Evan Mooney describes herself as a Mother, Artist and Optimist, which you can certainly see it in her work. Each piece is bright, sunny and chic — she finds much inspiration in color, textures and contrasts, and from her family.
Q: Evan thank you for telling us about your artistic style! Can we ask how you began creating art?
A: I have always been surrounded by creativity — my mother designs fine jewelry, and I have three uncles whose professions are in the arts (a painter, a sculptor, and a screen editor). I have also always had a wild imagination and have been “creating” since early childhood. I attended The University of Virginia, where I studied Art History and took studio art classes as well. I focused my studies on the abstract expressionist and pop art movements, particularly in America. I have been heavily influenced by many of the artists I studied, which is evident in my body of work. I have always loved painting and have made sure to carve out time for creativity in my day-to-day. Painting is incredibly cathartic for me and has become increasingly important as my family has grown. My husband and I have three fabulous and high energy children, ages seven, five and two. As a mother, I have found that creating mental and physical space for myself is incredibly crucial — for my own happiness and in order to find balance.
Q: What’s the latest piece your working on and what is the meaning behind it?
A: I have recently been working on Warhol-inspired peace sign paintings. I am an incredibly emotional person. I believe that it is my greatest strength as well as my greatest weakness. I started these paintings at a time when I was feeling very disheartened by the lack of empathy and respect shown between individuals and between cultures and communities at large. With the increased use of smartphones and social media, I have seen individuals growing further apart from making real connections to those around them. These paintings are created in an effort to express a desire to spread hope, love and connectedness. Art, in all of its forms, has the power to bring people together and to start conversations.
Q: Can you describe the process it takes to create one piece of art? How do you find time in your busy #MomLife?
A: My process always starts with color. I have never had a “favorite” color but instead am enthralled by unexpected yet balanced color combinations. I keep track of these palettes in a color journal that I religiously update. I find inspiration everywhere — from the natural world, a well decorated room, a fashion runway, food packaging…everywhere! Documenting color combinations is a task I can do in between the chaos of the day, when a few quiet moments are found. I also attempt to cross administrative tasks off my list during the daylight hours, because they don’t take the kind of focus creativity demands. In order to fully immerse myself in the creative process, I really need several hours of uninterrupted time. This is incredibly tricky and nearly impossible to do during the day with three little ones running around and asking me a million questions. Usually, I paint once everyone else is peacefully in bed. This means that I am up way too late, but what I have learned is that carving out time for creativity means giving up something else. In this case, that something else is sleep. It is worth it. Painting helps to clear my headspace and is such a productive way for me to express emotion. After all, isn’t the source for all great work the product of passion and great emotion? As a mother, wife, daughter, friend, I experience extreme exasperation, joy, fear, and hope, to name a few, on a daily basis, and the satisfaction of putting all of that emotion into a work of art is immeasurable.
Q: Tell us about your experience launching Evan Mooney Art. In your words, what were the scariest and most thrilling parts of starting your own businesses?
A: Launching my own business was both the scariest and most fulfilling thing I have leapt into since diving blindly into parenthood. In the past, painting had always been something that I did exclusively for myself. It had almost acted like a visual diary. Can you imagine sharing your diary with strangers? At the same time, I am someone who needs to feel connected and known. I grew up in Houston, Texas, and my whole family and many of my closest friends still live there. My husband was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, and we moved here shortly after marrying nine years ago. I have made incredible friends here and feel so grateful for the village of friends and family that surround me, but for the longest time, I felt like there were still pieces of me that no one here understood. Launching my business not only felt like a sharing of my truest self, but it has also connected me in more meaningful ways to those around me. In particular, I have been blown away by the incredible group of female small business owners who have generously shared their resources, experiences, and friendship with me. Their generosity of spirit lifts me up, and I hope to do the same for other women.
Q: Any advice for moms who also want to pursue a passion — how should they get started?
A: I think that the hardest thing to overcome in the pursuit of any passion is overcoming pride and fear and just diving in. Be confident. If you love doing it, start today. Own it. You don’t have to qualify your pursuit to anyone. Do it for yourself. You will be glad you did. If you are afraid, reach out to others who have gone before you. As I said before, I have been blown away by how generously other women have helped me. I reached out to friends as well as strangers whom I admire. Almost every person I reached out to responded with enthusiasm. YOU CAN DO THIS!
With Thanks & Care,
Bio: Michelle is a former beauty executive and contributing writer who loves being part of the Care Skincare Team. She’s married with two small children who have more energy than all the drinks on a Starbucks menu.