What is your name?
Where are you from?
Originally, from Moscow, Russia, landing in Indianapolis, via Melbourne, Australia and, Chicago.
Where do you live?
West Carmel, IN
I have to say that I have never really craved or sought that title. I’ve been attracted to creativity since I was 12 or 13, but I never set out to be an artist. Did I just disqualify myself from this project?? LOL!
Who influenced you as an artist?
My father was an early influence when it came to art, photography and music. We always had lots of art books around the house, as well as camera equipment he taught me to use. And certainly my love of jazz comes from him.
What is your favorite medium?
Do you have a studio? Where is it?
I have a studio at the Stutz Business Center. I’ve been there for close to five years.
When did you become a mother?
Natasha was born in 2004, followed by Anastasia in 2006.
What are your challenges as a mother artist?
Probably the biggest is finding the time for both my creative pursuits and for quality interaction with the girls. Being a creative is easier than being a parent, but unquestionably my kids need me far more, so the challenge is to never forget this.
What has been the driving force behind keeping a balance between being a mother and an artist?
Balance? What balance?? LOL!
When do you spend time making art?
Recently, I have been making a great effort to get all my work done during the week and keep my weekends free to hang with my family.
How many children do you have?
Do you want more?
I have 2 daughters and in about 10 years I will wish that I had 2 more kids, but the current reality is that it’s just not feasible.
Have you ever considered giving up art in order to be a mother?
No I haven’t.
Do you have support from your family and friends to keep making art?
My husband’s support makes it possible for me to keep doing what I’m doing.He’s my hero and I could not have done half the things I’ve done if not for him.
Do you feel like you are taken seriously as a mother artist?
I do, but then again, I don’t think I’ve ever opened the door for anyone to question me in that regard. Again, I think having the support of my husband has played a tremendous role in allowing for that to be so.
Has becoming a mother influenced your art?
I don’t think so. But having kids definitely changes priorities and how I manage my time. I am much more deliberate about which projects I take on and how much time I can spend on them.
Do you think mother artists are taken seriously in society?
I’m not heavily networked with other mother artists, so i’m not sure if I can answer that accurately. Being a mother has not prevented me from pursuing my creative endeavours but of course, that’s a personal experience and I feel very fortunate. I’m sure there are mother artists out there who have a very different experience from mine. I imagine a lot depends on who you’re talking to about your pursuits. Some people will be condescending and others envious - the key is to know yourself well enough and be secure in your journey where no matter the others’ opinion, you will stay the path.
What do you say when someone asks “what does your husband do for a living?” are you offended by such a question?
My husband is a public speaker and has been since before we got married (almost 20 years ago), and I manage him. So I am more than happy to tell anyone who asks all about him! Keep in mind that I make a pretty decent living from my commercial photography, so the question wouldn’t rankle me at all.
What is your story?
In a nutshell, I was interested in photography from a young age, but even though my father was a cinematographer and encouraged photography as a hobby, he was never really gung-ho about photography as a career choice - perhaps he just wanted me to make up my only mind and not influence me. Whatever the case, I got away from photography for a long time, close to 15 years and spent the intervening years on getting a medical degree (Physician Assistant), and managing my husband’s speaking career. Having my first daughter naturally got me back into shooting and it just hit me one day how much I enjoyed the process and that I wanted to get back into shooting on a more regular basis. That was 9 years ago and so here I am.
What have you learned about balancing motherhood and your passions?
That it requires deliberate and constant tweaking to come anywhere near having a balance. And also that feeling guilty about not being a good enough mother or not good enough artist is a waste of time and energy. The key is self-awareness and brutal honesty with yourself and also having accountability
from someone who knows you very well.
What advice can you offer other mother artists about pursuing their passions regardless of their situation?
Well, as cliched as it sounds, the fact is life is so short. You can spend your days obsessing about what others think of you and your art, or criticizing yourself for not being a good mother, artist or both, but all that is just a big waste of time. Keep moving forward! Navel gazing , guild and nay-saying is not going to get you where you want to be. Just do it!
What do you want to be remembered for as
For being a great team player! My best work is always created with the help of other artists. I find that working alone is neither rewarding, nor very much fun. It seems that many of mankind’s most famous masterpieces were created by deeply troubled individuals, who spent most of their days locked away in their studios, but that’s just not me; I thrive on creative partnerships and on collaboration.
To find out more visit: http://www.polinaosherov.com