Monday, April 14, 2014

ELIZABETH BROOKS







What is your name? 

Elizabeth Brooks




Where are you from? 

I grew up on a small farm in Green Hill, Indiana, not far from West Lafayette. My family moved into town when I was in grade school and I spent the majority of my youth in West Lafayette.


Where do you live?

Indianapolis, Indiana







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

Growing up an only child required an abundant amount of imagination and I think that laid the groundwork for all my creative tendencies. 




Who influenced you as an artist?


The greatest mother of them all, Mother Nature.



What is your favorite medium?


Honestly, dirt. I love growing things. Gardening is the compliment to every part of my life.










Do you have a studio? Where is it?

I do hair at the Murphy in my salon and gallery, Luxe 218. I make all my jewelry in my living room.












When did you become a mother?

February 10, 2011. That's the night I looked down at a positive pregnancy test; my life changed forever. Iris was born on October 6, 2011.









What are your challenges as a mother artist?

Time.
The loss of selfishness. Learning to yield to what is instead of what I want it to be.Making time for and valuing myself. Recognizing it may take a little longer to achieve my goals and that's not a failure. Most importantly, letting whatever I get done today be enough, no matter how that looks; no matter how far from my intentions it may be…because that is so much easier said than done.




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

Being a mom is the most valuable "work in progress" i"ll ever be a part of but I have so many other artistic goals. Finding the balance is just an absolute part of maintaining my integrity. 

When do you spend time making art?


It's easier as a hairstylist, my appointments create a clear cut schedule of when I work. Iris has been coming with me to work since she was born and that presents its own challenges and rewards. I make jewelry when the opportunity to sit and be creative presents itself.




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

One. No. I'm fairly certain I don't have the patience or sanity for another. 



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


Entirely, absolutely not. I have made quite a few detours where my businesses are concerned but that's life. Art is a part of me and to give that up would sabotage my ability to be the best mother I can be.





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

So much so its humbling. 


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

I have a hard time taking myself seriously. I mean really, I'm a hairstylist who wears bandannas and who  forgets to put on makeup most days. But I take my work very seriously. Its that passion and dedication that earns me respect as an artist.


Has becoming a mother influenced your art?


Undeniably. Being a mother emphasizes every aspect of my life. Empathy, compassion, love, fear, passion, insecurities are all heightened. I have never felt as vulnerable or as powerful as I have since becoming a mother.  My art is coming into its own as much as I am.

Do you think mother artists are taken seriously in society?


I don't take society very seriously. I live outside of most societal norms and I prefer it that way. Society loves to compare, judge, tarnish, and nitpick women which is a direct contradiction to being a mother artist. One of the greatest lessons I've learned as a mother is just how incredibly different and unique we all are and it's beautiful. I want to be taken seriously by those who embrace individuality and diversity. I'm creating my own definition of and "normalcy" and I want my daughter to have the creative freedom to do the same without fear of societies judgement.




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

Hahaha, I would laugh. I'm a single mom, 24/7. 3365. It presents it's own challenges. I always think of sage advice from a client, "you're either green and growing or ripe and rotting" it keeps me focused on all the positive energy in my life and steers me away from the negative drama.

What is your story?


It's been an awesome journey…I went to beauty school in high school and graduated both when I was 17. I moved to LA when I was 18 to attend the Westmore Academy of Cosmetic Arts. I worked in Orange County CA as a hairstylist and freelance MUA before deciding to move back home to be closer to my parents. I moved to Indy in 2001 and worked at a downtown salon for years before deciding I needed a break. My life had become so consumed with work I didn't feel like I was "living". 
I sold most of my possessions, rented my home, and moved to Oregon. That's when my passion for organic foods and healthy living really took off. Its also when I started making jewelry.  When I returned to Indiana I worked as a janitor for awhile while I figured out what I wanted to do, and ultimately ended up opening my salon/gallery. I've met so many amazing people along the way and had so many life-changing travels and experiences.  It's been an adventure that I look forward to continuing with my daughter. 


 What have you learned about balancing motherhood and your passions?


 I've learned that my passions aren't going anywhere. Whereas my 2yr old is on the move and I don't want to miss any opportunity to experience life with her. If something really matters to me I find a way to make it happen that way there aren't any regrets, but at this time in my life I am glad to put my role as a mother first.





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

 Seek out and surround yourself with other mothers. I've got a fabulous group of urban hippies who are a huge support. Don't be afraid to ask for help and acknowledge your limits. I still call my mom at least once a day. Sometimes just hearing her voice is all I need to get through a tough moment.  Most importantly don't forget to be kind and gracious to yourself


What do you want to  be remembered for as an artist?
 I can't even imagine how to answer that question.


To find out more please visit:

www.luxe218.com
www.quiljewelry.etsy.com


2 comments:

  1. Erin --

    Would like to chat with you about your mother/daughter art project for a profile for SkyBlue Window (http://www.skybluewindow.org/). Heard about you from my editor, Jami Stall. Please email me at chizomasherman(at)gmail(dot)com when you get a chance. Thanks!

    Chi Sherman (first name is pronounced "chee")

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your time . I have emailed you .

      Delete