9 ways for artist moms to pick up where they left off

Most of us artist moms settle on a career break once we choose to have kids and decide to raise them with mindfulness and ease. Most of the time we limit ourselves to our homes and schedules that we intently set for our kids to follow. As time goes by, hardly do we realize the extent to which we get accustomed to our comfort zones.

We may find ourselves in the middle of cluttered brain activity the moment we decide to hold a brush and start to paint or anything, for me; “I guess the dresser needs to be dusted again”, “maybe a nap is a good idea”, “let’s surf a bit more on what to draw” or ” I promise I’ll sketch only after I’m done watching a movie” and above all “why paint with so many distractions?” was all I struggled with, initially, as I decided to grab a pencil and actually draw after a long career gap. Trust me, nothing has been more challenging than dragging myself out of my comfort zone into initiating my creative journey once again.

I followed a few kick-start tips that I would like to share on how to resume an art career after a long break, specifically for artist moms. Here are 9 ways that worked for me, of course, they might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but even so, have a crack at them:

  • Re-focus, Re-align, Re-engage

Grab a pen and a notebook. Ask yourself 3 questions;” What is my creative focus?, Where do I place my passion on my priority list?, If I pursue my passion would it still make me happy?”, answered? move to the next point.

  • Modify your creative focus, if needed

Open up yourself, explore, and list down art careers that interest you. Choose the one that suits you best depending on your present lifestyle. I started off designing home adornments and absolutely loved embellishing mirrors, pottery, cushions, rugs, and vignettes. However, such delicate and focus-oriented work craved more time and space than I could spare later on in life, so, I hopped on to another creative yet manageable domain of visual arts which excites me as much as the one I postponed for a while.

  • Take an art course as a breakthrough into the art field again

It doesn’t have to be a long one. After all these years, it took me 4 art classes to find myself again. I took them on weekends so I had a whole week to practice and re-align my imaginative self. Thanks to a really treasured artist and dear friend of mine Shahnila Rashid(aka Shaila) for her flexible attitude and for giving me the luxury of schedule adjustment just the way I wanted.

  • Find an art buddy

Get in touch with a friend having similar interests and plan visits to exhibitions and art fairs. Meet other artists and indulge in conversations, do not hesitate to ask questions. I usually prefer to take my kids along as well, mostly to blow the whistle on the world of colors and imagination that their mom belongs to. You can also plan a “painting day” with your friends, have them over to your place, and paint together, the process becomes much more interactive and upbeat.

  •  Pen down your daily schedule

It’s important to write, either in your planner or notebook, and adjust your artwork routine among all the other important tasks of the day. Fix hours or don’t, it totally depends on you. Early morning works best for me or after putting the kids to bed at night. Sometimes, I sketch in the car or even on public transport, it’s actually fun!

  • Shop for some art stuff!

My husband says” That beam on your face every time you spot a bookshop or an Art shop is unmistakable”, I say, he knows me so well:). There is nothing better than the moment I enter the art shop and reconnect with colorful art accessories. They, undoubtedly, act as motivational boosts. Additionally, I get to meet other artists which help in updating myself with new mediums and trends.

  • Art books and online tutorials

Books and tutorials help a lot in enhancing and updating your knowledge about Arts. I Will update you about my favorite artists, books, and tutorials in my posts to come.

  • Develop a habit of sketching. Anytime. Anyplace.

Get hold of a sketchbook as small as size A5 and carry it in your bag along with a sketch pencil. You can sketch on the go, in a waiting area, cafe, or in the kitchen, while kids are busy playing indoors/outdoors, all in all anyplace that you choose to go at any time of the day. It’s all about convincing oneself in developing a habit.

Some quick pencil sketches at various locations
  • Last but not least avoid procrastination.

Worse enemy. Indeed. Avoid delaying projects otherwise, you’ll feel stagnant and ultimately demotivated, and you wouldn’t want that, right? for after all the effort you have put in you need a regular driving force. Steadiness and consistency is the key, keep a hold of them.

It may seem like a no-brainer to someone who has a benefit of 7 to 8 hours to sit, relax, walk around, surf, plan a day out with friends, and peacefully wait for the perfect moment of inspiration to kick in and grab a brush to start painting. Yes, we all have been there, something we miss a lot and now value with all one’s hearts.  But then again, we have moved forward into the world of motherhood with “multitasking” as a hand-me-down gift of womanhood, I believe we can, undeniably, bring about our dreams one baby step at a time.

Rabia Adnan


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