Studio Visit Book Vol. 1

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Kaylan Buteyn on following her creative dreams while navigating motherhood

Watch & Listen to this podcast Episode.

This week, our host Charuka Arora invites Kaylan Buteyn, who talks about her life as an artist and a mother. Kaylan’s journey is a fascinating one because she became an artist after becoming a mother. Unlike many other artists, Kaylan did not have the luxury to give her career the time she wanted to. Despite the odds, she talks about discovering her creative passions and the challenges she had to endure while juggling the roles in her personal as well as professional life. For Kaylan, it was hard to find opportunities in a small town, but she created her own path on her own terms.

In this episode, Kaylan talks about the beginning of her career, how she found her true passion, and how she manages it all with three children. Apart from creating art in her studio, she is also the founder of Artist/Mother Podcast which aims to provide artist mothers a platform to share experiences and connect with each other. The podcast community has now grown and it exists as the Thrive Together Network which supports female-identifying, non-binary, and trans artists through retreats and exhibitions.

Working in textiles, Kaylan channels her inner artists by making quilts, abstractions, domestic textiles, and collages. Unlike most artists who are drawn to blank canvases, Kaylan is drawn to materials, rips stains, and texture; these elements inspire her. Kaylan likes to play with the material she has collected over time, and the fabric compositions she makes are a direct reflection of her future and past self. In fact, it was motherhood itself that gave Kaylan her inspiration, as her maternal experience has contributed to her abstract art.

Kaylan believes in materials holding memory, and through her art, she aims to explore physical representations of generational care. With quilting, dying, sewing, painting, gluing, and stitching, Kaylan creates pieces that are more than just art. Each piece tells a story and contributes in linking places, people, and perceptions. To read more about how Kaylan balances her roles of being a mother and an artist, listen to this week’s podcast and find out how mothers are often crushed under unrealistic societal expectations.   

TimestampSummary
00:00.00Introduction and discussion about scheduling and taking breaks
01:39.87Dealing with overwhelm and finding balance between projects
03:09.78Balancing motherhood and multiple roles
04:23.45The impact of motherhood on being an artist
06:35.79Journey into the arts and switching majors
08:37.44Transitioning from photography to painting
10:26.26Choosing grad school to build an artist foundation
11:17.68Actively choosing to be an artist and crafting that identity
10:55.20Introduction
11:04.32Choosing to be an artist, crafting a worldview
11:17.68Lack of role models, fears about making a career
11:56.58Living rurally, having flexibility to build a career
13:10.52Feeling pressure to be perfect as a woman and mother
14:36.58Passion fueled by anger and rage
15:21.87Shame and insecurity about ambition as a woman
16:43.45Developing thoughts on womanhood and ambition in high school
18:27.98Starting to make photography and painting combinations
19:57.20Transitioning to include textiles in artwork
22:04.35Introduction
22:21.61Insecurities about craft and art
23:11.79Quilting and the lack of a teacher
24:23.99Discovering quilting legacy in family
24:32.13Qualifications as a painter
25:40.34Starting Thrive Together Network
26:51.10Benefits of having a business partner
27:59.58Starting the Artist Mother podcast
28:36.13Importance of visibility and sharing stories
30:54.24Integration of motherhood and art
32:26.79Adaptability and resilience
33:14.58Hardest part: feeling lack of time for career growth
33:14.58Importance of time in an artist’s career
33:41.35Challenges of limited time for artistic growth
34:30.31Different approaches to career growth
35:31.50Balancing career, success, and personal life
37:06.80The impact of motherhood on self-awareness
38:06.11Motherhood’s influence on community building
39:31.37Consciousness of choices with kids in life
40:48.48Teaching kids the value of pursuing passions
42:12.61Prioritizing art as a higher priority
42:58.36Challenges of involving kids in the creative process
43:33.11Admiration for parents who incorporate their children into their artwork
44:15.71Being present with children and disconnecting from work and social media
45:07.95Children’s power to consume and disconnect from the outside world
46:39.39Children’s understanding of their mother’s artistic work
47:04.97Difficulty explaining virtual aspect of community building to adults
48:05.39Ways to support the artist and her work
48:23.38Promotion of the Artist Mother Podcast and Thriving Artists Podcast
50:05.74Planning tools and upcoming events in the Thrive Together Network
50:30.11Slower studio time and upcoming deadlines
50:46.46Conclusion of the conversation

00:00.00
charukaarora
Hello Calyn welcome to the podcast.

00:02.37
Kaylan
Thank you! Thanks so much for having me.

00:07.31
charukaarora
Thank you for coming and I’m very excited. It took a few chasing you down to bring you here and I’m very excited. Ah.

00:13.99
Kaylan
I Know schedules with multiple time zones that can be a challenge.

00:17.54
charukaarora
Yeah, no also I know that you you know you take this summer off and you know you slow things down I was seeing your mural and it was fantastic and I was like you know, maybe yeah I think it probably now is the best time you’ve had a good rest and.

00:33.46
Kaylan
Yes, great. So glad to be back in routine and yeah I am a big believer in sabbaticals and taking taking a break from you know, certain types of work for seasons. So yeah, it was.

00:35.23
charukaarora
How are you feeling now.

00:48.33
charukaarora
I love that and this I’m I’m going to ask you my first question from yeah and then we’ll you know use someone also who does multiple things and I’m also going to ask this for my own self more than anyone else. You know you have the tribe network you have your own podcast. You have your own practice.

00:51.10
Kaylan
And was good. Yeah.

01:08.10
charukaarora
And I think you also do all of these things with a lot of effort and you know very beautifully. How does it feel like um, how do you deal with and social Media. Of course. How do you deal with overwhelm. Um, when you’re doing like multiple things and tossing between multiple projects and as you know I think as artist. Ah, even though we want to do multiple things but also equally focus on what we’re doing do it with you know more attention and how do you?? How do you navigate that.

01:39.87
Kaylan
Um I Think for me, it’s about identifying what causes overwhelm um, having a large to do list doesn’t necessarily cause me overwhelm or drain my Energy. Um. I Which is not to say that I don’t feel overwhelmed but I think um I think it’s more than that you know more than just having a large to do list. Um.

02:12.80
Kaylan
1 of the one of the ways that I do feel overwhelmed is when I am often exerting myself too much so when I’m sharing too much of my energy with others. Um, whether that’s like in community building or in conversation. And so one of the ways that I fight overwhelm is to make sure I have a couple days or even one day. Um where I’m not really talking that much to people just to kind of move inward and and tackle some things. Um I think.

02:40.64
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

02:47.70
Kaylan
Yeah, it’s it’s less about you know what I have on my plate and more about kind of evaluating my mental health and my energy levels and making sure I’m like giving myself the space that I need um to move in and out of all of those projects and spaces.

03:05.64
charukaarora
But you are not only all of those things but you’re also a mother and I’m sure as a mother you do not get any vacation. There’s no leave ah her day on that.

03:09.78
Kaylan
Um, yeah.

03:15.93
Kaylan
There’s not but my kids are in school full time. So you know I have from 8 to 3 basically to myself which um, you know I’ve only I’ve only had that schedule for a year and so it still feels very much like.

03:20.20
charukaarora
Ah, so you get some time.

03:33.43
Kaylan
A gift rather than just an expectation.

03:38.33
charukaarora
Ah, so you are someone who’s really passionate like you know I we I think we have very similar missions except get a mother and I’m not yet. Um I’m going to ask you something how this is a very raw question.

03:42.62
Kaylan
Yeah.

03:51.87
Kaylan
Um, yeah.

03:54.90
charukaarora
You know how to change did something change for you when you became a mother. Um as an artist did you have you know traditionally a lot of artists feel scared. Not only artists I think in general women no matter where. Part of the world that we live in no matter what we’re doing but often we feel like Madhrod is going to take away time. It could take away. It could bring more responsibilities and it could become. You know it could if not hold you back but maybe slow you down. Did you have those fears while you were um.

04:23.45
Kaylan
Um.

04:33.15
charukaarora
You know when you were there and how did you? what were your thoughts on that.

04:41.62
Kaylan
Yeah I mean I definitely had you know fears and anxieties around being a mother but um, and and this is a question that I often ask people that I interview on the artist mother podcast. But for me. Um, my journey was a little bit different because I wasn’t I wouldn’t call myself an artist until after I was already a mother so that kind of the traditional sort of.

05:01.77
charukaarora
You.

05:11.15
charukaarora
Yeah.

05:11.33
Kaylan
Going to art school and going to grad school and doing all of those things like building your career before you become a parent um that wasn’t part of my story I I actually already had a kid when I went to grad school and chose.

05:19.71
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

05:27.85
charukaarora
Wow.

05:28.60
Kaylan
To kind of be an artist and focus on visual art and painting. Um, so there there wasn’t quite that jarring like separation of identity for me, it was it was kind of already baked in the cake if you will um.

05:44.69
charukaarora
Yeah.

05:47.29
Kaylan
And which is not to say that that doesn’t present its own challenges. But I’ve I’ve kind of always had to carve out my my art career. You know in the midst of motherhood rather than adding it on after.

05:51.82
charukaarora
Yeah.

06:06.57
Kaylan
That identity and that foundation was established.

06:07.11
charukaarora
Yeah, and you know, um before we go into it. Let’s also talk a little bit about the beginning of here so that we can connect the dots. Um.

06:20.32
Kaylan
Um, yeah.

06:22.47
charukaarora
How how did you get into the arts and then we’ll speak about how how has it? How does it feel different in both the worlds today. How did you get into the arts. What? what was your journey. How did you begin.

06:35.79
Kaylan
Um, well I think I would have gotten into the arts much earlier but I went to a very small private school and you had to choose between music music and art. Um, they only offered those things at the same time. Just because of like understaffing and you know underfunding and I mean I graduated with us with a class of 36 people so it was very small school. Um, and so I actually remember wanting to go to you know the visual art class.

06:51.95
charukaarora
Yeah, and Bandwidth issues.

07:02.81
charukaarora
Um, well.

07:10.10
Kaylan
But all of my friends were in a choir and I liked to sing So I I chose kind of music as my path and really never thought about art again as like an option for me until um I was in college and I had chosen. Um. Education Elementary education as kind of my college path and got into the classroom and found myself very unhappy and um, you know, not not wanting to spend every day of my life kind of around fourth graders. Um, so at that point I had you know gained an interest in photography and was working in a coffee shop and decided to buy a camera and realized like maybe I could.

08:07.57
Kaylan
Maybe I could switch my major to something that would connect me to this like Hobby or this interest rather than you know this like career path. Um that I thought I was on so I ended up switching my major to communications because I was kind of too late. Um. I was too close to graduation to switch to art but I took as as many art classes as I could um and that kind of got me started I ended up starting a commercial photography business and did wedding and Portrait photography. Um for years which I learned a lot of marketing and.

08:37.44
charukaarora
Um, okay.

08:43.91
charukaarora
The real life skills.

08:44.73
Kaylan
Pr Skills communication skills. Yeah, doing that business and then you know eventually that also wasn’t you know wasn’t art enough for me. So I I yeah I kind of swung.

08:53.16
charukaarora
Your calling. Yeah I get that.

09:02.97
Kaylan
Even further away from a traditional quote unquote career and you know went back to grad school for painting.

09:10.61
charukaarora
Okay, then.

09:15.95
Kaylan
Then I ah was living in Tennessee.

09:20.84
charukaarora
What was your first. What was your first int and something like did you? um as okay, you felt like okay now I feel like an artist.

09:31.19
Kaylan
Um, yeah I mean I think I think I I wanted you know that capital a artist title but I didn’t really know I didn’t I didn’t have a lot of models for what that would look like um.

09:39.23
charukaarora
Yeah, what it meant. Yeah.

09:49.15
Kaylan
And and that’s why I chose the grad school path because I felt like I needed a structure to kind of lean into that would give me a foundation like that would help me build that foundation that I was missing and and I’m certainly not one to.

10:00.19
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah.

10:07.93
Kaylan
To necessarily recommend grad school I don’t think it’s for everybody. Um, especially now like that was in 2015 and even now there’s so much more visibility for art careers and different past artists can take um.

10:10.16
charukaarora
Yeah.

10:23.44
charukaarora
Yeah.

10:26.26
Kaylan
But I was living very rurally I didn’t have an arts community I didn’t see people you know every day. So um, yeah, so I I went to grad school and that was kind of kind of my my commitment to okay now I’m choosing this path. Um. Which is is interesting because I think a lot of artists feel like art chose them like it was something that they just had to do they had to make art. They always felt this like compulsion and um that that wasn’t really true for me. I.

10:55.20
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah.

11:04.32
Kaylan
I Actively chose you know, being an artist because I I wanted to live in the world as an artist I wanted to I wanted to have a worldview of an artist so I kind of had to like craft that for myself.

11:17.68
charukaarora
Did you have your fears you know Also like you said you also grew up rurally at that point and also not have like let’s say a role model someone who would you know? Okay, this is a successful person. This is someone who does what I like and probably I want to be.

11:24.75
Kaylan
Her.

11:36.59
charukaarora
Like this person. Um at a point like that. Um, did you have your fears about Okay I may do this but can I make a career out of this. We can this be something that I can do for a living. Did you have those questions or you were like okay I want to do this but I don’t know why this would go.

11:56.58
Kaylan
Um, I definitely had those questions I think ah where my partner and I were living at the time afforded a bit more Flexibility. We were living very rurally and in a location where. Basically most of our expenses were covered by my husband’s job. Um, he’s a college professor so he he doesn’t make much money but we were living in a place where it was very cheap to live. We had bought a house for very cheap and we’re fixing it up and um, so.

12:25.30
charukaarora
Yeah.

12:32.77
Kaylan
We kind of really scaled back our lifestyle in order to allow that flexibility for me. Um, you know we weren’t reliant on me making money and that that like you know I think.

12:39.93
charukaarora
Yeah.

12:51.00
Kaylan
There’s something to be said for the pressure to make money because you know when you’re living in a place where you need to make money like you you figure out how to do it right? You you you kind of make decisions. Yeah, and you know for me I think.

12:53.12
charukaarora
Yeah.

12:59.51
charukaarora
Yeah, you you have you know you pull things together.

13:10.52
Kaylan
I I didn’t have the same pressure I I had like a little bit more time so things could build ah a bit more organically and that that really led to like a lot of surprises and um, just kind of following ah Following. You know the flow of the community and following the flow of my career path. Um which you know I I don’t take for granted like I realize that’s a very privileged um way to go about building a career.

13:36.91
charukaarora
Yeah, but tell me something even at that point were you someone who was very passionate about what you’re like you know, not only community I would say but womanhood Motherhood. Um. Being a woman that the female perspective or it just at what point I feel like because you know I feel in my own experience. Also um I feel like growing up and ah up in a patriarchal setup um looking at how women. Treated very passively. Also um in the society where I grew up I think that really ingra that thought for me and I felt like day by day I was just building on that I never intended to have my art or my community or anything on those lines but it always felt. Something that was so true to my bones I knew that I couldn’t hold myself Back. Do you think?? Um how where does the seed for for the passion that you have come from if you you know, reflect.

14:36.58
Kaylan
Um.

14:45.42
Kaylan
Um I was I was actually just referring to something related to this in a conversation with a friend last night um I think a lot of my passion comes from rage actually um.

15:02.54
charukaarora
Um, oh.

15:02.68
Kaylan
I I don’t know if you’ve heard of the aneogram. But it’s a like a personality type um system and yeah and certain numbers are kind of oriented around anger and rage and.

15:08.18
charukaarora
Um, yeah Anygram. Yeah, absolutely yeah yeah.

15:18.81
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

15:21.87
Kaylan
Um, I definitely feel anger very strongly. Um, it’s so like an emotion that’s very easy to access for me. Um, but but I was talking with a friend last night that I think the the high side of that is that I have a lot of passion. You know, just like naturally.

15:28.30
charukaarora
Who.

15:39.98
charukaarora
Um, it drives you it purchases you.

15:41.26
Kaylan
Um I I Yeah like I I just kind of am fueled. You know there’s always like a fire burning. You know there’s There’s always something um that I want to fix something that I want to do um and. I Think a lot of times I feel as ah as a woman and as a mother I feel like ashamed of that ambition because you know I think we we kind of get the impression that there’s a specific way that we’re supposed to be in the world. Um.

16:12.74
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

16:15.91
charukaarora
B Yeah, yeah, dream too much. Be too much. Yeah, yeah.

16:19.77
Kaylan
We’re not supposed to do too much you know because then well things must be falling apart at home or you know we must be be neglecting our kids if we have a good career or um, you know like.

16:36.51
Kaylan
Everybody wants you to be perfect. But when you actually are ambitious and passionate then they say no no, no, that’s that’s too much. You know. So um, yeah, there’s there’s a lot there and I think.

16:37.21
charukaarora
Yeah.

16:43.45
charukaarora
Yeah.

16:52.29
charukaarora
When did you start having these thoughts was it was it like since like you know, growing up or was it I don’t know I’m just trying to understand um, where did you pick up this and it became how did it grow. Into what you are today.

17:12.91
Kaylan
Um, I think probably in high school. Um, you know, just just kind of wanting to be everything to everybody and wanting wanting to be an athlete and be a good. Student and be artistic and sing and you know and also feeling like maybe it’s not okay to pursue so many things at once like kind of having some insecurity are about that. Um, yeah.

17:38.30
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

17:44.81
Kaylan
I Think probably in high school and you know, kind of having like your parents expectations that you’re trying to live up to and at the same time finding your own identity.

17:51.90
charukaarora
Yeah.

17:58.96
charukaarora
And let’s say once you figure this feeling out. How did it crystallize into you know, did you? Um, what kind of let’s start with what kind of work that you started making so that we can you know, um, navigate our ways through that. Um, did you start? Um, How did you start painting or making as you know, just as we you know as artists start.

18:27.98
Kaylan
Um, yeah so I applied to grad school with some work that I was making that was combining photography and painting. Um it it was not very good. Ah I look I look back on it now and you know.

18:38.00
charukaarora
Um, okay.

18:45.20
Kaylan
I’m like what was I thinking? How did I ever get into the school. But um, thankfully I did and yeah I you know I was very inspired by um, abstract painters like Joan Mitchell and Lee Krasner and Helen Frankenthaler and kind of this.

18:45.75
charukaarora
And.

19:00.50
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

19:04.99
Kaylan
Like Abex’s um legacy of women painters who you know didn’t get like the fame and the fortune at the time but were making the big work anyway and um, you know that that was kind of the the vision that i.

19:14.80
charukaarora
History. Yeah.

19:24.90
Kaylan
Pad um, for my work and and my you know my work has really changed over time. Um I spent you know, many years really just focusing on painting um particularly with acrylics and water-based medium because i. Was working in a home studio and had kids around um and then eventually my work now is transitioned to include textiles. So um, my work really combines.

19:50.94
charukaarora
Yeah.

19:57.20
Kaylan
Painting and sewing and textile. Um you know it’s mixed media but part of that integration of textiles into my work and sewing practices was also influenced by motherhood of just having access to more materials more often and um.

20:09.32
charukaarora
Yeah.

20:16.72
Kaylan
Having a practice that can kind of be picked up and put down quickly. Um, so yeah, it’s It’s definitely transit transitions over time. Um, because of kind of the lifestyle that I have.

20:32.63
charukaarora
Did you? um tell me I was speaking to someone here only today and we were we were talking about transitions in work while you know as artists we’re taught the idea that we can have 1 style all our life. We can be known. We should be known um whereas. As artists ourselves. We know how monotonous and how boxing that could feel and how it is so necessary for us to keep pushing the envelope once we feel like okay I figured this out I’ve done this what next but the the place of what next and you know.

20:54.15
Kaylan
Ah.

21:08.70
charukaarora
You moving away from moving away in the sense of you know, transitioning and evolving to textiles um did that in any way. Um, you know I remember when I was my biggest fear I didn’t incorporate I come from fashion I Loved employees. Always.

21:14.32
Kaylan
Ah.

21:27.80
charukaarora
Never incorporated in the beginning because I had this concept that I didn’t want to be too crafty I didn’t want to be too. You know I wanted to be an artist with a capital a and I remember I was always boxed at oh you’re a designer or you come from fashion. Oh you’re not a this is not British finite.

21:28.23
Kaylan
Ah.

21:34.19
Kaylan
Ah.

21:38.77
Kaylan
Ah.

21:44.94
charukaarora
And there was a very specific way of being a fine artist and I’d been working in the commercial arts and design that I didn’t want to do the you know commercial and so much so I was so afraid to um to run out of that traditional method. And only when I you know figured okay I felt safe enough and I was like I think only between like you know in covid I started to um, just because I didn’t have enough influence around me I started to work with employries and that led me do you know my work today.

22:04.35
Kaylan
Ah.

22:21.61
charukaarora
But I did have a lot of um, you know this cultural thing like okay am I is it too Crafty is it art enough. Is it not enough. Did you have those questions.

22:34.29
Kaylan
Um, definitely not not so much the craft Ah I’ve always been interested in mixed media work and work that incorporated like found material. So that part of the conversation I don’t know if I Just. Didn’t hear you know a lot of the critique around craft quote unquote craft work. But I I didn’t like buy into that as much for me, it was it was more that I felt like if I were to incorporate textiles and specifically um, quilts.

22:51.60
charukaarora
Yeah.

23:11.80
Kaylan
And you know, kind of let the legacy of quilting influence my practice that I needed like a story about a grandma who taught me how to quilt like that was kind of it seemed like every it seemed like every artist I Knew who.

23:11.79
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

23:23.76
charukaarora
Oh Wow had that.

23:30.80
Kaylan
Had that it was like well yeah I learned how to quilt from Aunt Mabel or you know, um and so that was kind of like my insecurity was I felt like I I never had somebody teaching me this thing so it wasn’t right for me to kind of bring it into my my repertoire.

23:33.17
charukaarora
Yeah.

23:46.74
charukaarora
Um, and you figured this out on your own you figured this on your own.

23:50.11
Kaylan
What? Well actually I I you know I went ahead and and started quilting anyway and then come to find out my great grandmother was like this Epic quilter. Um, and I. I have some of her quilts now and I you know my aunt like pulled out all these quilts and showed them to me and she actually had a little quilt studio and in the farmhouse you know and so I’m I’m.

24:17.51
charukaarora
Um, oh wow.

24:23.99
Kaylan
Obviously like it’s really nice to kind of wrap up that story with with that realization but I’m I’m glad that I didn’t let that hold me back. You know that that I didn’t that I didn’t say I don’t have the like qualifications to kind of bring this because.

24:24.86
charukaarora
Have a yeah.

24:32.13
charukaarora
Yeah.

24:41.23
Kaylan
What qualifications do I have to be a painter like you know I’m a white girl from rural America like there’s no painting legacy in my history and yet this is still a medium that is calling to me and that I want to work with you know.

24:42.27
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah.

24:54.46
charukaarora
Yeah. Okay, tell me something then you started not only you of course we’ve spoken about your career as an artist. But then you’re another part that I also feel like you know I feel like as artists 1 way of specifically people like us who have extended our studio practice and our practices way. Beyond just being in the studio building communities being with people. Um at what point first I will I want to ask you what led you to create thrfe and being in a like you know, having these um because it is for sure, not easy. It is very overwhelming with having. Children and being your you know taking your own practice. It really needs a lot of dedication and passion. What was your driving force to start, you know, being in community and start community building and have thrive.

25:40.34
Kaylan
Um.

25:55.67
Kaylan
Um, so the thrive together network is a collaboration with Jamie Smith um my business partner in Vancouver canada and I’m based in the states and Jamie and I actually combined our communities and our businesses.

26:00.55
charukaarora
Yeah.

26:12.86
Kaylan
After I had started the artist mother podcast and you know, kind of grew a community online and had um you know had folks who were in like programming that I was offering and and different things. Um, and.

26:14.80
charukaarora
Okay.

26:31.69
Kaylan
You know we made the decision to to combine our communities and our businesses because I I just couldn’t do it on my own you know and I think Jamie too like it’s very hard I mean you know this like it’s very hard to do the work of community building and it’s even harder to do that work when you’re.

26:41.12
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah alone. Yeah.

26:51.10
Kaylan
Doing it alone. You know when it’s when it’s just kind of your vision and and having a business partner is very different than just hiring people to work for you because when you’re still the only kind of.

27:00.78
charukaarora
Yeah. Driver. It’s like having a copilot.

27:09.22
Kaylan
Yeah, like it. Yeah at the at the end of yeah and you know I think that really frees up like mental space which um.

27:16.74
charukaarora
Yeah, um, you can lean on to each other. You don’t have to drive everything yourself and let everybody lean on to you.

27:24.15
Kaylan
Yeah, so I I started the artist’s mother podcast um back in well I started producing the podcast in 2018 we released episodes in February of 2019 and you know that was really ah back to this idea about just not having models and visibility. You know, living in a rural community I just I didn’t know artists and I especially didn’t know artists who were parents and I didn’t know how people were making it work. Like like day to day. Not not like questions about how do you get a gallery to notice you like I I didn’t even really care about questions like that at the time I I just wanted to know how are you structuring your day like how are you? How are you making work.

27:59.26
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, do this.

28:14.70
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

28:18.28
Kaylan
That is bigger and Beyond just the nap time hours. You know like are your kids do you have child care. How are you paying for that child care just I kind of really wanted to know the the logistics yeah of how people are restructuring their life and um.

28:26.70
charukaarora
Yeah, real life.

28:36.13
Kaylan
And so that’s why I started the podcast um because I just I needed some questions answered I needed to figure it out. You know and of course there was hundreds of other people out there who had the same questions who were wondering.

28:42.94
charukaarora
Now.

28:53.41
Kaylan
You know and people even who have more established careers I think there’s still just kind of this question about Am I am I doing this in a way that like is bringing me joy is this best for my family. Um. You know like it’s really good to hear how other people are doing it and either draw inspiration from that maybe make tweaks to your own practice and process. Um, yeah.

29:13.63
charukaarora
Yeah. And I think also knowing sense of belongingness I think even if you’re all all our unique ways just knowing that Okay I I remember like I don’t know I was very alone and a lot of things that I thought at that point that I was messed up. That I didn’t know enough or I wasn’t doing enough and quickly when I started to speak to people and realized Okay, this is just not a me problem is a generalized and I’m not alone and somebody’s gone through this and maybe I will find my own way but just knowing that Okay what I’m experiencing is.

29:45.49
Kaylan
Ah.

29:55.72
charukaarora
Is a collective experience I think really helped me.

29:59.58
Kaylan
Yeah, that visibility that sharing stories and that podcasting specifically can provide um I think is just priceless are.

30:09.69
charukaarora
Now. Okay, so tell me something. Okay, this is a tricky one I Really want to hear your thoughts about this though, you’ve done Um, the other way you became a mother. And then you let and created your career path as an artist. What do you think was your biggest um strength What did really help you on this path in this process. Being a mother and choosing to be an artist then on the contrary to let’s say Viceever so.

30:54.24
Kaylan
Um I think um, you know I I didn’t have to go through a big transition. Um, kind of giving up 8 hour days in the studio like I never had that. So.

31:07.84
charukaarora
That So you feel you made your own plan as per account around your children since the beginning. Yeah.

31:11.12
Kaylan
Um.

31:14.12
Kaylan
Yeah, that integration was already there. So my career you know it really has I have the expectation that my career will will sort of always be flexible. Um, you know.

31:29.96
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

31:31.19
Kaylan
I don’t have like a rigidity to my practice that I think other other artists have particularly artists who you know were trained kind of in old school ways of of being methods. Um.

31:44.60
charukaarora
School manner.

31:51.30
Kaylan
So I don’t have as much like dismantling of all of those rules around being an artist to do Um I think that’s a pretty big strength. You know there’s there’s kind of always been this like rogue way that I’ve.

31:53.56
charukaarora
Yeah.

31:59.56
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

32:08.50
Kaylan
Gone about this because that’s all I had to work with you know? um.

32:09.38
charukaarora
And I also I think getting crafty I Think once you don’t know the rules and you are like okay I get to figure this out on my own so you never know if you’re doing right or wrong. You just know you’re doing as long as you’re doing something I think that’s like okay.

32:17.61
Kaylan
Yeah.

32:25.56
Kaylan
Um, yeah.

32:26.79
charukaarora
And is I’m taking one step at least I’m doing something if not the right thing.

32:32.35
Kaylan
Yeah, so I guess like ah adaptability maybe is kind of the strength that we’re talking about and you know resilience like just always I’m I mean I’m always going to make the work even if it takes me.

32:35.68
charukaarora
Ecom.

32:46.93
Kaylan
Longer than I thought or if I have to change the method kind of thing. Um, yeah, that’s a good question I like that good positive way to spin it.

32:55.70
charukaarora
Thank you and and what do you think was the hardest part for you navigating?? um the difficult. Part of this process.

33:14.58
Kaylan
You know, speaking very vulnerableably I think feeling like I you know I think the number 1 thing that helps artists grow their career is time right? putting just putting the time in.

33:29.62
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah.

33:33.95
Kaylan
And I think for me I’ve seen a bit of a slower evolution with my work because not for lack of wanting but I just I haven’t I I don’t have 40 hours a week to put into my practice. However I don’t think that.

33:41.35
charukaarora
Um, yeah, had yeah um, what he the.

33:52.62
Kaylan
And I’m not speaking for myself. But I I don’t think spending a lot of time on work equals. Great work. That’s not what I’m saying but I think in terms of the career growth and the trajectory of my career. You know those things just take a lot of time to develop and.

33:57.10
charukaarora
Yeah.

34:11.72
Kaylan
I think that’s been the biggest challenge for me is just feeling like you know, maybe something that took me 10 years to accomplish would have taken an artist with a different lifestyle only six years you know? um so kind of just being patient.

34:24.21
charukaarora
Now. Yeah.

34:30.31
Kaylan
And remembering that you know I I hope to be making art my whole life. So that’s okay.

34:37.80
charukaarora
Yeah, this isn’t like a 1 time thing and I think you know um I remember I was listening to a video and I really liked what he said is like you have your career how fast you want to go.

34:39.94
Kaylan
Right.

34:53.37
charukaarora
How much successful you want to be and how much life you want to live these are 3 tangents and you can have 2 at a time if you want to live a life and if you want to let’s say you want more success then your time is going to be the biggest compromise.

34:58.87
Kaylan
Ah.

35:12.79
charukaarora
If you do not you know So what he was trying to say was if um, if you want to build a sustainable and if you want to have control over your time and you want to have a life be ready because this is going to be like building blocks. It’s not going to be a skyrocket versus if you want to go? Okay, you’re like I want to do this.

35:13.32
Kaylan
Ah.

35:26.82
Kaylan
Um, yeah.

35:31.50
charukaarora
All in and like I don’t care what I have to do it and you give up everything so you compromise your sanity and like you you know all of those things and you can find that jump and increase and or leap whatever we can call it. So I think we all have our own ways and I Also think it is. Sometimes it is also season where you know. Okay, you can take a few leads and you can go Rogue You can have that imbalance but then you know if you’re someone who likes to have and I think more than a lot of artists like grounding and.

35:52.66
Kaylan
Um.

36:05.67
charukaarora
Having that kind of sustainability I think is also essential for our careers.

36:06.27
Kaylan
Ah.

36:11.22
Kaylan
Yeah I need that ah the book or podcast that you reference because that’s a great analogy I think one of the ways that I think about it you know which is a little bit.

36:17.46
charukaarora
I’m going to flee.

36:24.90
Kaylan
Cliche in like the artist’s mother community is that you can only wear so many hats at a time you know like we feel like we have 10 hats to wear but really.

36:27.56
charukaarora
Had yeah.

36:35.13
Kaylan
You know you can’t wear 10 hats at once like you can only kind of shift through a couple like you can only prioritize a couple things at a time if you’re going to do them with integrity and you’re going to do them Well you know and so we’re kind of always making these choices about what’s important to us. Um, but I like the way that. You know that person framed the idea of time just being one of those resources you know and and and we don’t have unlimited time for everything so it it becomes either super fastpaced or you know we allow ourselves kind of.

36:55.48
charukaarora
Now.

37:02.32
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

37:06.80
charukaarora
Yeah.

37:14.59
Kaylan
Ah, the luxury of experiencing time at ah at ah at a slower rate. Um and I totally agree with you that it’s very seasonal. It’s it’s um, you know I don’t I don’t want to go all out all the time. That’s why I take sabbatical and why I don’t.

37:17.26
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah.

37:30.90
charukaarora
Yeah.

37:33.51
Kaylan
Answer emails like on the weekends and you know I I want to like have these spaces in my life where I’m kind of moving in and out of um, you know modes of being.

37:48.84
charukaarora
How how? ah now you, you’re not like an early mother I mean you you you have your own experience. How do you think all these years of madrod um, has that impacted you um as an artist.

37:56.40
Kaylan
Yeah.

38:06.11
charukaarora
And also as someone you know who’s so passionate about building a community that is centered around bringing mothers women. You know all of us together.

38:18.79
Kaylan
Um, I think your kids really offer you a good mirror of yourself. So ah, better for better or worse. Um I think that I’ve.

38:36.65
Kaylan
I Think through motherhood I’ve really come to know myself. Um, in ways that before I had kids I don’t think I Always really understood like how I was showing up in the world and I I feel like because I can see I can see what effect I have on my kids I can see how they react to things.

38:52.67
charukaarora
Yeah.

38:56.54
Kaylan
You know that kind of constant mirror is um, a gift and a curse right? because you really you really get to know what kind of person you are um which I think has helped in community building because you know community building is um.

39:03.34
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah.

39:16.19
Kaylan
It requires a lot of energy and a lot of attention and um, a lot of a lot of work and yeah I think just like understanding my limits has been really helpful in that.

39:19.40
charukaarora
Yeah.

39:31.37
charukaarora
Yeah I love that I think that’s a really good point. You know what you know I I don’t have kids I don’t have kids but in the past two years I

39:35.20
Kaylan
Um, and I I Yeah yeah, it’s it’s scary too though.

39:49.56
charukaarora
You know we have 2 children in the house I have a nephew and a niece and you know I spend a lot of my time and I think something that um, having being around kids and loving kids and having kids in your life also makes you um I think another skill set or I think the advantage I feel personally is. You know you become really conscious of your choices in the sense of you know I think you know if you’re really taking away time from that it really needs to meet some means something and you’re not really I think um, just doing things for the sake of doing you really um.

40:14.26
Kaylan
Um.

40:21.99
Kaylan
Ah.

40:29.00
charukaarora
Need to know that. Okay, if I’m going to do this I Really need a needs reason the sense of you know that this you’re very conscious of your choices I think and I think that also brings around that awareness about okay who you are does this really matter to me and you know.

40:36.72
Kaylan
Yeah.

40:46.46
charukaarora
Things like that.

40:48.48
Kaylan
Yeah,, That’s a great point and I totally agree that um you know I I want to I want my kids to like see me happy and enjoying my life and putting. Putting my passions to use in things that I really care about too like I you know I I want them to know that like you don’t have to have a job just to have a job like you. You know you? you’d probably do at certain stages of your life but you can also um.

41:13.84
charukaarora
John you can love it.

41:23.97
Kaylan
You know you can also figure out ways to so to spend your time because you just love something and you and you want to do it. You know I want them to to know that that’s okay and to see me. Um you know to see me spending my time and energy on things that. Bring me joy and are valuable to me. Um, but yeah, like you said you know again I was just having a conversation with somebody this week about how there’s just only so much time in the day and you know when you have kids around. You can’t.

41:52.20
charukaarora
Weekend days.

41:59.50
Kaylan
You can’t do everything that you’re passionate about like you’re kind of always making compromises and so if you you know if you if you really want to be an artist like that has to be 1 of the higher priorities on your list. You know you’re sure.

42:12.61
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, and you know, um, tell me something I’ve heard this around. Um um with a lot of mothers and I think how much are your kids involved in. Let’s say in your creative practice. Did you in the beginning had that pressure in the sense of. Okay, um, you know should you bring the studio kids in the Studio. Do they have to be participative or are they today. What was how did you navigate that.

42:41.43
Kaylan
Um, um, it worked really well when I just had 1 kid but I you know I have all these pictures of my oldest in the studio with me and he he also was just a.

42:50.23
charukaarora
Ah.

42:58.36
Kaylan
A different kid than my my other two. He was very independent and you know good just with a book and a you know a place to sit. Um so he he. Ah. Had a lot of patience for my studio time in my my practice. Um I think you know as soon as there were more than 1 kid hanging around like it. Yeah, it was like no this is not possible. Um.

43:25.72
charukaarora
Ah, but it became a gang.

43:32.85
charukaarora
Ah, yes.

43:33.11
Kaylan
And I really admire parents who specifically who make work like with their children and not necessarily like I’m letting my kids paint on my canvas but more conceptually like kind of using you know rituals and routines and.

43:42.42
charukaarora
Um, yeah, um, yeah, yeah.

43:52.66
Kaylan
Um, conversations that they’re having within their home to kind of inspire their artwork like I I think that is really interesting and beautiful. Um,, there’s been then there’s been work that I’ve pursued that I’ve. Kind of tried to be a little bit more inclusive but I will say that I I do think I just work well with boundaries and when I can kind of as I mentioned before move in and out of certain modes of being so you know I’m not thinking about my art that much when I’m.

44:15.71
charukaarora
Yeah, you know.

44:28.93
Kaylan
With my kids like you know I’m I’m really not yeah.

44:29.15
charukaarora
Around your children I know I think this was my first experience I I was telling this my partner like you know when um I had children at home and we didn’t have them before um this was our first generation. My brother had kids and. Something that I totally love now is how much power children have when you have like when I go back home I really go back home I mean if I’m not working and if I’m with them I no matter what’s going in my life. How bad I wanted. How bad the situation is or how good it is once you’re with kids you just with them. They consume you and they disconnect you in a way that you know your world and I I really like that about it because I think in a life that we’re living today. We’re so overworked. We’re always thinking about how.

45:07.95
Kaylan
Um, yeah.

45:21.80
Kaylan
Aha.

45:22.18
charukaarora
How much we’ve achieved how much we’ve not done and how what’s next constantly on social media posting and like this and that and it’s like we’re constantly running towards things and it’s so all things are running towards us that is so hard to disconnect. And I found it so refreshing that how how and how how I think on a whole level. How how great that felt and how good that feels today. So I think that’s amazing.

45:40.47
Kaylan
Ah.

45:53.70
Kaylan
Yeah, yes, that’s a beautiful way to put it. They really they tether you to the present moment I think and you know that’s why I I I ah.

46:01.00
charukaarora
Yeah I love that intense.

46:08.58
Kaylan
You know I really try to be off my phone as much as possible when I’m with my kids because that that gift of presence is is so rare like I don’t get it in other places in my life. So that’s a ah great reminder.

46:23.19
charukaarora
Good. Do your children understand who what you do do they understand? Um, um, you know their mother is an artist. Um, do they understand? Ah I think it’s It’s one of the privileges I feel like children who grow around creative mothers or parents. Think it’s a blessing I had my mom She wasn’t as per creative in the sense of you know as an artist but she was very creative and I think a lot of my own influence comes from her on how crafty and you know how creative she was so how how do your children react to that.

46:39.39
Kaylan
Ah.

46:52.92
Kaylan
Um, yeah I mean I I think it’s very normal to them. Um I think the harder thing to describe is like well I run a network of online.

47:04.97
charukaarora
Oh yes, Yes, yes, yes yeah.

47:06.66
Kaylan
People and they all come. You know like it’s more of the like virtual aspect of you know, kind of community building. They don’t quite understand um which is funny because that’s easier to explain to adults like I think you know adults who who are not.

47:14.27
charukaarora
Yeah.

47:20.46
charukaarora
And.

47:26.60
Kaylan
In the art world. They’re very like they understand oh you have a podcast much more easily than like oh you like make things and like do you sell them and I’m like well no, not always and they’re like but then what do you do with that. You know like that kind of um whereas my kids really understand.

47:34.30
charukaarora
Ah, yeah.

47:42.49
charukaarora
Ah.

47:45.80
Kaylan
Oh you made something cool. That’s great. You know, um so it’s it’s kind of reversed. It’s interesting. Yeah.

47:46.13
charukaarora
Yeah I really love that. Yeah, you know I think that’s interesting if that’s very interesting. Oh my god this was so amazing Calen. Thank you so much for your time I really really enjoy talking to you but 1 last thing before I let you go.

48:00.62
Kaylan
Thank you.

48:05.39
charukaarora
Ah, please take this space and can you can you tell us? how can we support you by. Can we find your work. How can we know more about drive artist mother, podcast and anything that you want to share with us anything any new project that also you have working on.

48:23.38
Kaylan
Yeah, um, thank you for asking and you’re a great interviewer. This was a wonderful conversation. Um I think yeah if you’re like kind of looking for that visibility um of being an artist and caregiver definitely tune into the other artist’s mother podcast. It’s.

48:29.60
charukaarora
Ah, thank you.

48:40.84
Kaylan
You know available and you know we release like 2 to 3 episodes a month so we’re still pretty consistent with publishing. Um I also have another podcast that I co-host with Jamie called um the thriving artists podcast and that is like.

48:52.45
charukaarora
Yeah.

48:58.37
Kaylan
10 to 15 minute short little episodes really just about a topic kind of a practical tip or like how to plan out your week or how to have a closing routine in the studio. Um, so definitely give that a listen if you want kind of more just like art advice or inspiration. Um. And yeah, you know the thrive together network is kind of the virtual community that we run and um, we always have something new going on there. It’s a great place to plug in to we’ll be really wrapping up. You know. the year and kind of doing our big push for planning in 2024 so um I I think like the biggest thing our community offers other than connecting with you know, hundreds of artists is Jamie and I offer planning tools for artists so we have you know a. Calendar and kind of goal setting activities and all this stuff that can really help you get organized um in the studio and plan for the year ahead so that’s kind of where my brain is at even though it’s only September I’m like you know working on like yeah.

50:05.74
charukaarora
Ah, oh my god I’m only I’m like oh my god 2024 is it already here. Ah my goodness and.

50:11.16
Kaylan
Coming. But it’s coming up. Um, and then my you know my art practice I actually had a lot of shows early this year. So the rest of the year I just get to be in the studio and I don’t really have deadlines until 2024 so I’m really

50:23.43
charukaarora
Oh out.

50:30.11
Kaylan
Looking forward to having some yeah just just slower time in there. Yes.

50:30.80
charukaarora
Enjoying that time taking that time being by yourself. Perfect. Thank you so much. It was so nice talking to you and I really appreciate your time and I hope to see you soon again.

50:41.27
Kaylan
It was wonderful. Thank you shruka. It was so great to talk to you bye.

50:46.46
charukaarora
Same here but Bye I Just oh don’t go I’ll just.

About The Guest(s):
Kaylan Buteyn is an artist, community builder, and the co-founder of the Thrive Together Network. She is also the host of the Artist/Mother Podcast, where she explores the intersection of art and motherhood. Kaylan’s work combines painting and textiles, and she is passionate about creating a supportive community for artists who are also mothers.

Summary:
Kaylan Buteyn, artist and co-founder of the Thrive Together Network, discusses her journey as an artist and mother. She shares her experiences of navigating multiple roles and dealing with overwhelm. Kaylan emphasizes the importance of self-care and taking breaks to avoid burnout. She also talks about the challenges and rewards of being a mother and an artist, and how she has found her own path in the art world. Kaylan highlights the power of community and the importance of visibility for artist mothers. She encourages artists to embrace their passions and find their own unique way of balancing their creative practice with motherhood.

Key Takeaways:

  • Identifying what causes overwhelm and taking breaks is essential for managing multiple roles.
  • Self-care and rest are important for maintaining mental health and energy levels.
  • Embracing adaptability and being open to change is crucial for artists who are also mothers.
  • Building a supportive community and finding visibility as an artist mother can be empowering.
  • Balancing motherhood and an art career requires making choices and setting priorities.

Quotes:

  • “I think a lot of my passion comes from rage, actually.”
  • “I actively chose being an artist because I wanted to live in the world as an artist.”
  • “I think a lot of times I feel as a woman and as a mother, I feel ashamed of that ambition.”
  • “Your kids really offer you a good mirror of yourself.”
  • “They tether you to the present moment.”
  • “I want my kids to see me happy and enjoying my life and putting my passions to use.”
  • “You can only wear so many hats at a time.”
  • “I really try to be off my phone as much as possible when I’m with my kids.”
  • “I want them to know that you don’t have to have a job just to have a job.”
  • “Your kids consume you and disconnect you from the outside world.” – Kaylan Buteyn

Charuka Arora is the founder of the Arts to Hearts Project and Host of the Arts to Hearts Podcast. She is also an acclaimed Indian artist known for her contemporary embellished paintings. Her unique blend of gouache, collage, embroidery, painting, and drawing explores the intersection of art, culture, heritage, and womanhood. Through her work, she tells stories of female strength and encapsulates them in pieces that can be treasured for generations.

 Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

Charuka’s work draws inspiration from Hindu mythology, recognizing women as vessels of Shakti, the cosmic energy. She beautifully portrays powerful goddesses like Durga Maa riding a tiger or lion, symbolizing their unlimited power to protect virtue and combat evil.

Through her art, Charuka invites us into the world of women, showcasing their beauty, strength, and resilience. Her creations not only exhibit exceptional talent but also serve as an inspiration and a symbol of hope for those challenging societal norms.

About Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

Arts to Hearts Podcast is a show delving into the lives and passions of renowned artists. From running creative businesses and studio art practices to cultivating a successful mindset, Charuka Arora engages in heartfelt conversations with her guests. Experience your personal happy hour with your favorite artists, right in your studio.

Through candid discussions, Charuka and her guests reveal the joys and challenges of a vibrant creative life, both within and beyond our studios. Get ready to be inspired and uplifted as you tune in.

About the Guest

Kaylan Buteyn’s work investigates physical representations of generational care through paintings, quilts, domestic textiles, abstraction, and collage. She has exhibited in galleries and community spaces internationally including the Ground Floor Gallery in Nashville, TN, Artlink in Fort Wayne, IN, and Split Milk in Edinburgh, Scotland, among others.

In 2019, as a social extension of her art practice, Kaylan founded the Artist/Mother Podcast, sharing interviews of working artists who are mothers. The podcast community has grown to a more inclusive state and now exists as the Thrive Together Network, a community of female-identifying, non-binary and trans artists that offer support and encouragement through exhibitions, retreats, a crit group program, and more.

In 2020 as a response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Kaylan co-founded Stay Home Gallery with Pam Taylor and the two took their virtual gallery physical when Kaylan offered her home and artist studio in rural Tennessee as a brick-and-mortar gallery and artist residency space. Kaylan holds an MFA from the New Hampshire Institute of Art. She now lives with her partner and their 3 children in Fort Wayne, IN.

Want to know more about Kaylan? Visit the links below.

This week’s podcast revolves around Kaylan Buteyn, a visual artist who has drawn inspiration from her journey as a mother. Kaylan sees her art as a medium to tell stories that will take you to the past. Her quilts are reminiscent of a nostalgic era where mothers and grandmothers used to knit all sorts of textiles. Kaylan recalls that time and how those skills were part of the family lineage and were passed down from mother to daughter. Now, that art is lost in today’s fast paced world, but Kaylan is bringing it back by reconnecting to her own family roots as her grandmother was also a quilter.

Chasing her dreams and becoming an artist

Kaylan went to grad school and chose Elementary education as her major, but soon realized that she could not spend that amount of time around fourth graders. Unfortunately, at that point she could not switch to Art, and had to settle for Communications. But she took as many art classes as possible, got a camera, and started a commercial photography business. She did wedding and portrait photography for few years, which enabled her to learn some handy skills such as marketing and PR. Finding her dissatisfaction with the photography business, Kaylan went back to grad school for painting.

Talking about finding her calling, Kaylan calls her decision very intentional. She did not start her art career on a whim, rather she came into it because it was something she chose, and not the other way around.


“I actively chose being an artist because I wanted to live in the world as an artist. I wanted to have a worldview of an artist, so I kind of had to craft that for myself.”

Kaylan Buteyn – Arts to Hearts Podcast E37, S03

Struggles in her art journey

It wasn’t until her first child, that Kaylan found the flexibility to do what she wanted to do, and that came with its own challenges. She and her husband scaled back their lifestyle in order for Kaylan to be an artist without having the pressure to make money.


“I had a little bit more time so things could build a bit more organically and that really led to a lot of surprises and following the flow of my career path. Which I don’t take for granted, like I realize that’s a very privileged way to go about building a career.”

Kaylan Buteyn – Arts to Hearts Podcast E37, S03

Finding her strengths in motherhood


Unlike most artists, Kaylan did not start her career as an artist ‘just because she knew it in her bones’. For her, it took a long time to get where she is today, and she only began to call herself an artist after the birth of her first child. Touching on the role of a mother along with being an artist, a lot of Kaylan’s passion comes from her rage and her desire to fix something. And that may be because of the expectations society has put on women. However, there is a paradox, where women are meant to do it all but also have restraint so they don’t come off as too ambitious.


“We’re not supposed to do too much, because then things must be falling apart at home or we must be neglecting our kids if we have a good career.”

“Everybody wants you to be perfect. But when you actually are ambitious and passionate then they say no, no, no, that’s too much.”

Kaylan Buteyn – Arts to Hearts Podcast E37, S03

Kaylan believes that starting her art career after motherhood definitely had an impact on her timeline.  

“Going to art school and going to grad school and doing all of those things like building your career before you become a parent, that wasn’t part of my story. I actually already had a kid when I went to grad school and chose to kind of be an artist and focus on visual art and painting.”

Kaylan Buteyn – Arts to Hearts Podcast E37, S03

Kaylan offers an interesting perspective on her journey, because with motherhood comes a lot of responsibilities. While many people struggle to fit their children into their world, Kaylan did the opposite. Talking more about it, Kaylan admits that being a mother and then starting her career as an artist has resulted in her strength of ‘not having rigidity’. It created the perfect recipe for resilience and adaptability, as juggling her two roles was her reality since the beginning.

“I don’t have as much dismantling of all of those rules around being an artist to do. I think that’s a pretty big strength. There’s kind of always been this rogue way that I’ve gone about this because that’s all I had to work with.”

Kaylan Buteyn – Arts to Hearts Podcast E37, S03


Creating a community of mom artists


For any person, it’s important to have role models to look up to so they can structure their careers accordingly. Similar was the case with Kaylan, who went back to grad school in the attempt to have an anchor in the art world. While she was inspired by abstract painters like Joan Mitchell, Lee Krasner and Helen Frankenthaler, she still longed for a blueprint on how to structure her day around her kid’s day. She didn’t know many mothers who were also on an art journey, and so that played a huge part in her starting her own initiative where she interviews mothers who are artists. A platform like this opens doors for people who are on the similar journey and create an online community. She wanted to have those role models and visibility for other mothers that she herself needed in the beginning.


“Cliché in the artist’s mother community is that you can only wear so many hats at a time, we feel like we have 10 hats to wear but really, you can’t wear 10 hats at once.”

“You can only prioritize a couple things at a time if you’re going to do them with integrity and you’re going to do them well, and so we’re kind of always making these choices about what’s important to us.”

Kaylan Buteyn – Arts to Hearts Podcast E37, S03


Kaylan’s story is not just a motivation to all the aspiring artists out there, but also to mothers who have their own dreams but are told by the society that they can’t have it all. The Artist/Mother Podcast provides such women a platform and the chance to relate with other mother artists so they can learn how to navigate their own journey. Listening to Kaylan, one message that becomes absolutely clear is that it’s never too late to start doing what you love! Tune in to this episode and listen to Kaylan talk more about her fears and doubts as she started her art journey, and how she went ahead with it anyway. You can also listen to Kaylan’s podcast at https://artistmotherpodcast.com/. You can check out her work by visiting her Instagram https://www.instagram.com/kaylanbuteyn/?igshid=NjIwNzIyMDk2Mg== and website http://www.kaylancreates.com/?fbclid=PAAaZpGQ5Z2SD2CPxTR6pzmowggQTMbCGkrLfjr43QDzAqqezeyXlCHxyfcM4.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CJxQX_FBPI


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