Mother artists are not limited to just our back yards - believe it or not you can find them all around the world- and I did just that! Meet artist Nom Kinnear King.
This is by far one of my favorite female painters- and I wanted to take a moment to share her story. Before she was a mother, she was an inspiration to me. Once she became a mother- I knew she would be perfect for this project. I simply emailed her and she gracefully accepted the challenge- I feel honored.
Nom Kinnear King is an amazing painter - with 4,417 likes on her Facebook page alone.. you can see why. She writes : Nom Kinnear King hermited away in the flat lands and big sky of Norfolk creating in oils and pastels surreal and romantic female portraits.
Romantic and Surreal are perfect words. She has taken the portrait to a new level of story telling. Delicate, beautiful and magical - you truly get lost in her work.
Nom is Based in Norfolk, England where she studied at Norwich School of Art and Design. She lives with her husband Adam -who is also an artist - and their little baby.
1.When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?
From a very young age, drawing and painting has always been my passion and its all I wanted all through my school years, my father has a love of art and took me to see lots of galleries in France. I saw this magic in the life of an artist then and felt I belonged to that world.
2.When did you become a mother?
Last year (2013) on the 14th of August. It was amazing to meet her and she stared at me right away like she knew me already.
3.What are your challenges as a mother?
It's been such a learning process understanding that things are always changing one day to the next. When you think you have a handle on things they go and change on you. Also getting used to the constant pace to the days before being a mum if you were tired, ill or just fancied a chill you could, now your a mum what ever the weather and I've been out with the pram in some pretty mad weather.
4. What has been the driving force behind keeping a balance between being a mother and an artist?
Happiness, I feel a happy mum means a happier child and life in general if I dive in to painting as soon as she's taking a Nap I might only get forty minutes but when she wakes up I've done my bit so I'm all ready to play with her. It makes the days take on form there was a few months In between her sleeping all the time and getting a routine to the day when she didn't want to sleep anywhere but my lap I'm glad we came though that me and the armchair nearly became one object.
5.Do you have a studio? Where is it?
We do my husband and I share a studio it's a room in the house I keep all my work and materials in there but I like to work in the lounge room a lot of the time it's light and comfy.
6. When do you spend time making art?
At the moment it's just after her morning and afternoon walks in the pram I go out to get her off and to stretch my legs then she stays asleep for about an hour when I get back so I dive in right away before doing anything else. I used to not be able to work in this way I'd need to settle onto a piece having as many hours as I wanted in one sitting , now I'm used this diving in at random moments accomplishing what ever I can and not getting so frustrated its given me a calmer approach to work.
7. What is your favorite medium?
Oils, I've been working on a smaller scale in oils , zooming out to show more of the world around my characters and when I have a small space of time I can do small details and effects quickly in oils. I began working on this new scale when I was pregnant as I wanted a way to make my new ideas come to life but also to have some thing that was better suited to coming back and forth when my working hours changed.
8. How many children do you have?
This is my first child. I would consider having another now but I didn't think I would before she was born.
9. Have you ever considered giving up being an artist in order to be a mother?
No most definitely not it is such a part of me thats not a thought that fits me. If I did not have such a supportive husband my desire to start a family may not of happened yet or at all.
10.What is your advice for a new artist mom?
All things come in time it's taught me a lot if patience that has carried over to other areas of my life. One moment she can be happy the next she's grumpy you have to keep chilled and not stress over ever little thing your you will drive yourself loopy so try just to go with the rollarcoaster not fretting over the bumps on the track. Also remember to ask how your friends are you can't help but talk about baby stuff all the time as that's your world now but remember to ask how your pals are doing to, sometimes I zone out if conversation and have to apologise for my zombie state.
11. Do you have support from family and friends while making art?
I'm very lucky to have my mum near by otherwise there would be no one as we live in the countryside and all our friends live in cities. She may be moving to France soon I'm so happy she hasn't left yet part of me hopes she won't. we go for lots of walks and one morning a week she watches her so I can actually get stuck into a piece.
12. Do you feel like you are taken seriously as a mother artist?
The galleries I am with have been very supportive and patient they have asked when my usual pace will be back but I have to be realistic about what I can take on at the moment. My artist friends and followers online many of whom are also mums totally get the new pace it's more me that me that overanalyses where I'm at.
13. Do you think mother artists are taken seriously in society?
A lot of artists I'm friend with online I wasn't even aware they were mums till I got pregnant as its many just work that's discussed and shared so I don't think that the galleries and collectors that them being mums would have even come up or been aware that they are mums. the women are often behind the scenes juggling away wether as an artist, curator what ever the endeavor.
14. What do you say when someone asks you “what does your husband do for a living?”?
I say he is an Artist too- we are both used to the same funny questions like people asking what you earn when they would think it rude if on first meeting you asked them same thing. It's been difficult in ways and good in others us both working from home he needs to get on with his work to bring in the the main income but there's this cute n fussy dissraction in the house but for me it's great for company and to be on hand for tricky moments like when you want a shower a lot of people wouldn't have that with a partner.
15. What is story?
I thought I wanted children at some point but I was alway a little nervous to dive in. I already had this huge passion in my life it's what I would think about when I woke up, went to sleep, on holiday, on a train all moments.. I would be wondering about my next picture doodling in my journal. I went back and forth worrying that I wouldn't deal well with the changes being a mum would bring.
Penultimately we wanted a child in our future i could picture running round the park , baking cakes doing all these fun things with them. So we decided to start our little starting off by moving to the countryside back near my folks where it's quiet and cheap. I knew that Adam was going to be a supportive husband and father being an artist himself he knows how important it is to me to balance both worlds and I knew that going in. I was very tense when I was pregnant so this me now as a mum is tired but a lot more content. It took going through some rough months with a very grizzly baby and my self getting my head round the way life was going to be different if i suddenly had a holiday for a week to do what ever I wanted it would feel very strange as this is now my normal.
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.
If Art is your passion just dive on in a little drawing here and there when you get the chance ie nap time the washing up what ever else can be done after you get that little drawing out then you will enjoy your baby all the more for it. I knew going in didn't want to resent my child it goes baby first then Art then everything else showers, sleep, housework all the other things they have there time but have no priority for me.
Nom Kinnear King lives in Norfolk, England with her husband and child .
Find out more about her work at : http://nomkinnearking.com