In a recent trip to Holkham Beach, I found footprint patterns littering the sand. I was followed the path of the beach-skittering birds had taken, enamored with the simplicity and beauty of their print. After photographing a number of them, I have recreated these prints into shapes with watercolor. I plan to create a new pattern design for my product shops.
My photo library is filled with bits and pieces of inspiration. These photos are taken of landscapes, a quirky position of colorful umbrellas, scraps of broken plate on the ground, patterns in brick lines – anything that catches my eye by marking the checkboxes of shape, form, color, function, balance, so on and so forth. Each of these photos is kept until used, though some have been neglected for years. But all this to say, process is not instantaneous. It takes time and consideration, needs to be true to the world at that time.
Each person has their way of using inspiration. What's yours? Comment below.
My finger hovered over the ‘return’ button, ready to send the email where I explain to my awesome boss at my awesome job that I was leaving. My daughter Emerson was 10 months old, trying desperately to walk but falling instead, clinging while wanting independence … you might know the stage. I hovered and hesitated because I had already given so much of myself to creating, birthing, and caring for this little human. How could I possibly give up this, too?
As hard as it was and as many feelings as I felt, I did. And I’m glad. Now, once again, it’s time to update my resume. My girls have grown to school-age leaving me more time to myself. Now, nearly one year has passed since opening my online art shop, my life-long dream. But a small worry is nagging me: How do I explain my absence of a “steady work history" after leaving my career to care for my daughters?
I researched but most of the articles I found were largely unhelpful for my experience and situation. They were directed more so to those laid-off, or changing careers, or quitting and traveling, or similar. None about motherhood. This position is not often referred to as a "job" so upon reflection why did it sound like one? What exactly did I do doing those years? Turns out, I did a lot. Too much at times while always thinking it was too little. I never had a lack of steady work; I was tasked with increased responsibility and I adapted in kind. I am a boss girl to the max.
My resume has now been updated, the creation and the raising of these little humans now humorously reflected in my work history.
Images are ©Ashley Stuart. All reproduction or use of images is prohibited without written consent. If you see an artwork that you would like to own, but it's not in the shop, get in touch and I'll try to make it happen!