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Mother Maker Podcast
55 minutes | Feb 28, 2020
#11: Naima Adedapo, singer-songwriter & yoga instructor
As a new mom, Naima Adedapo was a finalist on season 10 of American Idol. We talk all about her experience on the show, coming into her voice through country music, and how finding yoga has transformed her life while raising her two daughters, ages 10 and 12.
45 minutes | Feb 13, 2020
#10: Digital Artist and Poet Emily French
I think one of the most magical things about having kids is to be a witness to someone experiencing life for the very first time. For Emily French, this incredible phenomenon is a major source of inspiration, so much so that when her children were small, she took them out of daycare so that they could be home with her while she worked on her art practice. Now, her kids are in school, but that initial step helped her to confirm what she wanted to be doing with her life. What I love about Emily’s work is that it is initially bright, sunny, and joyful. When she told me she overcame a dark time in her life battling depression and an eating disorder, it made me pause. She is now in her element, making art and writing every day, while raising kids, from a place of wellness. We all have periods of pain, trauma, darkness in our pasts, but it’s a beautiful thing to come out of the darkness and find yourself living in your truth. Thanks for reading. Love, Emma
43 minutes | Jan 29, 2020
#9: Brooklyn Artist Melissa Murray
I'm just returning to working on the site and podcast since our baby girl, Susannah was born in August. I took a break from Mother Maker for awhile, much longer than anticipated, but every time I come back to working on these interviews, I’m reminded that this work is so important. Moms are tough. We push through. Sometimes it’s really hard to just articulate why you’re struggling, or how someone else could even help. Sometimes it feels easier to just do everything yourself, even if you’re doing it through tears. I speak to these women and I hear things that I don’t hear being talked about, even in social media. These interviews make me feel more connected to others, less alone, and I loved talking with Brooklyn artist Melissa Murray. She's got a new project in the works, Mother Tongue, and one of the things we spoke about is whether or not we should call attention to our work being about motherhood when it is, or if we should let the work speak for itself. What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading. Love, Emma.
34 minutes | May 24, 2019
#8: Rabbel Magazine founder Julie Comfort
Julie Comfort is an American expat living in Berlin with her partner Bo, and two daughters: Tully, age 12 and Nova, age one. She created Rabbel Magazine for preteen girls, both out of a nostalgia of the magazines she read as a kid, but also to build something inspiring for her daughter’s generation. The birth of the Rabbel Magazine also came with the birth of Julie’s second baby, 11 years after becoming a mother for the first time. We talked a lot about how much more difficult this one has been for Julie. We also dive into how hard Julie is working to foster an attitude of letting go of perfectionism in her work as she is raising her girls.
40 minutes | May 10, 2019
#7: Sara Infante, Illustrator in Portugal
I actually met Sara through the Mother Maker Facebook group, Mother Maker: Artists Raising Humans. She had been following the Mother Maker interviews on the website and on our Instagram account, and when she began posting some of her work in the Facebook group, I really fell in love with it. I love Sara's illustrations for their bright colors and her use of line, but also for the way she draws her characters: through a lens of fun and whimsy, full of life and complexity. Sara has two children, ages two and nine months, and one on the way, due in September. Sara's first child was born prematurely at 29 weeks, and because he came so unexpectedly, Sara had to continue working nearly immediately after he was born. I love her perspective on how she dealt with such a challenging period in her life. Just a note, we talk in the interview about Sara’s new website launch. Well, it has launched since we recorded this interview, so be sure to check it out. sarainfante.com. Thanks for reading. Love, Emma
42 minutes | Apr 25, 2019
#6: Megan Woodard Johnson, Artist
It was a therapist that helped Megan see that she needed to rediscover her art after staying home with her young children for four years. Although it was a process, her basement art practice became her career, and has evolved over the course of her motherhood story to becoming a livelihood for her family. It was that modest private basement space that was really key to her being able to connect with her self each day.
42 minutes | Apr 12, 2019
#5: Christine Llewellyn Ohemeng of Christine Joy Design
Christine Llewellyn Ohemeng has been a featured artist for companies like Minted, West Elm, and Crate and Barrel. With her youngest only nine months old, Christine works from home while her two older kids are in school, and she trying to be strategic about coming up with her next move. This is a skill she learned from her career-oriented mother, who worked for the United Nations and whose travels continue to influence Christine's art today.
49 minutes | Mar 28, 2019
#4: Mary-Kathryn Stevens-Toffin, Violist
I’ve known Mary-Kathryn for awhile; she and my husband were colleagues at the New World Symphony, a training academy for aspiring orchestral musicians in Miami, Florida. Training to become a professional classical musician is a lifelong pursuit. Mixing motherhood and career has not always been the norm for professional classical musicians. In fact, it’s also only been in the last 50 or 60 years that women have even held jobs in professional orchestras. This is one of the reasons I started this project in the first place. In my classical music training, I saw very few female professionals who also had children. Now with our generation, it’s becoming much more common. Mary-Kathryn Stevens-Toffin is not only a successful violist in a major orchestra, she’s raising two kids with her husband Olivier, and running an Etsy shop on top of it all.
40 minutes | Mar 22, 2019
#3: Mandy Blankenship, Artist
While I've been following Mandy's work for some time, I hadn't realized until we spoke for this interview that she is mom to a child with special needs. Her daughter, Etta, has Turner Syndrome. After a four year battle with infertility, Mandy found out about her daughter's diagnosis early on in her high-risk pregnancy, which ended in a premature delivery at 34 weeks.
36 minutes | Mar 15, 2019
#2: Mychaelyn Michalec, Artist
Mychaelyn Michalec's Instagram bio says: “painter of domestic life." She paints her family, literally sitting around on their phones. When I first saw Mychaelyn's work, this is what struck me. She makes no apologies for the reality that is: her teenagers will be on their phones. Adults will be on their laptops. Sometimes all while everyone's sitting around watching TV. This is what family looks like now.
33 minutes | Mar 8, 2019
#1: Rachel Alvarez, Artist
What I love about this conversation with Rachel is that even though she studied in art in college, she never saw it as a career path. It wasn't until she was 35 years old, with a two-and-a-half year old at home, that she realized painting could give her a mental break from the difficult job of being a stay-at-home mom. Now she's making her living as a full-time painter, after leaving a corporate career, and she's not looking back. Rachel is a painter and illustrator in Salisbury, Maryland, a coastal town on the East Coast. She's married with two kids, Mia and Christian, both under six. I love Rachel's work, because I can see characteristics of her home in a coastal town through her watercolor brush strokes, especially in her iconic prints of the United States.
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