Do you have a passion that you just can't shake? Something you've put aside or even given up on, because, you know... life happened? Meet Kyah, an artist by day and full-time mother of 5 who shows us that you should chase your passion no matter what life has in store for you. We asked Kyah a few questions to find out how she created a successful art business while juggling the demands of a large family.
What inspired you to become an artist?
I always drew as a child. I was encouraged by my family and friends to draw all the time. It was the only pursuit I loved. Then when I had a family of my own, my aspirations of becoming an artist seemed trivial in comparison to loving and raising five children. When my youngest child started school, I realised I had more time to pursue my dream. We moved house, my husband built me a studio with inspiring rural views. I now paint almost every day whilst looking out to that beautiful view with cattle grazing in the distance and the company of two dogs and a cat in the studio.
How did you get to where you are today? Quickly walk us through some of the major steps in your journey.
My first big step was social media. I created a Facebook and Instagram page. I learnt quickly to become very selective on what I posted. By chance my work was seen by galleries and I was invited to exhibit in a number of shows almost immediately. I became represented by galleries and my work continued to sell quickly. In my first year of painting, I concentrated on only supplying galleries and stockists and did not take on commissions. The thought of trying to keep up with the demand when I was only new to being an artist was overwhelming. However, this year I've decided to do the opposite. I've produced numerous commissions and it has taken up much of my painting time.
What challenges have you faced starting your business as an artist whilst also raising a family of five children?
The biggest challenge at first was creating balance. I delved into my art practice and family, home life and health was not such a priority. Within a year I realised something had to give. I am very selective with the commissions I take on and only create other pieces when I have the time.
What advice would you give to others wanting to pursue their own passions?
My advice is to be yourself and find your niche and experiment!
I have experimented with every aspect of art. I've used every medium and painted every subject. By doing so I have found my niche. I have found what I love and I have found what resonates with myself and the viewer. Also, there is nothing wrong with being different, don't follow the crowd, have integrity and passion and you will find your strength.
Walk us through a day in your life.
I have a routine of exercising in the morning after dropping the children to school to clear my mind. I am in the studio by midday on most days and finish up by 5 or 6pm. I have lots of breaks and interruptions which I enjoy! I try to get into the studio on the weekends if we are not travelling somewhere and unintentionally, always seem to have Mondays off!
I interact on social media mainly at night so it is not such a distraction during the day or sometimes post something really early in the morning if my night is too busy.
My family are still my number one priority and we revolve everything around what our children are doing. We spend quality time together and often enjoy BBQ's in the evening as the sun sets.
What does the future hold for you? Where do you see yourself in 5 years time and what will you be working on?
I never know? I would never have thought three years ago that I would be working full time as a practising artist. Everything and every moment of being an artist has surprised me. I just continue to be myself and strive to get better as an artist. I hope in five years time that I am more confident in myself as an artist and that I have the desire to continue to paint and love my work. I can see that I have evolved in a short space of time so I am excited for the future and look forward to the journey.