Updated: Mar 31
You see constant reminders on social media about how motherhood can consume your former self. Individualty becomes muted. Washing days become everyday and you find yourself looking for things to clean throughout the sleep routines. Sleep when they sleep isn't a thing - Did a man invent that?
Before you know it you are a walking talking baby robot. You are made to believe that is exactly what you should be. In 2016 I had just moved to a new town to be closer to my husbands work. The house was bigger the area was better. But I had without thinking completely isolated myself from friends and family. I couldn't drive and the town was a 30 minute brisk walk. I had my 2 year old daughter and newborn premature son to keep me company but 8am-5.30pm with no adult conversation became draining. I literally became a silent zombie over time. Most of it I can't recall but what I can makes me feel horrendous. My house was always spottless and the food always home cooked. I wasn't failing as a person but I realised I was failing as me. I had completely lost myself. Something made me question what was next. I knew the timeline for the children.. preschool then school. But what was mine? I craved a personal goal. I decided that I wanted to continue to build my art portfolio in the evenings and afternoon when the children slept.
Previously I had been a student at Derby university studying Ilustration. I graduated with BA Hons degree and I had just had my daughter. My portfolio hadn't been touched since 2014. I set up an Instagram account exclusively for art and design. As I began posting my followers started to creep up. Then people started asking me to create things for them. I told myself it was out of pity and it most likely was but I was happy to do it for experience.
After 12 months of living in that beautiful house I realised it wasn't right. I needed to return back to Derbyshire. We moved back to a smaller home in the middle of town and we were so much happier. My portfolio turned into a very small business and started to focus on children's illustrations. I applied for markets and showcased back at Derby university.
IVY OAK DESIGN didn't come from a well thought out business plan or a start up fund. It came from someone who was lost and muted. My art saved me as a individual. It was never a business plan based on making a profit. Being a mother and a freelance designer has had its challenges and often times I have been used by other businesses because of my vunerability. But it was the best thing I ever did.