Today’s inspiring and candid interview comes from the lovely Amy Hartelust based in Memphis, Tennessee. In a culture where women are sometimes conditioned to pretend that everything is always fine, most of us know that is usually not the case, especially during huge life transitions! Thank you to Amy for opening up about her own struggle during that tough year of motherhood, and showing how having a child (and teaching children) influenced a change in her art and style. I think that she’s quite the role model to her young daughter – and showing others how to be the best version of yourself. I cannot wait to see your dream project of a “Young Apprentice” workshop come to life.
- Website / Blog / Shop: www.amyhartelust.com
- Instagram: @AmyHartelust
- Facebook: Amy Hartelust Fine Art
- Twitter: @AmyHartelustArt
Has your approach to painting, your processes, medium, or your inspiration changed since having children?
I think I began to see a major change in my process and approach to painting when I began teaching young children. This was about a year before I had my own daughter. Children have this unbelievable connection to what they create. Their marks and instincts are untarnished and their enthusiasm and confidence is contagious. I began to chase this same energy in my own work and as a result my painting style completely transformed.
When my daughter was born, that transformation only continued to grow. I gave up oils for acrylics because I wasn’t comfortable having certain mediums and chemicals around the house. That transition felt a little like learning to walk again in the beginning, but ultimately I think it has improved and complimented my style of painting.
Is it easy or difficult for you to find/make time to create? Did you have to give anything up? Do you have advice on what works for you?
After my daughter was born, I went that entire first year without making a single piece of art. I think I was overwhelmed with my new role as a mom and wasn’t quite sure how being and artist would fit into my new life. I think that if you are an artist, suppressing your need to create is an incredibly unnatural thing. I spent that entire year walking around as a shell of myself. I was mentally and physically hurting and it was affecting everyone around me, including my daughter.
I began to realize that my daughter was not getting the best version of me. She wasn’t getting to see the real me at all. So, I began to make art again and I lit up inside.As a result, my daughter did too.
It is so important to me that my daughter works with me in my studio. I feel like I have an obligation to show her that it’s okay to chase down your dreams and be true to what you love. I want her to be the best version of herself too.