Tell us a bit about yourself and your business
I was born in South Africa and moved to Toronto when I was five. As a kid I wouldn’t go anywhere without a sketchbook and pencil crayons. I am so fortunate that I have been able to build a career as an artist. I do large multimedia paintings on Plexiglass. My pieces are a combination of photography, acrylic paint and computer-drawn graffiti, and they are designed to be backlit by an LED light panel.
How many kids do you have?
My husband and I have three amazing boys [3½, 6½ and 8 ½], and our house is a riot of noise, lego and scooters whizzing by.
How did you get started? When did you start – before or after having kids?
In my previous life I was a Senior Advertising Art Director. When I had my first child everything shifted. While I still loved the work, I was craving a more personal creative outlet. I was drawn to the back alleys of Toronto and the talented street artists and writers who have the same intrinsic desire to create. In between freelance jobs, I was able to spend time at home with my son and experiment in the studio. My work is the culmination of all of the facets of my past career and my love for art. I can’t say that I work any less now, but it is infinitely satisfying to build my own business in something that I am so passionate about.
Can you describe your philosophy on parenting?
Make sure to laugh – a lot! It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily routines and struggles of meals, activities, homework and bedtime. Don’t let a day pass without a dance party and a good old zerbert!
How do you manage your family? Are there specific ideals you value?
A good friend once told us that ‘values are caught, not taught’. We are conscious of the values we model for our kids and work hard at demonstrating empathy, charity, kindness, perseverance and honesty.
What is your work/home life balance like and how do you manage it?
Achieving a state of 50/50 balance is impossible. I do the best that I can on any given day, always leaning more or less on one side of the equation. I try to prioritize my tasks and focus on the must-do’s, and cut myself slack when I can’t live up to my own expectations or forget a costume day [d’oh!].
What are some of your favorite ways to relax or treat yourself?
A great book in the bathtub, an amazing bottle of wine with my husband, or dinner with friends where we laugh so hard we can’t actually breathe. Every year we travel somewhere without our kids [last month we were in Croatia with friends] which is an amazing way to reconnect and maintain the foundation of our family.
If you could tell all the parents on Pink and Blue one thing, what would it be?
Try to shake off the endless guilt and stress and focus on the moment that you are in – whether you working on a deadline or having dinner with your kids. You can only focus on one thing at a time so make it count!
How has becoming a parent changed you?
Becoming a mother has changed every part of me, causing a massive shift in my perspective. As my kids have grown into little men I know that the decisions I make have an audience, and that they will inform my boys future decisions. Also, I can’t pass a ‘digger’ without the urge to show it to someone.