We sat down with Sarah Martinez, of SnoogsAndWilde, to talk about being a Mom and Artist and how she balances momma time with creative time. In addition to being a busy mom and artist, Sarah just completed the build of her new studio, so exciting! Check it out on her instagram feed @snoogsandwilde to see more of her work and life and read on to hear her thoughts below:
I love this question! And I literally ask it to myself on repeat daily. I've got two beautiful boys, Leo who just turned 7 and Beau who is 1 and a half, along with my incredible husband, Brook, who is a true partner in every sense. They are my heart! I also run a creative business from my home studio that requires me to paint, draw, communicate for partnerships, fulfill daily orders, and keep my books. It is work that I love, like really, really LOVE. It is certainly a lot to try to balance, but it's AWESOME and I wouldn't trade any of it!
I feel like balancing momma time with creative time is a constant dance between making choices that will nourish my family, my work and me, AND the ability to let go and laugh when everything seems to go insanely bonkers - which it does, often, for sure!
Our house is messy and our clothes are dirty, we run late, we're outside a lot and our dinners are often a shadow of the of the complex culinary experience that I had envisioned earlier that day. But my husband and I are present to our kids, we're patient and loving and fun and we consider that an important win. The same challenges of chaos happen in my work life; my studio space is a sprawling mess, I am always in sweat pants, I have piles of new work wanting to be made print ready, paintings lined up needing to be signed and varnished, finances that need to be organized etc. but, I realize what a gift it is to work for myself doing what I love and I try to let go and not sweat the small stuff.
I don't always succeed - sometimes I'm in tears over the small stuff and I often feel like there is more that I could and should be doing, both in motherhood and in my creative life. The "do more, be more" feeling is hard to shake, but I try to take it moment by moment, choice by choice and decipher what is truly important from what seems so pressing.
Sometimes those choices are as simple as drinking my coffee as slowly as possible while watching the birds or taking a yoga class or putting work aside to watch Leo do endless summersaults because it means everything to him that I see each and every one. Other times the choices seem bigger, like deciding to slow down work to be home with Beau while he's still a baby or taking the chance on building a new studio space because things are growing. One of the most helpful choices that I made after Beau was born was I hiring an amazing studio assistant. She does printing and packaging, art scanning, and website management and helps bounce ideas around. This was such a live-saving decision because having the help of my assistant has really afforded me the time to continue on the creative end of things, which is the fun part, and also totally imperative!
It is important to me that my children see me working hard at something that I love - I want them to see the successes, mistakes, frustrations and accomplishments that are part of it all. I want them to know that they too can make a life by bringing their unique voice and passion into doing what they love - and have a lot of fun doing it!!
All in all, the balance of motherhood and creative business is pretty incredible and both aspects inform and inspire the other. The whimsy, innate confidence and nonjudgmental posturing of my children is so inspiring to me and I try to bring those qualities into my studio when approaching a painting or a conversation with a collaborator. At the same time, I find that my parenting is more patient, receptive and less stressed after I've spent the afternoon working in the studio. So aside from trying to create a balance (which is a constant effort), there is that nice naturally occurring balance and I'm grateful for that - well, I'm grateful for all of it, really!
We hope you all enjoyed Sarah's kind and gentle approach to her work, family and self. We love hearing about how other makers create balance and comfort in their lives. Happy Mother's day, Sarah and all of you other mama's out there!
xo, Nicole & Erin