This Mother's Day we talked with Jillian Goulding, Lynne Millar, Hannah Winters, and our founder Jenny Komenda about what motherhood means to them and how being a mother has influenced their art. Their responses were so heartwarming and beautiful. Today we celebrate all of the wonderful women in our lives. Happy Mother's Day!
Q: What does motherhood mean to you?
"In a word, motherhood means everything to me. Everything. It's an opportunity every single day to raise my babies to love others, be kind, and lift each other up. It's also taught me so much about slowing down and embracing a childlike wonder toward the world. Everything is extra special through a child's eyes. And even though some days are absolutely brutal, there's still a beauty in the mess and the chaos. It's unlike anything I've ever done, and raising my 5 littles is the most rewarding job I could've ever asked for!"
"I gave birth to our miracle twin boys, Camp and Wells, after years of suffering from illness and infertility. Their first breaths on this earth brought total redemption and an abundance of healing, wholeness, and peace. For the first time in my life I felt like my true self - I was completely unrestrained and I fell hopelessly in love with these two boys. I could go on and on about the ways my boys have changed me, but they've ultimately shown me that motherhood is a protective force and love I never knew I was capable of. It is truly a remarkable gift that is both peaceful and overwhelming, selfless and sacrificing, and a brave, kind, beautiful chaos."
"My role as a mother has shaped me the most, has required the most, and is the responsibility and honor most dear to me. Motherhood can be all-encompassing - it trickles into every part of me and wonderfully flavors everything I do. The intensity of the love can be overwhelming, but isn’t that intensity also the most beautiful part of life? My daughters inspire me to be more present, playful, sensitive and curious - all foundational parts of becoming a better artist and business leader."
Q: How has being a mother influenced your art?
"Motherhood has taught me that most important things just take time. My oldest child is now 20 (!). I see how some challenges resolve themselves, and others, you just learn to live with. This has equal application to an art practice - many things just take time (and a whole lot of failure!) to figure out. To just keep going is the trick."
"Motherhood forced me to truly look at myself for the first time - I was exhausted and depleted every day and it left me to think about how I wanted to spend the few moments I had to myself while they napped or after I put them to bed at night. It stripped me of who I thought I was and made me realize that art actually made me happy. Painting made me happy. I slowly pulled my paints out of storage and quietly worked while they slept. Mothering my boys has everything to do with the influence on my art and without them, I would have never been brave enough to look in the mirror. I recently heard words by Lori Hetteen that peace is often paired with quietness and stillness, but it’s untrue - “peace is the mighty clamor of chains being ripped clean from the wall.” I truly believe our boys entered this world with the loud and joyous kind of peace that freed their mother from chains she put on herself."
"Work-life integration is so much more achievable than work-life balance. Being a mother of four has been an adventure in learning how to prioritize and let go of the shiny-but-unessential things in life in favor of the slower-burning deep relationships and endeavors. Looking back over the last 15 years of my life as a mother and a creative, the thing I’m probably most proud of is how my family has been such a big part of everything I’ve taken on. Their fingerprints are on every one of my projects (sometimes literally! ha!). I’m so grateful for these wonderfully open, helpful and creative human beings that teach me so much."
"Being a mama to 5 babes has been the thing that pushed me to make art I'm proud of, more than anything else. Capturing the personalities of my clients, helping them feel confident, and showcasing the beauty of their surroundings, isn't all that different from raising children. It's about connection. It's about trust. It's about showing that you care. It’s about helping them see the beauty in themselves that you see through your lens. Showing up as a present mama has only allowed me to show up more confidently as a present photographer for my clients and create art that matters to them, and to me."