1. You are a wife, mother, artist, entrepreneur and soon-to-be author – you wear so many hats! What does a typical day look like for you and your family?
Monday through Friday both my husband and I work so our two daughters (ages 5 and 2.5) go to daycare / pre-school. I drop the girls off around 8am and my husband picks them up around 4:30. Our days will change when my oldest starts Kindergarten this fall but right now this family schedule has been so good for all four of us.
I spend most of my work day handling email, packing orders (for my planner business Get To Work Book), running all the customer service and marketing for my business and doing some creative stuff (right now that is sewing projects). I just turned in my book! So right now I am not doing much writing but there will be edits to come soon.
I find that I am more effective when I work in small bursts. So after about 45 minutes at my computer I will take a short break. Since I work from home, my breaks are at the house. I’ll move a load of laundry, take a shower, grab a snack, go for a walk, clean up the kitchen counters - whatever. Just something to reset my brain and then I’ll get back to the computer for another 45 minute chunk.
2. One of the thing that constantly inspires us about you is that you have SO MANY creative interests. Do you think diversifying your creative work lends itself to a more creative life?
Thank you, I do!! I think diversifying creative work makes me less worried about the outcome and provides a lot of freedom. I am not trying to be “an expert” at anything - I am just trying to learn a lot and have a fun. This mentality helps me see that “failing” is really not a big deal. And knowing that is helpful in my creativity but also in my business and in my parenting. I think my creativity mantra is “No big deal - we can figure this out” and I use that every day in every area of my life.
3. In your most full or challenging seasons, how have you still managed to create?
The biggest thing that kept me going when I was overwhelmed, either with work or life was to lower my expectations a bit. So when I feel like a season is going to be particularly rough I start saying “no” a lot to everything that isn’t essential to keeping my business afloat and my family healthy. All that “no” to the external stuff means I have a tiny bit of room to say “yes” to my own creative projects.
4. How are you seeing the fruit of your creative work blooming now from seeds that you planted long ago?
In 2005 I started a blog. For ten years I shared about my life and craft projects. Then, right before my second daughter was born, I quit writing daily. (This was possible because my blog was never my sole source of income and I was burned out on personal feedback - both positive and negative. I was very ready to see what just “living” was like compared to “sharing about living.”) I still see the benefits of the thousands of hours I put into that blog.
Writing about my life helped me think hard about my routines and why I do the things that I do. Setting goals to have something to blog about gave my business a purpose and is why I was able to start Get To Work Book. I am so grateful that I started that blog and I am also so grateful that the blog morphed into something different that I get to do and enjoy today.
5. What inspires you: as a wife, mom, and artist?
In all areas of my life I am inspired by people who are really talented and sharing their talents. Good books, good articles, good podcasts, good movies, good TV shows, good songs, good youtube videos, all of it. I am here for the moments when people embrace what they are good at and let us all watch them shine.
6. Do you have any favorite resources that you’d recommend to fellow creatives?
I wouldn’t be good at my job if I didn’t plug my planner and goal-setting tools which you can find at gettoworkbook.com. I also love the How I Built This podcast and my favorite book ever on creativity is The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp.
7. Do you have a scripture, word, or mantra that guides your work?
“Good for her - not for me.” It’s a quote from Amy Poehler’s book Yes, Please and it’s my reminder that I can only do what works for me. I don’t have to experience FOMO about anything else. (I also don’t have to get caught up in if other folks are doing it “right” or “wrong.”)
8. How do you believe motherhood and creative work complement one another?
Motherhood and creative work are the same. You show up. You do the work when it’s hard. You find moments of joy. You problem solve. You see growth and change.
9. Have you ever wanted to throw in the towel and quit being an artist? How did you fight past that feeling?
I definitely throw in the towel all the time on projects and hobbies (and my blog) but I never confuse this with quitting being an creative person. I am always going to be obsessed with making stuff but realize that the stuff I want to make is going to change. I will often be “over” something and that’s okay! On to the next. Trying something creative is who I am - but the type of creative task doesn’t make that big of a difference.
I guess my recommendation if you are struggling and wanting to quit your work is to change things up. Simplify! Rethink it! You don’t have to keep doing the same thing. Change is SO NORMAL and we should lean into it.
10. If you could tell moms who long to create as they raise little ones a word of advice or encouragement, what would it be?
The best thing to do is start creating in front of your kiddos. Just get out your work and do it with them, or beside them or in front of them. Let them see you creating from the very beginning. Your kids see you drinking coffee. They see you driving the car. They see you eating. Why shouldn’t they see you making art?
I realize that it’s SO MUCH HARDER to make with your little ones around you. They want to “help”. They interrupt. They mess things up. But I promise it gets better! It’s so worth it to let making be part of your normal household rhythm. In the short term it will bring you a few extra minutes on a project but in the long term it will help instill in them a joy of creating, too.