Willow Magazine CREATING LIFE - Page 105

Which came first, baby or art?

I’ve always made art with my earliest memories of painting and drawing in kindergarten. I didn’t actually consider pursuing art as a career until I was pregnant with my first child and my husband suggested it. At the time I wanted to be a marriage counselor and was working towards a BA in psychology.

What inspires your work?

I love reading and learning so it is no surprise that biology, psychology, astrology and any other “ology” inspires my work. Oh, and of course, my obsession with science fiction books. Recently, my work has been focused on animals, specifically insects. Many of my ideas come to me during my daily adventures with my kids in the backyard, at the park, at museums or even just watching movies together.

Tell us about the munchkin/s that made you a mama!

My first child, Sophie, is eight now and it feels like she grew up overnight! She’s such a passionate and inquisitive little girl. She’s always had an obsession with cats. She draws cats, throws parties for cats, wears cat themed clothing and of course, takes care of her own cat Addy. She’s quite the artist as well.

Escher is two and never stops moving. He loves running, climbing and playing outside. However, he’s also very focused and can spend up to an hour working on a puzzle or a block tower. RIght now he’s obsessed with knock knock jokes and farts.

What’s your favourite medium to work in and why?

I currently work with papercutting and linocuts. It seems odd since I graduated with a degree in painting. However, looking back to my childhood I was always making things out of paper. I remember my nana hiding the computer paper and scotch tape because I would use it all. To this day she still brags about the paper slippers I made her, as well as the pop up cards and rabbit cages, all constructed out of paper and tape. I’ve come to realize that the paper cuts and linocuts are similar in that once my image has been planned out and the problem solving is done, my hands are free to carry out the work and I can get into a good flow of just doing. The cutting process is also strangely therapeutic.

When and where do you create from?

I have a home studio and a shared studio at the Harrison Center for the Arts in downtown Indianapolis. The art center has a wonderful nanny program for mother artists that allows me to have regular studio time during the day (when I actually have energy).

How has motherhood shaped your art?

It sounds cliche but I see things afresh through my children’s eyes. They cause me to slow down and investigate the world around me. We also spend a lot of time together hiking, visiting museums, catching bugs and just exploring. It’s fun. They remind me of the importance of playing and experimenting which, in turn, inspires me and inspires new work.

How do you balance motherhood and making art?

I’ve learned to stop waiting. I felt like I was always waiting until till they went to bed or until they were grown to make plans and get stuff done. I realized that I was neglecting myself and my art by waiting and began including them in the journey. My children go to the studio with me as well as gallery openings. We even collaborate and do art shows together. They will be grown soon enough and then they will be involved in their own activities so I enjoy involving them in my life as much as possible and teach them what I can while they’re still willing to listen.

Biggest challenge as a #motherartist?

Scheduling is always a challenge. I have to take Sophie’s school schedule into consideration as well as my husband’s work schedule. Illness is difficult as well. No matter how organized and good at planning you are, you are no match for a stomach virus. You have to be flexible, realize that there is only so much you are in control of and your babies need you when they need you.

Most awesome thing about being a #motherartist?

Being able to share what I do with my kids. They love making art with their mommy and Sophie is always so proud to tell her friends that her mom is an artist. Being a mother is fulfilling and doing what I love is fulfilling. Let’s just say my cup is full and running over.

What does Christina do for pure joy? How do you fill your cup?

I love thrift store shopping and lose all track of time hunting for treasures to bring home and proudly display. I also love books and own thousands, mostly because I’m terrible at

returning library books.