I was doubting how much this “Residency” would help when I signed up. It’s almost just a self-encouraging plan which may or may not work all depends on the artist/mother herself. And if it works, I’m not sure how much it is because of the Residency or just the mother herself is strong with or without the Residency.
However, last week, when I got and reread the questionnaire I filled in early September when I signed up to this Residency, I suddenly realize that things are getting better from that time. And that, somehow, gives me a warm feeling and encouragement. Also when I search the #arim and see all those other mom-artists, I feel happy for them and hopeful for myself. Therefore, it maybe too early to doubt/judge this idea. Even a loner as I, it does help. And let’s see how it goes.
Here attached the questionnaire I did. Those are well designed questions. Good for not only moms, but also anyone who is facing a huge change in one’s life.
1. Describe where you are currently with your creative work: I use to work 8 hours per day if productive, now I can hardly work an hours per day.
I work at home studio. I feel comfortable about it. I wish to have a studio somewhere else for oil paintings but now with newborn, at home is the best.
I do watercolor painting and oil painting.
I almost do not have anytime to work. Even when I have time, I am so tired that I almost can not hold a brush.
2. Describe as specifically as possible, anything about your current situation that makes your creative life difficult: Firstly, time. He wakes every 2-3 hours, needs to be feed, needs to be nursed, needs to play together, change diapers, etc. That will cost 1-2 hours. Which mean I can hardly drink or eat, no matter to paint. Secondly, energy. Taking care of him takes so much energy that I can hardly focus on anything after that. I need to do research, to draw, to think, before painting. Now I talk slower because I think slower. Thirdly, pain. Right after the delivery, my body hasn’t fully recover yet. Because of taking of him and trying to practice art, I feel my body is recovering even slower. Back pain, shoulder pain, head pain, wrist pain, all these problems show out day after day. I hope, eventually, it will get better. Last but not least, stress and anxiety. As a painter at 34, I am worried about my career as everyone else. Moreover, as a mother, I am worried about whether I could work hard and become a good example for my child.
3. What do you need that you don’t currently have?
3b. For each of the items on your list, what would you need to get each of these things?: #1 I have to work at every gap of taking care of my child. Try to catch up every fragments of time.
#2 Push myself to reach out to other artists, galleries, friends. Even tho I am a little bit anti-social.
#3 Well, I don’t know. It kind of against the #1.
#4 Maybe I can send my kid to a daycare, that depends on the cost and space of the daycare.
4. What do you like to do differently during your residency?: I want to do baby/motherhood related paintings and drawings, from a mother’s eyes. I think that is true and natural, as a mother and female artist.