Meet Laura Watson, mom and BoomBoom Prints artist. Read all about how being a mom impacts her life as an artist, as well as her knowledge and advice about parenthood!
I’ve been working as an illustrator for nearly 20 years. My daughter, Posy, is 6-1/2. I’ve always had a lighthearted and whimsical art style, but ever since Posy came along (and especially once she got old enough to enjoy stories and art and express her amazing imaginative ideas), I feel like I’ve been given a lucky little front-row seat to the wonderful world of childhood. Spending time with my little girl has forced me to slow down and look around to see what’s funny or beautiful or strange in the world. It has also given me a reminder to revisit favorite picture books from my own childhood, and has exposed me to awesome new books by contemporary illustrators and writers, which are both hugely inspirational to me.
“I feel like I’ve been given a lucky little front-row seat to the wonderful world of childhood.”
Also, as a parent I feel how fleeting time is and how quickly Posy is growing up. Since I want to create work that she will enjoy at the appropriate age, it has really motivated me in my career to promote myself and go after the types of children’s book jobs she will enjoy RIGHT NOW. It’s so much fun to work on a project with her sitting beside me sketching her own work, or working on the computer and asking for her input (“what colour should the butterfly’s wings be, do you think?”, etc.) The best part about having a child, in my experience, is introducing them to the world and everything magical in it – and then in turn learning from them. It’s hard not to be creatively inspired when that’s what your everyday life is all about.
BBP: Do you have any advice for new parents?
Laura: It’s so hard at first, but gets easier and more rewarding all the time. Every age has its challenges and joys. Try to slow down and enjoy the happy little moments.
BBP: What is the most surprising thing that changed when you had kids?
Laura: Wow, that’s a tough question, because so much (i.e., everything!) changed, but it’s hard to know what was the most surprising. I think I was surprised when she was born how much my daily life completely changed the first few weeks – how I didn’t do ANY of the things I had done previously with my days. It was like being on a different planet. And then gradually some of the “normal” life crept back in as my husband and I got more of a handle on the day-to-day stuff.
BBP: If you asked, which of your pieces on BoomBoom Prints do you think Posy would like most?
Laura: I think at the moment, she would like the mouse tea party – “Merci Beaucoup“. A few months ago it would have been the princess, but she’s moved out of the princess phase now and loves animals, clubhouses and spies.
BBP: Do you have any Mother’s Day traditions?
Laura: Well, I usually get breakfast in bed and a homemade card, which is lovely. This year, however, I’ll be up early on Mother’s Day for the Toronto Yonge Street downhill 10K run, so maybe it’ll be post-race lunch in bed (and hopefully a home-made card)?
BBP: How did you decorate your child’s kids room?
Laura: My husband and I have a shop selling prints and gig posters and custom framing, so we have quite a bit of fun artwork in her room – silkscreened gig posters, a big alphabet poster by Burlesque of North America, a fun art silkscreen by Alanna Cavanagh, along with the usual IKEA storage units and a great 1950s teak dresser.
Check out more of Laura’s art on BoomBoom Prints here!