Hello everyone! I’m thrilled to be a part of this wonderful Local Milk journey with all you creative people. My name is Silke Bonde, and I’m a Danish artist & designer living a little north from Copenhagen with my husband and our 1.5 years old son Norr. I run my own business selling my art pieces, and I also collaborate on various projects with other artists. I’m an educated brand designer, and I love the way of creating a visual universe on platforms like Instagram. Today I’m sharing my thoughts on motherhood & working from home as an artist. I hope you can take my experience and use it to create a more fulfilling home studio life yourself.
Motherhood & Working From Home
I’m a minimalist both when it comes to my work and decorating my home, but the past year has taught me differently, and I have finally realized that it can be a bit of a challenge when having a 1.5-year-old running around. I must admit its kind of a relief to try to loosen up a bit and cope with all the toys everywhere in my home.
I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work from home. A few years ago, we bought this wonderful house from the 1960s with the perfect bright room for a home studio and a direct view of the garden. Every day I enter my home studio, I get a very happy feeling. But as many of you probably already know, there can be some challenges as well with this dynamic.
It Affords Endless Flexibility
One of the greatest things about working from your home studio is the flexibility that comes with it. Whenever I get a new idea, I can go directly to my work desk to sketch or start painting, whether it’s a Sunday or late at night. I love the fact that I can go with an impulse idea and test it right away.
The flexibility also lies in the shift between work life and family life. I can pick up Norr from daycare whenever I want, and I can choose to have a full day off with him.
The backside of this flexibility can be that strange feeling of sitting at home when your kid is in daycare and feeling wrong being at home without him. After having one year off for maternity leave, this was especially hard for me to cope with. But I know that I would never get any work done with him running around, and as long as he’s happy in the daycare, it’s totally okay.
Ignoring the Dirty Socks & Dishes
Yes, on a hectic morning being busy making breakfast, taking a shower, and getting the kid dressed, we do not always leave the house all cleaned up. This means when I get back from following Norr to daycare, I have to walk by all the dirty dishes, the toys lying all over the floor, and the filled laundry basket. It’s SO hard for me not to start cleaning everything up. But I am aware that if I start cleaning up, I will spend too much time on this instead of working in the studio. So I currently practice imagining that I have blinders on and tell myself, “later.”
The Commute Free, Make-up Free Zone
It’s SO wonderful to actually go to work without spending time on any transportation at all. Besides that, it’s very good for your economy and the environment. If we could just all walk or ride a bike to work, think about how great this could be for the environment!
Another great thing is the opportunity to sit in your comfy wear without worrying about your hair and makeup. After working from home for several years now, I do often find myself in a too comfy and practical situation where dressing well and putting a bit of mascara on seems too complicated. This has to change, if not for myself, then for my husband! I’m am still working on this.
A Social Double-Edged Sword
I really enjoy having my own company and appreciate being my own boss. In a design process, I need concentration and silence to stay focused, so being on my own is actually working very well for me. That said, I really enjoy being social too. I often miss having people around me to discuss design issues and other work-related topics. Over the years, I have realized that it’s crucial for me to meet with friends or other people from the design world at least once a week. So if there is no time for meeting with people after dinner during the week, then I have to prioritize seeing them on a working day. It has become very clear for me that I get so much energy from being with other people (family aside), and I think it applies to all of us!
My Creative Work Can Flow Into My Home
One of the other great things that come with working from your home studio is how creativity spreads all over your home. My home turns into a canvas that always changes. When I create new pieces, I need to see it in a real home environment so very often I will hang it in the living room before adding them to my webshop. I really love to live in this ever-changing canvas home that applies to creativity and imagination.
All in all, being able to balance motherhood and working from my home studio is a gift, and I really value the flexibility and opportunities it can afford. Thank you so much for reading, and I am looking forward to meeting you all on Instagram.
Silke Bonde is a Danish artist living in a house a little north from Copenhagen with her husband and 1,5-year-old son Norr.
Images edited using the Local Milk Instagram Preset Collection.
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