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Shops that Shine - Creative Mamma

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Incredibly happy to have Joy from Creative Mamma here today to chat about her work. I first connected with Joy through the Oh My Handmade community and was immediately impressed by her authenticity and kindness. She shines as a source of creativity and inspiration. I've especially enjoyed discussing motherhood and transitions with Joy...which is why I'm so glad she's here to share her perspective.

Welcome Joy! Your drawings & design are charming - tell us where you find your inspiration.

Thanks so much for having me, Allisa!  I’m honored to be a part of this wonderful series and I really have enjoyed learning about the other shops that you have featured. With regards to my inspiration, my drawings are inspired by just about anything (I know, I know, everyone says that – but it’s true!). The printables that I make are usually inspired by my kids. I love making things that they can hopefully use in the future. Oh, and since I was a former teacher, I love to make things that teachers can use in their classrooms. 

You’ve mentioned your shop is in a transitional phase, can you tell a bit more about what changes, adjustments, or directions you’re taking the business?

In February of this year, my second baby was born. For some reason, I thought that I can keep the momentum of my creative business and balance the two little guys/family, and a full time job.  After a few stressful months, I had to really evaluate what I was doing.  Having a stressed out mom is no fun for anyone, so I made the decision to take huge step back and focus on my family.

Currently, I'm just having fun creating/drawing. Most of what I make end up being free.  Since I started giving things away, I've gotten so much in return (freelance jobs, etc), that I'm really just enjoying this phase of my life. I'm also taking classes/learning a lot because I feel a shift in my art and I'm just going with it...  Plus, not having the pressure of running the shop on top of my regular job and raising the babies has been such a huge weight off my shoulders. Life is just way to short to be stressed all the time.
My current plan is to make some fun free printables, do a little freelance work on the side, and enjoy every moment with my guys. 

Which aspect of creative business is the most enjoyable to you? And which has challenged you the most?

I think the most enjoyable part of the business (aside from creating) is the social aspect.  I really enjoy meeting and connecting with people on twitter, etc. The flip side of that is also the most challenging, I feel like I’m always behind in my social media interactions.  Social media has become a little bit overwhelming to me right now – so I’m also taking more breaks and stepping away from twitter and facebook from time to time.

How have you approached balancing family & work & creating? What works best for you?
To be honest, I don’t think that I will ever learn how to balance everything, and I’m ok with that.  I’m the type of person that has to learn the hard way every time, so here are some tricks that has helped me along the way:

  1. It’s ok to take the long road.  I don’t like driving on the highway, so I will purposely take the long-side-street way to get to my destination. The travel time is a little bit longer, but I get to my destination eventually. So with my business, I’m ok, that things are slow – I’ll get to my creative destination at some point, it might just take me a little longer to get there.
  2. It’s ok to not do it all.  This was hard for me to accept because I’m the type of person that takes something on and gives it 110%.  So when I had to evaluate my life, I had to really switch my mindset and learn to just chill out and enjoy life rather than run through it.
  3. It’s ok to take a break.  I wake up extra early so I can put in some drawing time everyday.  It’s my form of meditation.  When I take breaks for myself, I find that I can focus on my family/life more.

What is your biggest dream for Creative Mamma?
My ultimate dream for Creative Mamma is for the website to be a place where people can go to find fun/useful things (apps, printables, etc.) that they can use in their day to day.  

Thanks again for having me, Allisa!  

you can find more of Joy here:

Creative Mamma CreativeMamma.com
Facebook Facebook.com/CreativeMamma
Twitter twitter.com/JoyCharde
Etsy etsy.com/theartofjoy


Danielle Renee said...

I like her stance on "its ok to not do it at all", though it be a hard one to swallow.

Joy said...

Thanks again for having me, Allisa! :)

@Danielle, Thanks! It is super hard and it took me a good 5 months after the baby was born to really learn to be ok with not being able to do it all... Not easy, for sure!

Lakshmi said...

I love Joy ! such an amazing doodler..and love chatting with her on twitter.
So important to prioritize everything. Thank you for sharing your story, Joy.

Joy said...

Lakshmi, You always make my day! Love right back to you, friend!

hello. said...

Thank you again Joy for such a lovely interview! Your perspective is so refreshing :)