama column altho im not a mama yet. I find it very inspring including this one! Love Regina's work. Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!

amy friend said...

loving this series..

Diana said...

Dana, Great your creative mama series. Good idea!

Unknown said...

I love your work, your passion and your spirit..thank you!

AG Ambroult said... her workl thanks for this interview, Regina and Dana!

It cracks me up how every woman you have interviewed has answered an unequivocal NO to the question of balance. I am beginning to think it's a myth, this balance thing people peak of ;)