Tuesday, January 28, 2014

MEGAN JEFFERSON


                               


I would like to take a moment and personally thank Megan for being my very first volunteer for this project. She has the sweetest smile and the most humble spirit. She kindly offered to spread the word about MAP and that is how It all began. Thank you so much!





                    



1. When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist? 


I was in high school and had always excelled in school. I thought I would be a doctor, because that’s what good students went to school to become. When I was sitting through orientation at Miami University, in the pre-med lecture hall, they started talking about all the chemistry courses we would have to take. I never liked the science classes I took in high school, I literally fell asleep and was beyond bored.  At that moment, I looked at my mom and whispered, “I do not want to be here. I want to be an art major.” She said, “ok, well then, let’s go.” So we walked to the art building and I changed 
my major.


2. When did you become a mother?

I became a mother in 2001, I was 25 years old.


3.What are your challenges as a mother?



I home school my two boys, so my greatest challenge is balancing my time spent honoring their needs with focusing on what fills me in ways that I need in order to be the patient, supportive and productive mother I want to be.


4. What has been the driving force behind keeping a balance between being a mother and an artist?

I would say my desire. As an artist, the urge to create is so huge that I can’t deny it. I find ways to make work. When my kids were young, I would prep everything so that I could paint during nap time. Now, my kids are older (12 & 7) so it’s easier to carve out time for making art, because they can be independent.






5. Do you have a studio?  Where is it?

Yes. My husband and I are both artists. We use our garage as our studio.

6. When do you spend time making art?

I make art during the day, I yearn for about 2-3 hours a day to make work. Sometimes this doesn’t happen.



7.  What is your favorite medium?

Oil painting is my favorite medium.


                                   


8. How many children do you have?

2, Andre age 12 and Blake age 7


9. Have you ever considered giving up being an artist in order to be a mother?

Never!


10.What is your advice for a new artist mom?

Time opens up as kids grow older, so don’t feel guilty if you stop making art for a while. When you’re ready, make art, even if it’s 15 minutes a week and then can grow to 15 minutes a day. Be flexible, you can bring your easel inside, switch mediums so that you can still create or ask for help watching your kids from your partner or friends.


11. Do you have support from family and friends while making art?

Yes. I feel fortunate that my husband is always supportive of me painting. From building and framing my canvases, to being in charge of the kids while I paint, he is very helpful. And he’s an artist, so he gets it.


12. Do you feel like you are taken seriously as a mother artist?

Yes.


                    


 13. Do you think mother artists are taken seriously in society?

Yes. I don’t think people know or label artists if they are mothers or not. And if they do, I don’t notice, in my mind it’s not an issue so I don’t give it any energy or credibility.

14. What do you say when someone asks you “what does your husband do for a living?”

Teaches art at Herron, IUPUI.

15. What is your story-  What have you discovered about the world and about yourself?

Before I had children, I was an artist and worked for a non-profit arts organization. My husband was in grad school, getting an MFA in ceramics. I was planning on applying to grad school and was researching what schools I was serious about. Then I found out I was pregnant. I thought I would wait and go to grad school later. Now I realize I don’t necessarily want to go to grad school and just want to be able to supplement our income by selling work and fulfill my desires to my truest way of living. My kids are the most important things in the world to me. That was made very clear ever since I had my first son. I feel very certain about motherhood as my top priority. I also feel connected to my deepest self when I am able to create art work, specifically, paint. I get into the flow and lose track of all time. When I paint I feel it is refreshing, frustrating, relaxing, wonderful, difficult and easy. These feelings are deep and real and I realize the parallels between painting and living. It takes searching, being honest, courage and mindfulness to create from a true space. When I am there, I feel my work comes out of me, I just have to hold the brush. There are times when it’s difficult and I need to find my center and not force it. Art for me is a practice. Motherhood is a practice. I strive to be authentic and committed to both, taking it all in deeply.






16.What advice can you give to other artist moms about pursuing their passions regardless of their situation?

Know that- some artist moms do give up making art and often times this creates a path of resentment and heartache.
Do things that connect you to your center, whatever that may be for you. For me, it’s making time for exercise, connecting with friends and family, yoga and making art. This centered connection provides a clarity that makes it easy to make a decision of what your priorities are. Then take action. If you’ve determined that making art is a priority, then do it. It may be 5 minutes a day at first and grow naturally from there. Once you are creating, it’s likely, that you will be reminded of how good you feel when you include it in your days. When you make sure you feel good, this is good for you, your family and everyone around you. And above all, be kind and gentle with yourself. Life is full of chapters, if the chapter in your life now is focused on diapers, snacks and baby drool, know that the chapter that includes making art will happen. Center on your goal, keep it gently in mind, surrender the outcome, allow life to unfold and celebrate everything good.



Megan lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband and two children. 

You can find out more about Megan's work at : http://jeffersonartstudio.com/

and facebook: jefferson art studio








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