Friday, February 21, 2014

LAUREN DITCHLEY








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


Ever since I can remember I have loved creating things, from learning to sew with my grandmother to drawing murals with crayons under the kitchen table as a young child.  It was in 7th grade when I realized that I wanted art to be a part of what I do every day - I had an amazing middle school art teacher who helped me come to that decision.







When did you become a mother? 

11:34 am December, 31 2010, Oliver was born. 

Although, I’ve been called motherly most of my life – I think it is in my nature.





What are your challenges as a mother? This is a difficult question for me. 


In some ways I feel like my challenges are few, but in other ways many. I find it hard to balance my time between being a mother, an artist, and also a teacher. In many ways these lives flow back and forth and in other ways they are all very separate. I feel much better if I fit some yoga into my day.




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


I want to keep my artist self alive in order to be a better mother.









Do you have a studio?  

Where is it?

Yes! I share a space with Daniel Del Real and Christina Hollering. We are Two-Thirds Studio - #205 – at the Murphy Arts Building in Fountain Square.















When do you spend time making art? 


Photography has allowed me to create art all of the time, but when I have a project I really need to accomplish then I use the weekends and nap time to work. 






















What is your favorite medium?


Photography.


 Since I became a mother I have used cell phone photography as a way to document my everyday life.I have been playing with a material called Inkodye, which is a light sensitive dye that you can paint on to fabric, paper, or wood and expose in the sun with digital negatives. This medium is so fun and yields fast results. Winter has slowed me down a bit, but every time the sun is shining I want to make a print! I am currently planning a project that uses Polaroid instant film and 120 film with a Holga.








How many children do you have? 


One pretty awesome little boy!






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


This is a string of text messages between my husband and me from December 30, 2013 (while I was in the middle of preparing my current solo exhibition – From Indy to India).

Me: Ha! Well…..I’m just not feeling it. I feel like I am done being an artist.
Noah: Why?!  :(
Noah: I don’t think it’s a choice.
Me: Too hard with a family.
Noah: No! You can do it!




What is your advice for a new artist mom?


 Try to stay connected in some way to the old you, even though a new you was born with this child.







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


Yes, I recently took a trip to India to immerse myself in the practice of making art again. I was overwhelmed by the support of my friends and family who not only believed I could do it,but helped me understand that it was okay to be away from my son in order to enrich this part of myself.




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

Yes. Most people, unless they don’t know me, know that I am a mother. Just the average person walking into my studio would probably see me as an artist first – but then again see me as a mother when I am chasing around my 3 year old.





Do you think mother artists are taken seriously in society?

I think it depends. I feel to the average person being an artist (mother or not) is a hobby, unless that is your main source of income. I saw the most amazing exhibition of Annie Leibovitz life work as a photographer. The images that have most stuck with me from that show were those of her late partner Susan Sontag and her children. She is an iconic female photographer and it is those works that are less in the spotlight. 








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


He is a Technology Librarian. I’ve had people ask me is he is also an artist – and to that I say, “no, but he is a really creative person.” This question doesn’t bother me. I do what I do, and he does what he does.






What is story? 


  I love to see, experience, and interact with the world around me. I am a lover of people.  I want to know them. These things have not changed as I have transitioned into being a mother artist. Growing up I always surrounded myself with creative people, and I think that is what I still do today. The focus of our gatherings may be different, but it has always been something that has fueled my own creativity.  I didn’t know that I was a teacher, until I became one. It is in me, just like the motherly nature. I want to share what I know with others. Giving back to them what I been given in companionship. 

Sometimes there are days when I long to be with those people, but I know that my first responsibility is taking care of my child. I know that each day brings a new person in him, on that I can study like so many before. Daily chores and responsibilities get in the way of this reflection at times, but I know that a heap of dishes will eventually be cleaned. There will be more. I don’t want to miss those moments when all my son wants me to do is sit down and make a bird out of play-doh for him. This is still art, art that is unseen. The art of connecting.



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.The art of forgiving. Forgive yourself of the stress of balancing both lives. Sometimes you will be able to create art in the way that you used to, and sometimes it will have a new face. Whatever it looks like, embrace it. Let it be what it is, but don’t let it go. 








Lauren Ditchley lives in Beech Grove, Indiana with her husband and son. 


To find out more about her work check out the following websites: 

http://msditchley.tumblr.com





(Special thanks to Lauren for submitting two photos from her art show at the Murphy) 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

DANIELLE RIEDE
















What is your name?

Danielle Felice Riede

Where are you from?

North America and Europe. My father was a photographer for the Navy so I was born in Colorado and grew up in Minnesota, Florida, California, Iceland and Virginia. I studied art in Virginia, Italy and Germany.


 Where do you live?

Indianapolis, Indiana

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

 When I was in Kindergarten




Who influenced you as an artist?

My father and mother Nature. My professors: Elizabeth Schoyer, Howard Singerman and Daniel Buren. Wonderful artists like: Turner, James McNeil Whistler, Bonnard, Van Gogh, Cimabue, Giotto, Leonardo Da Vinci, Joseph Beuys, Barnett Newman, Jean Dubbufet, Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly, Joan Mitchell, Cecily Brown, Gordon Matta Clark, Ann Hamilton, Eva Hesse, Robert Smithson, James Turrell, Alberto Giaccometti, Anish Kapoor, etc,The people who designed and built San Marco’s Basilica in Venice, which is absolutely amazing



What is your favorite medium?

Paint or something brand new...  Part of what drives my practice is the sense    of discovery that I find in working with new materials.



Do you have a studio? Where is it?

My studio is in the basement of my home.  However, I typically construct my installations on site, the places where I construct my works also serve as a sort of studio for me.


When did you become a mother?

  When I was in grad school. I had just turned 29 when my daughter was born.

What are your challenges as a mother artist?

Finding balance.  I teach a lot of students and have administrative work as well.  This means that it has been really challenging to find time to make my own work and spend time with my daughter.  My daughter is my first priority.

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

Simply knowing that my calling is to be both a mother and an artist allows me to maintain balance in my life.

When do you spend time making art?

When I have an upcoming project or exhibition I am very focused on my art. Sometimes I also make work when I am with my daughter.  She wants to be an artist when she grows up.

How many children do you have? Do you want more?

One. Maybe.

Have you ever considered giving up art in order to be a mother?

No, even if I am not physically making art, I will always be an artist.

Do you have support from your family and friends to keep making art?

Yes! My husband has helped me a lot.  I have also had friends and family help me.  They have been invaluable.  I have learned to ask for help when II need it, otherwise some of my projects would have been impossible to realize. Thank you friends and family!



When do you spend time making art?

When I have an upcoming project or exhibition. When I am alone and sometimes when I am with my daughter.  She wants to be an artist when she grows up.


What is your favorite medium?

Paint or something brand new...  Part of what drives my practice is the sense of discovery that I find in working with new materials.







How many children do you have? One







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

No – even if I am not physically making art, I will always be an artist




What is your advice for a new artist mom?

Take plenty of time for yourself and your baby.  Get as much support as possible from work, family and friends.  Do NOT put high expectations on yourself to create work or have exhibitions.  Give yourself the room and  space to be at one with your new baby and yourself.


Do you have support from family & friends when making art?

 My husband has helped me a lot.  I have also had friends help me.  They have been invaluable.  I have learned to ask for help when I need it, otherwise some of my projects would have been impossible to realize. Thank you friends and husband!


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

 Not always. For example, an artist who I respected reacted strangely to my pregnancy announcement. Before knowing about my pregnancy,he told me that he thought that I had a good chance of becoming a famous artist.  However, after discovering that I was pregnant, he dismissed my art making potential by saying that I had chosen a DIFFERENT path. This was so discouraging!I do believe that a lot of people still take me seriously as a mother and an artist.



Has becoming a mother influenced your art?

Yes. My work has become more playful since the birth of my daughter.


Do you think mother artists are taken seriously in society?

Yes, by parts of society, mother artists are taken seriously. Those are the parts of society that I want to align myself with. 

What do you say when someone asks, “what does your husband do for a living?” are you offended by such a question?

I don’t really get asked this question.  However, I could imagine other artist moms being offended by that question.




What is your story?

I consider myself to be a loving and open person. However, being a mother, I have found that establishing clear boundaries in relationships with everyone is crucial.  This enables me to be organized enough to find time to make art, be a mom and maintain my position as a tenure-track professor. Due to the intense nature of university teaching positions, finding balance has been a challenge. Before becoming a mom and a professor, I had more time to be dreamy in life. Now I feel that I am more appreciative of little moments in my everyday life.  I have also come to understand that I am indeed mortal and will not live forever.  I need to take care of my family and myself, and give myself the time to create work.  My path as a mother has made me more empathetic. I now understand that everyone in the world has struggles and pain. The birth of my daughter and my life as a mom, have made me more aware of my life as a mom, have made me more aware of my connection to others.  I see myself as part of the human fabric.


What have you learned about balancing motherhood and your passions?


It can be extremely difficult. However, it’s worth it!




What advice can you offer other mother artists about pursuing their passions regardless of their situation?


I would tell other artist moms not to give up on their dreams. By taking care of themselves, they will find satisfaction in their lives and have more energy for their art and their families.  This leads to happiness and a sense of fulfillment.Sometimes, making art may be impossible.  This does not mean that artist moms are no longer artists. Mothers who are artists must have the courage to immerse themselves in their art, even after a long break from making.




What do you want to be remembered for as an artist?

I hope that my works help my viewers to slow down and open their senses. I strive to inspire a sense of wonder with my work.






Danielle Riede lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband and daughter. 
To see more of her work visit:








Saturday, February 8, 2014

LISA RENEE WILSON




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

I have always considered myself creative.  I was never quite satisfied with the way things were, and always want to challenge my own and others’ perspectives.  But I never took art classes outside of grade school, and had never considered being an artist as a career.Coming to terms with being an artist happened only a few short years ago, in my early 30’s.  I’d continued my inner exploration of the multi-faceted ways of seeing and being in the world, but had lost my ways of creatively expressing what I was experiencing.  It  was only when I lost the ground of certainty and accepted a path of not-knowing that I began to feel comfortable in expressing myself beyond the walls of my home.  The more I shared, the more I realized that Expressing my Experience – what I consider to be the job of an artist – was the most fulfilling path I’d ever taken.  Ever since then, I haven’t stopped creating and sharing – either through words, photos, acrylic, encaustic, or mixed-media art.










2. When did you become a mother?

I became a mother 9 years ago, in 2004, when our son was born.  We were blessed with a second child, our daughter, in 2007, when I learned what being a mother was all over again.











3.What are your challenges as a mother?

There are far too many challenges to name, and many of them are challenges that have no name.  There are the traditional games  of discipline and time management, of school and un-schooling.  And there are the more untraditional dances of finding ways to complete the painting that is calling to me while acknowledging the excited calls of my daughter to come see her new drawing, or the dance of figuring out who stays on top of my son (to make sure that homework gets done!): my husband, who just got home from work, or myself, who just found a bit of time to get that blog post done.Perhaps the biggest challenge is understanding that being a mother is part of my world work, not separate from it.  But I embrace this exploration as an adventure, not a fight to be won.  Every day, every moment nt, as a mother, an artist, a living being is another chance for meto practice.  And if I don’t love the practice, what is left to love?







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

I have to dance.  That is all there is to it.  When you are hungry, you feel the pull within to find food.  You have physical sensations, but can’t really describe what being hungry “is”.  Likewise, when you are falling in love, you feel the pull to be with the other person.  There are longings, thoughts pulled seemingly involuntarily towards their being.  You can’t really describe what love “is”, but you feel it deep within.Being a mother artist is my hunger, my love.  I have tried to be “just” a homemaker and mother – and it felt empty.  I have tried to focus just on business and ask my husband to take over many of the nightly homework-routines.  But I felt so much missing.I don’t balance any roles in my life; rather, I dance within it all.  Sometimes the beat is a fervent one, kids racing around the house and yelling at one another.  Sometimes the beat is a low passionate drumming, calling me to the canvas.  Regardless, it is my practice to always return to the stillness so that I may hear, may feel the force, and honor the flowing direction in which it takes me in that moment.




5.Do you have a studio? Where is it?

I have an area that I now call my studio.  It takes up half of our basement, and is overflowing with my art supplies.  I started calling this area my “studio” because it defines a sacred space in which I can create, and becomes an area to which I can retreat if need-be.However, my art flows throughout my life – as do the boundaries of my“studio”.  I have a box of paints and brushes up in our living room, and am constantly creating on the table.  My camera accompanies me everywhere – so in terms of my photographic art, my studio is the ground on which I walk and the sky that opens my heart.  And, as an awareness artist, my contemplations are always part of my practice.  So the studio that resides in my mind – where thoughts are created, broken down, torn up, and rebuilt – is one in which I love to play.

Someday, I envision having a large, 2-story, open barn in our backyard that smells of dried lavender and is filled with light.  The floors will be draped with canvas tarps and easels of all sizes will be scattered around the room.  In the corner, 3 worn, inviting couches surround a hammered-wood table.  In this barn, I join with others to wildly splash paint, to delicately paint and scrape beeswax, to drink tea and wine and have long conversations about mindfulness in real life, to stretch through yoga and meditate.  I share this because the more that I do, the more real it becomes.  That’s part of the fun of being an artist – we get to create and live our dreams.




6. When do you spend time making art?

I spend time making art whenever the tools are at my fingertips and I am not being called to another path.  I have found that trying to schedule “studio-time” simply doesn’t work for me.  I end up fighting my kids, my husband, and my own thoughts of what I “should” be doing.  So I make sure I have pens, pencils, journals, note cards, paints, brushes, papers, a computer, and my camera within a few leisurely steps at all times.  When the kids are at school or engaged with their homework or play, while the water comes to a boil on the stove, while my husband and I lounge in front of the t.v., as we drive from one location to the next…. I am writing, doodling, painting, or snapping photos.  I definitely make sure to have time that I create – even when the kids are home and other things are calling to be done.  Making my studio time a priority is vitally important, lest it fall behind the millions of other things to be done.As an Awareness Artist, I define art as, “expression of experience”.  I am always trying to be mindful of my experience, whatever that may be at the moment.  The prints and paintings and photos and posts – the expressions - all happen as I dance around other experiences.  In many ways, I am always making art.  In a very mundane way, I make art during the times I intentionally carve out a midst my other responsibilities.






7. What is your favorite medium?

I don’t have one favorite medium – my interests change quite frequently.  I love working with digital photography, encaustic painting (beeswax+pigment), and acrylic paints.  Natural materials, such as leaves, and a variety of mixed media, such as clay, papers from old books, and fabrics, often make their way into my creative expressions.






8. How many children do you have?

I have two beautiful children – a 9-yr old son and a 6-yr old daughter.













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

When I became a mother, the title became as much a part of me as my breath.  Even if – God forbid – I lost my children, I would still be a mother.It is the same with being an artist.  When I accepted that title, it became who I was.  I cannot give that up any more than I can give up being a mother, or give up my breath.10.What is your advice for a new artist mom?Just breathe.  Again and again.  There is so much advice I could offer, so much I want to say to help a new artist mom avoid some of the obstacles I had to face.  But those challenges are part of the path, part of making an artist mom who she is.There will be struggles – those will never end.  But as a mom, she already knows this.  She also knows that the rewards – the breath of her child as he rests in her arms, the smile after a boo-boo is kissed away, the unspoken gratitude as she cries to you after a rough day at school – are always more moving than any words can define.As an artist, you know those struggles and rewards are mirrored in your artistic practice.  No matter what your medium, there are times when all you want to do is run away from your art – and times when hours sweep by unnoticed as you passionately create.Through it all, we breathe.  We smile when we can and cry when we must.  We paint and prepare dinners, sculpt in the studio and shape the precious minds of our children.  We are blessed to experience it all. Just Breathe




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

 I am so blessed to be surrounded by family and friends who are kind-hearted and open-minded.  I am uplifted daily by their support.That being said, I also know that many family and friends are unclear on exactly what it is that I “do”.  There is a traditional way of living into which my life does not fit.  I don’t have a 9-to-5 job, nor do I spend most of my day at my children’s schools and driving them back and forth to practices and lessons.  It is difficult to support something that you do not understand.  So while they have the best of intentions, I often feel a bit lonely in my endeavors, and sometimes, misunderstood.I do feel unbelievably fortunate to have, in addition, many online friends – some whom I’ve met in person, others just via words or video chats – who do understand this nontraditional path.  Many of us find one another through social media or online sites, and connect because of our commonalties in wanting to live a life based off of our passions.  Between the support I find in these circles and the kindness of those in my offline life, I feel truly blessed.


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

There is a part of me that shrugs when I read this question because honestly, I don’t care.  It has taken quite a while to reach this point, butwhether or not someone else considers me a proper artist or mother nolonger concerns me.  I’ve realized the fight to try and be taken “seriously” has wasted so much of my valuable time.  Trying to fit into another’s definition of a successful artist or good mother is pointless – there are so many definitions that I could never fit them all.We have a sign above our back door that reads, “Life is too short to be serious all the time” (and I’ve even crossed out the “all the time”).So do I feel like I am taken seriously as a mother artist?  I don’t know.  What is more important is whether I value myself as a mother artist.  And that, I do.  



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

I think it is a challenge for anyone in our society to create a life out side of a traditional career path.  Even motherhood, which is the most “traditional” of paths one could have, has lost much of its value.   The focus on financial success or fame has defined much of what our society considers to be a valuable path.
Mother artists do not work for the money, nor for the fame.  Our lives still have to fit within the confines of our society – we still need to makemoney to pay the bills, still need to have conversations with friends in social circles and feel at least somewhat understood.  And yet, we are driven by something deeper that cannot be adequately described in words.  This drive leads us into a life that seems chaotic to those looking in.  We live a life based on a deeper calling than just having a job or a title.  To take such a life “seriously” is to miss the point. 




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

I say he is a pharmacist.  And I leave it at that.It is a sore spot, of course, to know that I am dependent upon another for my most basic of needs.  And it can be salt on a wound for someone to raise their eyebrows after asking that question, or follow up with those biting words of, “must be nice….”.But it is not my job to prove to another that my life has value.  We are all supported by hundreds of people that we may have not even met.  (Thank heavens for the farmer who grew the food and the truck driver who got it to the grocery so we could purchase it and eat this evening.)When we try to do it all on our own – to prove that we can, or that we are not reliant upon someone else – we ultimately fail.  The most successful of business owners rely on countless people to keep their lives running the way they are.To acknowledge that I am dependent upon another – countless others –is humbling indeed.  But it is a lesson we could all stand to absorb.  I love my husband, and am grateful for what he contributes to my and our children’s lives (not to mention the countless people he helps at work).  Likewise, he loves me for the practical chores I do every day and the invaluable lessons, support, and inspiration I provide for him and for our children through living my life as a mother artist.










15. What is your Story? 

My journey is  a long one, and I have no idea how to best sum it up.  I feel as though I have lived many different lifetimes over the years I have been on this earth.My middle- and high-school years certainly left their mark.  Social insecurities (I was definitely the unpopular nerd) and the desires to please were etched into my being.  And my years in college definitely molded many of my views.  Honestly, I feel as though I view those years of my life as an intimate friend looking from the outside – not someone who lived them.  And the years after, when my husband and Iwere married, journeyed to Tennessee for a year and then back to Indiana as he returned to school, were another lifetime in and of itself.Motherhood began a new chapter in my life’s book.  But even the birth of my son seems like a fairytale that I lived in some distant land.  He was the first grandchild on either side, and for his birth we surrounded by loving family and friends.  My husband continued in school, I gradually left my job to transition into stay-at-home motherhood.  Shortly after that, we made one of the biggest transitions of our life thus far:  We moved cities, purchased our first house, and my husband started his career as I officially left mine.One month after we moved in, the ground disappeared and the life I now know began.  My father, an otherwise healthy and seemingly well man, took his own life.That was the end and the beginning.  I became a mother again less than a year later.  At home alone with a newborn, a 3 year old, and only my thoughts, I broke down repeatedly. Because I no longer understood, I had no choice but to just experience.Within that experience, I became an artist.  I felt, reflected, lost control,strengthened, and became too weak to contain it all.  (That is not a typo.  We all spend a great deal of energy keeping things within.)  I hadto let it out.  I started with a small blog.From there, I wrote, took art classes, picked up my camera again (something I’d always done with my father, so was extremely hard to do), and started living not in spite of my discomforts, but alongside them.  I remained groundless.  (Growing children have a way of teaching you how to do that.)  It has been many years of learning how to navigate life – a mundane day – knowing that I don’t know.  The learning, practice, and expression continues through this day.






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.I can’t tell you what path is best for you.  I can tell you that every action, every thought, every choice taken – and not taken – has consequences.  Living in such a way that we are aware of the consequences of our actions and inactions is living awake.Passions are often inner alarm clocks.  Those creative ideas that keep us awake at night or the fire-y joy we feel when doing something that aligns with our passions are the experiential signs that long to call us out of our sleep.  Life doesn’t have to be one or the other.  Life can be changing diapers, checking homework, painting, taking photos, cooking dinner, play dates and artist dates.  There’s no need to feel confined to one role. All of these paths have consequences for our own lives and the lives of our children.  So my advice is to just be aware of the consequences of your choices – both for yourself, your children, and for those in the world who you don’t even know you are affecting.  No judgments, no rights nor wrongs – just awareness of what you are creating with your hands and through your actions (and inactions).I will share this: my daughter has a huge art space in her room.  She often walks out with markers all over her face, and we have quite the collection of her creations.  My son, though less artistically inclined anddespite being in the treacherous social years of a 9-yr old, still comes home excited about new paths of learning.  I’ve received so many comments from others – many of whom I’ve not met – who tell me howI have positively influenced their day, or week, or outlook on life through an art piece, blog post, or course I’ve created.  (I am humbled and honored.)  Making time for my passions – my art – influences others far beyond myself.  I am not only creating my art, but helping create a world in which I want to live.








Lisa lives with her family in
 Bloomington, Indiana 


Visit her website to learn more :
 www.beingbreath.com









Monday, February 3, 2014

SUSAN HODGIN

                              


       
When did you realize you wanted to be an artist?

Art was always something I devoted time to, subconsciously almost, but never thought of it as a serious career choice until my third year in undergrad.  I was on track to get an English/Creative Writing-Fiction degree when I took a figure painting class.  Our assignment was to recreate a master painting from the Renaissance period that had at least one nude in it. We had to create the painting life size, and were given half the semester to work onit. I began to obsess over this painting and spent every minute I could in the studio working on it. Mostnights I went home happily exhausted in the wee hours of the morning after working on this painting.  The actual painting did not turn out amazing, and surprisingly, that never bothered me.  I became hooked on the process of paintinng.  That is when I knew this was what I had to do. 








When did you become a mother?
                    
2:22 p.m., 2/22/2012.  And no, that wasn't completely accidental.

What are your challenges as a mother.

Work, the need for adult conversation, the desire to have a clean house, cancer, and of course, all the ways those things conflict with motherhood.

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

I turn into a very crabby human being if I stay away from painting for too long. Spending time in the studio is good for my marriage. I also earn an income from being an artist, so that helps keep me in my studio on a regular basis and eliminates most guilt I have about being there.

                              

Do you have a studio? Where is it?

The Harrison Center in Indianapolis, IN









When do you spend time making art?

Mostly during the day. I am diurnal by nature.











What is your favorite medium?
Oil on canvas, though I occasionally work on small drawings, watercolor, and collage at home after my daughter has gone to bed.







How many children do you have?  

One.








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

I couldn't. It would be cruel and unfair to everyone, and I am not sure it would be physically or mentally possible for me to give it up. That said, I love my daughter more than I love my art. But I love my daughter more than I love my breath, and still I couldn't give up breathing for her. It is the same with art.





 What is your advice for a new artist mom?

First of all, who am I give anyone advice? We all must find out what works best for us. That said, for anyone to make art, they must set aside time and space that is theirs to make art in, however that may look.




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

Does a lawyer have support from friends and family while practicing law? Does a nurse have support from friends and family while taking care of patients? hopefully. We all do what we need to do.









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

I am sure not. I certainly hope so. But I take myself seriously, and that is enough to keep me going.






Do you think mother artists are taken seriously in society?

Rarely, and historically, no. I hope that changes soon.






What do you say when someone asks you "What does your husband do for a living?".

I never say what later I wish I had. What I hope to say next time someone asks me that question is "why do you ask?".


What is your story?

I received my BFA from the University of Montana, and MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. I have been working full-time as an artist since 2003. It is the only full-time job I have ever had. In November 2011 when I was 5 months pregnant with my first and only child I was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer. I had the tumor removed and 5 rounds of chemotherapy while pregnant. My daughter was born and then I had 5 more rounds ( all while raising an infant). During that time I had 2 solo shows, one in town, one out of state, and completed the two largest commissioned paintings I have ever had. After I finished the chemo, I was cancer-free for almost 1 1/2 years. In August 2013 they discovered another tumor in my liver. I had two more surgeries and am currently doing another course of chemotherapy. The recurrence puts me in Stage IV. I have had so much wonderful support from family, friends, and strangers through all of this. I have learned that no matter how weak I feel, that I am stronger than I know. I have learned that people are fundamentally kind. I have learned how close we all are to life and to death. I have learned that moments count so I had better enjoy them.


                                    


What advice can you give to other artist moms about pursing 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. Make time, make space even if it is rare and tiny. At home my space is a plastic box of watercolors, pencils and paper stashed under the couch. My time is at night, after my daughter goes to bed, before I fall asleep, on the nights that there is any time. At work, I have a studio and daycare, a daycare I created when I couldn't find what I was looking for when I was ready to go back to work. It isn't easy.



                     


To see more of Susan Hodgin's work check out her website at : 

Or visit:
The Harrison Center For the Arts
1505 N Delaware St.
Indianapolis, IN 46142