As you know, I’ve been interviewing as many artists and parents and artists/parents as I can get my hands on.
There are equally as many challenges as moments of joy in making a living as an artist and I believe the same can be said of parenting. I’ve been curious to know how other artists and parents manage. So naturally, I found a bunch of them and asked a ton of questions! Since I’m a giver, I thought I’d share them with you.
Did you miss a few? Catch up!
Greg Tremblay – voice actor and homesteader.
ML Larson – the awesome uncle who uses British spellings despite living his whole life in the States.
Christine Tate – the Navy wife and homeschool mom who’s published her own bible study series.
Jane Danger – an author with the crazy cool name!
Julia Keanini – a newly self-published author and mother.
Horst Christian – the 84 year old man who moved here from Germany during the war and had my history buff of a step-dad going absolutely gaga over what he must have lived through.
Julie Ann Dawson – author/editor/publisher/gamer girl
Alex King – the author in love with exclamation points raising a little girl she describes as the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland
Heather Hamilton-Senter – An author, cover designer, singer, very talented lady
All done! FANTASTIC! I’ve loved getting to know all these people. I hope you’ve enjoyed it half as much as I have. Now, let’s get to know the woman with the beautiful name: Nirina Stone.
R. M. Webb: Tell me about yourself.
My name is Nirina Stone. I’m a new author (just published my debut!) a wife and a mom. I live in Sydney Australia with my husband and our two kids. We also have a Tortie kitten that’s a bit nuts, she might star in a future book… Oh, and I’m addicted to chocolate, books, coca cola and rain.
R. M. Webb: Why do you create?
Corny as it sounds, it makes me complete. If I didn’t/couldn’t write, I’d have to find some other way to express myself. Maybe become a famous rockstar? Who knows?
R. M. Webb: Quick! Chocolate or chips?
Chips. I know I wrote I’m a chocoaddict above, but in spite of that, I have a stronger salt tooth than sweet.
R. M. Webb: Is your art your business? Do you make money (or try to!) for the things you create? Do you have a day job?
I just started, so no pressure! But yes, this is my business. It wasn’t for the longest time, but I’ve embraced it fully now – this is my bliss. I’ve started making some money, and am confident there will be more. I belong in the ‘do what you love’ school of thought.
R. M. Webb: What caused you to want to market your art?
Realizing that my words can have an impact on people, and knowing that the market is saturated with a lot of not so great stories out there. I wanted to be one of the indies that stands out with quality products, professional work, and books that I’m proud of.
R. M. Webb: Where/when does inspiration strike?
In the shower, while I’m walking my kids to school, at two in the morning while I’m asleep, when I’m sitting in the car. Pretty much everywhere! I always have a small notebook to jot in when I’m not near a computer.
R. M. Webb: How do you react to negative feedback?
Not very well at all, though I pretend otherwise (the whole ‘fake it til you make it’). But my skin is getting thicker by the day!
R. M. Webb: What’s your greatest obstacle as an artist?
Coming out of my shell to actually share my work with “the world!” It would be so easy to just write and write and give the work to my husband to read, and then shelf the book, never to be seen again.
R. M. Webb: Who’s your biggest champion?
Hmm, not sure if that’s clear from above… my husband, definitely! He’s the one who tells me I can do this (even if I tell myself otherwise, some times).
R. M. Webb: Quick! Red or blue?
Red! Red all the way. Blue’s lovely too, though.
R. M. Webb: Do you have kids? If not, do you want to have kids?
I have two awesomesauce kids that challenge me and make me laugh every.single.day. It’s funny because, for several years, I was adamant that I didn’t want them. I don’t regret changing my mind about that now. They’re the best of the both of us.
R. M. Webb: If your child showed talent in an artistic endeavor, would you help her pursue a career in that field after having worked in a creative field yourself? Why or why not?
Absolutely! I know first hand what it’s like to try to stifle the creative side. Why would I discourage them? I think what’s important is that they do it for themselves (and that they always remember that). It’s important they do it because they actually want to, and not just because it’s the cool thing to do at the time. And to keep on at it, not giving up despite any naysayers, if that’s what they really want. They’re still small, so who knows if I change my mind at a later time.
R. M. Webb: How do you structure your day as an artist/entrepreneur/person/parent? How do you get it all done?
I didn’t, not until recently. My kids are both in school now, so I can call myself a full-timer. My laundry is starting to pile up but hey! Focus! Kids and family come first, then the writing, then the marketing/business side of things. I’ve found that my writing is best done first thing in the morning, so I hammer out what I can after walking them to school. Then, marketing and other business related things happen mid afternoon until I pick them up. Then, after they go to bed – more marketing, research, and editing. So far, it’s working well.
R. M. Webb: Describe yourself as a parent.
I’m a learnasIgo, onedayatatime parent (aren’t we all?) Before my kids though, I didn’t have much exposure to the littles. Where many other moms say it came naturally to them, I admit that I lurked on a lot of forums and googled the bejesus out of everything for advice! I’m never afraid of asking too many or too silly questions, so it worked out for me. I’m lucky too, though. My husband was born to be a dad, and he’s taught me so much along the way. It helps to have a kickass partner.
R. M. Webb: What’s the best thing about raising kids?
Having little helpers around the house! I’m only slightly kidding with that one. I love their endless, no strings attached ability to love. I love that they come for hugs first thing in the morning and don’t care about morning breath or scraggly hair lol. I love seeing my face and my hubby’s face in them. Watching them experience/understand something new for the first time. That’s priceless. Also, I don’t know if you notice this, but kids are hilarious! Especially at that toddler stage. Admittedly, I’m a bit of a sucker for slapstick.
R. M. Webb: What’s the hardest thing about raising kids?
Time goes by way too dang fast! Seriously… they were babies, and now they’re in school. Before we know it, they’ll be teens, then going to uni… I can’t handle the time thing.
Another thing is, they’re at an age where every single thing and story is such. a. big. deal! We better pay attention or we’ll never hear the end of it!
R. M. Webb: Are your kids ever involved with your art? Do they inspire you? Work with you? Would you like to include them in your business as they grow?
Not at the moment. So far, my work is a bit too dark/adult/not kidfriendly. They inspire me to think and to work harder, work faster. When I remind them to use their words, I’m reminding myself at the same time. For now, they’re super helpful around the house, which is a great help to me. As they grow (and if they’re keen), it would be cool to have them help me out on the business side as well.
R. M. Webb: What advice would you give someone dreaming of making it in your field?
I’d give them the advice I give myself. If you’re sure about this, if you’re sure this is what you want, don’t stop. Keep writing. Despite what they say, keep writing. Despite what your head says, keep writing. Despite your lack of sales/inspiration/ideas/energy/insert every other possible word here, keep writing. If you can keep writing, then yes, this is for you.
Keep writing. :)
R. M. Webb: If you could pass one thing on to the next generation in general, what would it be?
Become an entrepreneur. Work for yourself. Be your own boss. Create your own jobs. No one will hand you anything – go make it, and then go sell it, then go make something else. Rinse repeat. Oh, and go for a walk/run more for crying out loud!
R. M. Webb: What’s the best thing about your life?
My family.There is no lack of love in my life.
R. M. Webb: Quick! Eat out or cook at home?
Are you kidding? Can I pick a third one? Order in, thanks :)
R. M. Webb: What’s the hardest thing about your craft?
The business side (everything from editing to more editing and then editing some more to marketing.) I’m still reeling about how hard it was to write a blurb! And I’m still not satisfied with it. Sigh.
R. M. Webb: What’s the best thing about your craft?
Creating completely new worlds, people, and situations that didn’t otherwise exist. It’s insanely empowering! I also love the research side, when I hit an impasse. For example, in an upcoming novel, my protagonist thought she could walk into a big bank and (after a few hours) walk out with five million dollars in cash. After much research, I realized she’s due for a lot of grief. Writing situations is another way to learn how things ‘in real life’ are done. Fortunately, I found another way around that.
R. M. Webb: What’s the hardest thing about the business side of your craft?
Ugh. By far, marketing. It’s an unnatural thing for a true introvert like me. Every single cell in my body rejects all of it. So that kind of hurts a bit, though it’s absolutely necessary. I’ve loved figuring out everything else.
R. M. Webb: What’s the best thing about the business side of your craft?
Learning from other more experienced authors. So many others have tried and failed and tried and succeeded ahead of me. And most of them are willing to share their experience – it’s a fantastic network of like minded individuals.
Also, in this day and age an author can “make it” online – no need for inperson autographs and all that stuff (see ‘introvert’, above).
R. M. Webb: Quick! Your peanut butter’s on your banana. What do you do?
Nom nom nom burp. Sorry, what? You were asking something?
Wanna learn more? Check out Nirina’s website:
Or, just go right ahead and check out her book:
**Standard disclaimer: The views expressed in this post don’t necessarily reflect the views of R. M. Webb. **