Today is the unofficial end of summer, and I can’t think of a better way to close out the season than with a glimpse into Natasha Martin’s (of Violet Tinder) rainbow filled world. Natasha’s use of color, positivity and fun-filled #thecandyrainbow on Instagram just makes me smile (and want to eat candy). I was so happy to have her share how she finds times to create, and how much she realized it meant to her to have the time to create after having her daughter. I know you’ll enjoy hearing her thoughts on life, and how she wants to add a little more magic to the world – which she certainly does. Thank you, Natasha!
Tell us about yourself. How old are your children? Where can we find you?
Who are you and what do you do? Natasha Martin, Artist/Creator of Violet Tinder Studios. I love to paint and create paper “fun” (i.e. stationery, stickers, cards, etc.)! I have one daughter, 15 months old. I’m lucky enough to be home with my daughter everyday, while juggling Violet Tinder too!
- Website / Blog: www.violettinder.com
- Instagram: @violettinder
- Twitter: @violettinder
- Shop: Violet Tinder on Etsy.com
Has your approach to painting, your processes, medium, or your inspiration changed since having children?
Yes! While I’ve always loved painting and creating, it wasn’t until my daughter was born that I really started to pursue it as more than a passion. I found myself more creative, more inspired…and while I definitely had less free time, I would find myself with these random pockets of time in the day (30 min while the baby snoozed in the bjorn, etc) and thought why not use it to do something I love? Dishes and laundry can wait! I’m sure so many moms can relate to that.
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?
It’s hard in that there is never “enough” time to do all that I want to do (true for everyone!)… and unlike pre-children days, I can’t just let myself “get in the zone” and work continuously for an hour or two whenever the urge strikes me. But, I do think in some ways it’s easier because I am so much more determined! If I know she’s about to nap, or that my MIL is visiting, I plan it out so that anything I “need” to do is done, and I can spend the time painting and creating. I’ve given up most TV (exceptions made for House of Cards, after my babe goes to bed) and I try really hard not to waste much time scrolling through social media (such a time trap…and I’m not always successful!), so that I can really easily focus on my art when I get that precious free time. I think my biggest advice here is that you CAN make it work- it just takes a little planning and discipline. Every morning, I get up between 5-530am so that I know I’ll have at least an hour or two before my daughter wakes. I spend a few minutes thinking about what I want to/need to accomplish that day and anything that I can do with her by my side, I plan to do with her (even if it makes it harder). That leaves the things that are nearly impossible to do with her (painting, printing/packing orders), and I try to save those for when she is asleep or occupied. It’s never a perfect balance- ever!! But I guess you just keep going at it, every day, in order to make it all work.
How does being an artist make you a better mother to your children? What do you hope they take away from seeing you as an artist doing something that fulfills you?
I love how you phrased this question!! I think the biggest way it makes me a better mother (at this phase of parenting, because my daughter is still so young), is that it allows me to feel more fulfilled in the big picture. I don’t have that “what if?” feeling and I think it helps lessen the (occasionally overwhelming) feeling that your whole day is just filled with chores! (You know, wake up, put away the dishes, change diapers, clean up thrown-toddler-food, try to avoid a baby-meltdown at the store, make dinner, put to bed, repeat…) Allowing time for the creative side creates a balance for me that is, in turn, good for our whole family. And then of course, as my daughter grows and gets older, I want her to really believe she can do anything she is willing to pursue with a passion!
Where do you paint or create? What are your favorite things about your workspace and what would you improve? Do you ever create art with your kids?
I have a studio in the garage- ok, it’s actually just a work table my husband built, along with some drawers for all my paint… It’s nice to have some space to spread out a little and not have to clean it up every time I get pulled away. The only downside is that the lighting is not great. We have a guest room/office upstairs and that’s where I do all of my printing and packing, but someday, I would love to have a room/studio/office that is my dedicated space to do with as I please- white walls, GREAT lighting, lots of hot pink and aqua all over. I guess I need to sell a few more paintings & notecards to make that happen, right?! Sometimes, I’ll bring my watercolors into the kitchen (the lighting is great) and paint at the table while my daughter plays… although usually I’m lucky if that lasts more than 10 minutes! I can’t wait until she’s old enough to sit and paint with me… I LOVED creating art when I was a kid and hope she will have fun with it too.
Do you have any tips to streamline / delegate / outsource household and childcare activities so that you can focus more time on your art? Has your lifestyle changed in any major ways?
Ok, I am always open to learning this same thing from others so I don’t consider myself an expert! But I think my biggest learning so far has been two things- 1) If it’s not urgent or important, it can wait! That means laundry can go an extra day!! Sometimes I put a lot of pressure on myself to do everything, and I want it all done well (any other OCD mama’s relate?) but I’ve realized doing everything means some things won’t get done as well as they need to. I would rather be a great mom and wife, and feel fulfilled as a person and artist, then have a totally spotless laundry room and meals from scratch every night… and 2) If it’s possible to do it with your little one(s), do it, and save the rest for your alone time! For example, I used to wait until my daughter went down for her morning nap to shower and get ready but by the time I was done, I would only have 15 min or so, to paint! So now, I shower while she crawls around the bathroom (which is sometimes tricky if she’s throwing a fit or wants to keep opening the shower door) so I can use the entire nap hour to paint. For me, it was figuring a bunch of little “hacks” like that, so that I could slowly create more time in the day for art.
My lifestyle has DEFINITELY changed since having a little one, but I think the greatest change has been the “clarity”. I think I used to feel like I could give my attention to everything, and that if I just buckled down enough, I could make it all work. But we all have a limited amount of time and energy to spend and I want to spend mine wisely. I know I want to be totally present for my daughter in the day, when we play or read. When my husband comes home, I want to be able to give him at least a few minutes of undivided attention, to connect and hear about each other’s day. And maybe most surprisingly (to me), I know I want to make my creative side a priority- it’s not just a hobby, it’s a big piece of my overall well-being!
Do you have any big goals or dreams for your art that you’d like to share? What would be your dream project?
So many, I don’t know where to begin! Haha… but specifically, I’d love to grow Violet Tinder into a bigger stationery/paper goods brand, and make sure it’s synonymous with FUN and COLOR! I love collaborating and I’d like to continue working with other artist and brands to expand my creative horizons. Life is hard work, and I want to bring just a little more magic to the world!