Undoubtedly one of the amazing aspects of social media is the capacity for connectivity.
With a scroll and an add, we can meet like-minded, wonderful people who instantly contribute not just to our online community and experience, but they also enhance our understanding of the world.
For us, Anita Bagdi is that person.
Instantly we were blown away by Anita’s illustrations.
Something about them, particularly her depictions of motherhood, really spoke to us.
Anita’s intuitive approach to motherhood is also inspiring, and she is as friendly as she is talented.
From now on, whether she likes it or not, she is a firm part of the A Mama’s Mind Mamahood!
We managed to tease out some thoughts from this artistic and devoted mother, and here’s what she had to say:
Anita, we adore your work!
Your illustrations have so much energy; we think they really encapsulate the reality for many creative and ‘at-home-and-working’ mothers. As well as exploring many other culturally relevant issues, such as climate change, and offering pure escapism in your imaginative, children’s illustrations.
We’d really love to know:
What inspires you most to draw?
Mostly my children, their movements, their minds, the way they are thinking and seeing the world. They are so funny and honest!
I admire the beauty around me: in people, in words, in lines, in greyness, in colours, in modesty or in kindness. I observe and analyse a lot. Mostly feelings, behaviours and faces.
Motherhood is something huge in my life at the moment that I analyse a lot. Especially myself in it. How I lost myself in this beautiful commitment with a shock and how I regain myself; my new, stronger and hopefully wiser self, and how I feel that I still have so much to learn. And I am amazed every day, how every Mum goes through the same or very similar experience.
Hardship also inspires me somehow, maybe because you get out of your comfort zone and discover your unknown and untouched corners of your mind.
How long have you been drawing?
Since I was little. When I was 6-years-old, I decided that when I grew-up I would be an Illustrator and draw children’s books. Then life took me into different directions and I started to accept that art is going to stay as my ‘hobby’. I felt that this isn’t right and I kept moaning to my friends that …”but I want to be a Children’s book illustrator!” And one day, a very close friend of mine had enough of me and basically told me off and said, “Stop complaining, and start doing something then.” Ever since I am very grateful to this friend because this was the point when I actually started to draw more and more, and teach myself and push myself towards my dream.
What are your favourite subjects to draw?
Feelings. And people/little people as they ‘express themselves with their face and body.’
How do you juggle your creativity and motherhood?
Juggle is a good word, hehe. Of course, time is always an issue.
We don’t normally have help, grandparents live in an other country so it’s just us. I draw/paint after my children’s bedtime, during the nights until 1-2am and drink strong coffees during the days to have the stamina for school runs and playgrounds.
Occasionally, I have a couple of hours to create during the weekends but those are normally mega busy with family programs. So, I don’t really have time but somehow still manage to find it, mostly during the nights.
My husband is one of the best things that ever happened to me in my life and he is just brilliant. He is my best help with juggling. He is very supportive, patient and helps me every way to find time for creativity and for my passion. Whether it’s cooking, being with the girls or just pressing the pause button on my actual ‘the world is coming to an end’ worries with his wise words, he is there. I don’t know how he does it, but he is awesome. I’m blessed.
Many times our place is a mess and in the middle of it we sit down and draw, read or play, or we dance, have a coffee and chat about books, music or whatever. Lots of little moments, they all add up. There is no balance, just almost constant improvisation and taking life as it comes. Maybe that’s our balance? I’m not a very well organised person – let’s say since I have children. (I think I was alright before that. :)) but of course, children are first then my creative life.
Some of your work openly explores both the joy and the challenges of motherhood, how do you look after your wellbeing?
Not sure how to answer to this…My husband thinks I don’t look after myself at all…. Well, he may be right: I hardly sleep, I drink too much coffee, and apart of walking and running around a lot I don’t exercise enough.I guess I’m not the only Mum around with this summary. Of course I try to look after myself every day, but let’s face it, as a Mum with little ones and no help, it’s not an easy option. Still, I do what I can:
I used to do yoga and meditation which I have just started to practice regularly again.
We go swimming as a family once a week, there I can have 15-20 mins of swimming on my own which I love.
I listen to podcasts while cooking or doing house work and read when I can and these help me a lot to zoom out. I especially find buddhist teachings incredibly helpful in all areas of my life!
Meeting and talking with other mums is a huge help to keep in mind that we are all in the same ‘Club’, and it helps to laugh at our tiredness and struggles. It’s so good to know that we are not on our own and it’s all fine.
Drawing is my creative outlet, and even when I draw till 1-2 in the morning, that’s like a therapy, a meditation for me and I always become recharged when I finish a piece of art work.
It’s not easy to find the balance and it’s definitely hard to keep it but every day is a new day and I am fortunate that I can try and try again.
If you had any advice for new mothers struggling to get back in touch with their creative outlet, what would it be?
Being a Mum is great. It’s a gift. It’s love and loads of learning. As a new mother I needed to loose myself almost completely and learn who I am as a parent and how this works (if it does at all) with my ‘old self’. For me it took a while, for some other mothers it was obvious.
There is no right or wrong, just take motherhood as it is. Watch and learn without judging. Have no expectations as how much you create just enjoy every time you can. The rest will come when it’s time. And finally: all motherly cliches are true – “They (your children) grow up too fast and these times will never come back.”
So enjoy every minute of it. Thank you.
No. Thank you, Anita.
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