50: Building tangible community in your neighborhood with Amy Soczka, Megan Woodard Johnson and Mindy Wittock

In today’s episode, I talk with three amazing women from outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, about the power of Instagram to connect like-minded artist/mothers, opening yourself to community, and claiming space and time for your art even in the clutter and compromise of family life.  

While these women came together through social media, they bonded through making work that stood out from that of their peers. Amy, Mindy, and Megan discuss the value of finding mutual understanding among other artist/mothers. Being both an artist and a mother can be isolating, so finding supportive community is crucial to making sure both parts of your life — in tandem — are sustainable and healthy. 

If Artist/Mother has taught me one thing, it’s that if you can’t find a suitable platform for your community, build it! Amy, Mindy, and Megan have done the same through sharing experience, motivation, and space together while forging new opportunities to grow as both an artist and a person. They discuss navigating local and larger art scenes, fighting self doubt, and encouraging each other to go out to gallery shows (or validating the choice to stay in!), They also talk about the value of committing to take the time to do studio visits, co-work, or sometimes even just get coffee and catching up.

Amy, Mindy, and Megan’s advice for crafting community? Take the plunge to reach out to people you admire or whose work resonates with yours in pursuit of continuing to create collective, collaborative knowledge about artist-mothering! Show up for others and hope they’ll return the favor — get involved! Lastly, be true to yourself, your work, and your goals, and seek the same out in your creative connections. 

Please check out more from these amazing women on their websites and IG pages!
Megan Woodard Johnson @meganwoodardjohnsonart
Amy Soczka @amysoczka
Mindy Wittock @mindymaker

The Artist/Mother podcast is created and hosted by Kaylan Buteyn. You can see more of Kaylan’s work on her website or connect with her on Instagram @kaylanbuteyn

Mindy, Amy and Megan working at a local coffee shop
Painting by Amy Soczka
Amy in her studio
Sacred Textile by Mindy Wittock: New Kids on the Block Sleeping Bag, Hand Cut Felt Dots, Thread Year: 2018
Mindy in studio with her children
Megan working in her studio
Painting by Megan- Right Where You Left It: mixed media on panel, completed January 2020

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