93: Pushing Pause on Your Art Career to Enjoy Young Motherhood with Emily Sanford and Meredith C. Bullock

Artist/Mother Podcast
Artist/Mother Podcast
93: Pushing Pause on Your Art Career to Enjoy Young Motherhood with Emily Sanford and Meredith C. Bullock

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you pushed pause on pursuing your art career? Would you feel freedom or regret or frustration or peace? I know it’s a question so many artist/mothers wrestle with and I am honored to share this episode in which I have a conversation about this very topic with two incredible women. Let me  introduce you to two long-term friends of mine – Meredith C. Bullock and Emily C. Sanford. Meredith and Emily are both talented artists working in very different ways – Meredith as a painter of large abstract works, life coach, and author, and Emily as a surface pattern designer, and now floral painter. 

When these ladies were ascending to the greatest heights in their respective art careers, they made the agonizing decision to push pause. These breaks, though challenging, ultimately brought each of them more clarity in their identities – both personally and artistically. Meredith recalls how much of her self-worth was wrapped up in making money, and how this pause in her career helped her see that there is so much more to happiness and fulfillment than how much money she can bring in. Emily talks about the creative doors that opened for her once she started making art for herself and not always making art as a product. They both agree that this time off from their art careers, while their kids are so little, has been life-changing and has brought so much peace to their family dynamic.

We also talk about the ups and downs of Instagram – how it can be a great marketing and business tool, but also a source of anxiety and stress. Both Meredith and Emily recall their great successes they experienced through Instagram, but also the pressure they felt to create the perfect posts and to respond to every comment and direct message. Now, after having time to reflect, they both agree that they would approach Instagram differently this time – taking care to make it more personal, but not rely so much on it for sales and validation. Through this conversation we all agree that women work differently. Some feel more at peace while producing but have a hard time resting, and some need rest and space to be able to give more fully to the people around them. Self-care, in all its various forms, and within all personality types, means taking time for yourself, and these two women were brave enough to make drastic changes to do just that.

Final Five (Meredith):
Biggest art crush: Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dalí, Georgia O’Keefe
Dream Trip: Ireland
Inspiring book or film: Atomic Habits by James Clear
Favorite meal: New York pizza
Shout-out: Kaylan, her husband Nick, her Mom, and Mother-in-law

Final Five (Emily):
Biggest art crush: Makoto Fujimura
Dream Trip: Hawaii
Inspiring book or film: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Favorite meal: Thai food or a good New York bagel
Shout-out: husband Dan, Kaylan, and her friend Jen

You can still find Emily and Meredith occasionally on Instagram so be sure to check them out and say hello! I’m sure they would appreciate knowing that sharing their story meant something to you. See Emily’s gorgeous art here – @emilysanforddesign and Meredith’s stunning paintings here @meredithcbullock.

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

Emily’s photos:

“The Dew Before the Sun”, gouache and wax pastel on paper, 2020
Studio Scene from Emily’s home
Emily’s prior work as a pattern designer
Emily on her home land in Western New York, USA
Emily and her oldest daughter, Clara
“Yesterday’s Delight”, gouache and wax pastel on paper, 2020

Meredith’s Photos:

“Blending”, acrylic and pastel on canvas, 40″ x 40″, 2020
Meredith’s son, Noah, helping in her home studio, 2019
“Wrong Way”, acrylic, pastel and ink on canvas, 18″ x 24″, 2018
Meredith working in her home studio in 2019
Meredith and two of her boys
Meredith’s home studio in 2019
Dream Commission Meredith discusses that she completed in 2018

2 Responses

  1. Loved this podcast! Will definitely subscribe and listen to the other episodes. I am also a mother artist and this podcast felt so refreshing. Both artists referenced faith as part of their journey and I am wondering if there are podcast about faith and art?

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