Where are you from?
Where do you live?
When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?
Who influenced you as an artist?
My mom. Undeniably. She always told me to follow my heart. Had it not been for her I may have never embraced this path. And as for artists that influence my work… Javier Marin. Beth Cavener Stichter. Shu-Mei Chan. Daniel Evans. Chris Boger. Vicki Ayers. Ayumi Horie. Birdie Boone. Just to name a few…
What is your favorite medium?
Clay. Always clay. All the time.
Do you have a studio? Where is it?
I do! It is relatively new to me, and it is in my house! My husband is a carpenter, and together we have remodeled our home. He made me a beautiful studio.
When did you become a mother?
Almost five years ago. Piper Jane was born May 4, 2009.
What are your challenges as a mother artist?
Time. It feels that there is not enough. That it is difficult to be present in what I am doing especially when I am with my kids. I am always wanting to be doing something, making something, and definitely moving at a faster speed than they will let me. I carve out time to work when they are sleeping or at school.
What has been the driving force behind keeping a balance between being a mother and an artist?
A need to be happy. It is really very simple. For me to be happy I need to be making stuff. It is also important to me to spend time with my kids. I want my kids to grow up in a creative environment. I want them to feel like they can make anything they can dream up.
When do you spend time making art?
A few hours here and there, when my kids are sleeping or are at school.
How many children do you have? Do you want more?
I have two children. Piper and Acre. I am happy with two. I do not want more.
Have you ever considered giving up art in order to be a mother?
No. That would be a disservice to my children and anyone that loves me. It is an integral part of who I am. No one wins when you give up your happiness to serve them.
Do you have support from your family and friends to keep making art?
Yes. I have so much support it is humbling. My husband has made so much of my art possible. As I said he built me a studio. He also makes armatures for my figurative sculpture, the carts that I use, and many other things. He is the structure that holds up this thing that I do called art. And my friends and family are so amazing. They come to my shows, and have always pushed me to embrace my work. I am so grateful.
Do you feel like you are taken seriously as a mother artist?
By who? I am taken seriously by the people that I love. I guess that is all that matters to me. I have not extended that thought into the public sphere. 16.Has becoming a mother influenced your art?Yes. Being a mother has changed me, and that influences the work that I make. I also lost my mom three weeks before I had my daughter, my first child. It is difficult to separate that loss with becoming a mother. To say that we were close would be an understatement. Since she died and I had kids my art has been very influenced by how unbelievably beautiful and painful life is. It has been about my grief, and at the same time I have developed a much greater capacity for playfulness in my work. In the simplest of terms my life and my work reflect the intense polarity of life and death.
Do you think mother artists are taken seriously in society?
I think it depends on the work that they make and has more to do with being a woman than a mother. I think women in general are not taken as seriously as men in the world of art, in the world period.
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 get asked that often. If someone did ask me that as a follow up to me saying that I was an artist I might be offended. If it felt invalidating, then yes it would offend me.
What is your story?
I remember the first time I saw someone throw on a potter’s wheel. I took my first ceramics class when I was 10 years old. Every Christmas I would ask for a wheel. I would dream about what it would feel like to walk down the stairs and see it over and over again. And every Christmas I would come down the stairs and it wouldn’t be there. And yet I would still think, maybe it is hiding somewhere… When I was seventeen, as a very amateur photographer I shot a wedding. I made a little bit of money, and I bought my first wheel. I later went on to get a BFA in Ceramics at IU. When I graduated I started a ceramics studio in Bloomington with a friend. Soon after my mom was diagnosed with cancer, and everything stopped. I spent the next year being with her. I got pregnant, and my mom died. I did not create for a while. I have loved clay as long as I can remember. And despite my life story, it always seems to find me again.
What have you learned about balancing motherhood and your passions?
I have learned that it is hard. I have learned to set my expectations of the amount of work I will get done in a day to be lower. Choosing to have kids has meant that my agenda does not always come first. And when I do have time I use it.
What advice can you offer other mother artists about pursuing their passions regardless of their situation?
Get the stories out of the way that keep you from living from your heart and following your passion. Walk through it. You will find your way.
What do you want to be remembered for as an artist?