Move LifeStyle

Move LifeStyle

The Art of Balance: Collage Artist Hollie Chastain

Chattanooga based artist Hollie Chastain is one of my most favorite mixed media artists. She transforms found paper and vintage book covers into gorgeous collages. {I have one on my wall as we speak!} She is a successful, busy, full time artist, not to mention a successful, busy, full time mom.

JC: Hi Hollie! So, two questions in one: When do you find time to make your lovely work with two kids? Do you have a home studio, or do you have a studio outside of the home?
HC: I have a home studio right now so I get in a work day (most days) while the kids are at school. There are still dogs and cats and laundry at home to contend with, but I make it work most days.

JC: What do your son (12) and daughter (10) think about you “being an artist”?
HC: They both think it’s pretty cool. My daughter has the “art gene” and is snitching supplies every weekend and constantly creating. Because they’re getting older, lately they’ve picked up on the fact that this career doesn’t consist only of making things all day. I wish it did! My daughter especially is becoming more and more interested by the business side of things and asking a lot of questions. I think it’s a career that takes a little while for kids to wrap their heads around.

JC: Do you ever feel “mom guilt” when you’re in the studio?
HC: Oh, definitely! I have anxiety about whatever part of my life that I’m not participating in at that time. If I’m at the school helping out or on a field trip,  I constantly worry about work. When I’m in the studio,  I constantly worry about what I’m missing out on. I’m sure that setting definite regular studio hours would ease this stress but it’s so hard to set hours when you have no idea what’s going to happen next with a busy family.

JC: Is your work different now than before your children were born? If so, did they any influence over it?
HC: I worked as a graphic designer in advertising until about 5 years ago, so I’ve never known a full-time studio life without kids. When my job was moved across the country, and I had no desire to follow it, I decided to stay home and get my thoughts together for a few months and try a few things out. I think if I were childless I might have jumped directly into another full-time job, but it felt great being able to pull them out of summer childcare and get back to what I loved while I cared for them.

JC: Do you see your life as an artist and your life as a mother as two separate things, or do they go hand in hand?
HC: It’s definitely two separate things for me. My children inspire me everyday, and contribute to who I am as a person, but I have always had the opinion that one of the most important things about being a mother is to be an individual, stand-alone woman at times too– having time away every now and then, keeping interests alive and feeding yourself. You must fill yourself up in order to give so much, as mothers do.

And there you have it! Thanks so much to Hollie for fitting us into her busy schedule! See you all back here in two weeks with more questions for more artists ~ danielle {aka The Jealous Curator}

Author Description

Danielle Krysa

Danielle Krysa has a BFA, and a post-grad in Design. After years of looking at beautiful contemporary art and thinking "Damn, I wish I thought of that", she decided to say it out loud, and in 2009 The Jealous Curator. was born. She writes daily posts showcasing artwork from around the world, and is currently writing two books to be published by Chronicle Books in 2014. The Jealous Curator has been featured by Sunset Magazine, Frankie Magazine, Apartment Therapy and Glamour Paris.

Move LifeStyle is an e-zine for the modern working woman created by Autumn Reeser, Jenn Wong and Ashley Fauset.

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