Emma – I studied Visual Arts, then Fine Arts Painting at university. The degree I did had a really intense drawing program, as well as painting. Pax & Hart came to be very organically. I started showing my illustrations on Instagram and to my surprise there were people who showed interest. I have received such amazing support on that funny little app. I had a few stores contact me asking if I would sell them and I couldn’t believe it! It was the perfect way for it to start for me, as I’m not someone who feels comfortable selling myself. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined this happening.
It’s a funny thing, I feel like my whole training to be an artist (from a child at primary school through to university) I was taught how to draw. Which I absolutely loved. But I now think it’s really important to ‘un-teach’ myself. I like to explore and see beauty in imperfections and playfulness when drawing. To find a way to express the funny little thoughts in my head in a non-literal way. I like to think maybe people interpret them in their own way, or can just appreciate them as a simple gesture.
My children keep me young, and have aged me at the same time! I see their little obsessions with such simple things – a certain animal, things they collect and put value on, things as adults we probably wouldn’t look twice at. I see their amazing imaginations and interest in wanting to know everything. I adore children’s art; they have no inhibitions. As an adult and artist the idea of staying young in my mind with my art is important. Life is too serious otherwise.
Motherhood has put a huge perspective on what is truly important in my life. As a mother I think it’s natural to always put your children first.
Funnily enough if it wasn’t for my children, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing with Pax & Hart prints. For now though, while they are still young and not at school yet, I put my career aspirations second. It’s really hard to get the balance right but I’m only doing what I can in my ‘spare’ time. I’d love to take things further eventually. I made the decision to not run my business over spending time and being a mother to my boys. It really only leaves night time, and when Hart is asleep in the day and Pax is at kindergarten. It is busy! I love having something for myself too whilst being a full time Mum. My feelings are that they are only young once, and I want to be there for it.
I found the adjustment of becoming a mother with my first quite hard. My whole world completely changing was a huge challenge. Thankfully with my second I didn’t feel that way. The biggest challenges of motherhood for me have been losing my ‘me time’. It’s very rarely peaceful and I now value silence a lot. I never knew I liked routine until having children. I try to put as much routine into our days, as I find that makes it easier. Although with children it doesn’t always work like that. Anything can happen! Of course the cliche saying is, I would never change it.
I think the main thing motherhood has taught me is how precious life is, and showed me what’s truly important. There are other people in my life now who are much more important than the things I used to worry about or put as a priority. Having children has taught me to be totally selfless – not to say that is easy at all. I would do anything for my children to have a happy and healthy life. I always think about the experiences we share with them, and the words that they hear will play a part in shaping who they will be in their life and how they feel about themselves.
ARTISAN PROFILE words by Emma Labattaglia and styling by LIVE LOUD GIRL. Photography in by Natelee Cocks and Danielle Trovato.