Hi Roberta, first of all I just want to tell you what a pleasure
it was meeting you and experiencing your amazing home! And second of
all thank you so much for being the first creative mom to be
interviewed for my new series CJM Inspiring Moms. You are a true
example of a woman who has listened to the voice of her creative soul,
and gone all the way by developing and honing your skills such that the
end result is a true work of art. Between the home decor, the garden
and the farm animals, it's really quite amazing.
Q:How did you develop your style and stick with if so successfully?
I stopped trying to figure out what the “right” look was or what the “correct” color combinations were. I started to create pieces using only the materials and the colors that I truly loved. I learned to just go with my gut feeling.
I wanted to create an environment that was filled with only the colors and textures that I wanted to have surrounding me when I was at home.
Q: How do you delegate time between the craft/decorating projects, the garden and the animals? Which of these give you the most satisfaction?
My garden is pretty neglected. I just planted some perennials and I water them. My vegetable garden is really very pitiful.
Other than during the spring, the care of the goats, chickens and ducks generally does not require much time. Spring is when the chicken eggs hatch and when the goats kid. (They go into labor and their “kids” are born). Being there while the goats are being born is an incredible experience, year after year. Having my bathtub filled with chirping chicks for a month or two is also wonderful.
About the pieces I create - I only start a new one when I am inspired to make something new. A few months can go by that I am not working on creating anything.
It’s hard to say which of these give me the most satisfaction. They each have their own place making my life richer.
Q: Mosaics play a major role in the style of your home. How did you get started?
About seven or eight years ago I saw a mosaic café table for sale in a store in Manhattan. I fell in love with this table, but it was way too expensive for me to buy. A friend of mine had just learned how to do mosaics. She explained the process to me and I gave it a try. It was very easy to do. This is a craft that is easy to be successful with at the beginning, starting with your very first piece.
Q: You have four children. From what I've heard they seem to have inherited your creative genes. Did you do anything in particular to nurture their creativity?I have four children. They range in age from 13 to 28. I’ve asked my 28-year-old daughter, Jennifer, to answer this question. Jennifer’s career is in accessory & apparel design.
"My mom did everything to nurture my creativity! Growing up so close to New York City, we took advantage of everything that was available to us there. I remember afternoons at the art museums, and art classes in the city. I took pottery, candle dipping, knitting, painting, filmmaking and more.
When I was really young, I used to do unconventional projects, like using masking tape to tape together all of the loose change I could find around the house, and string them from the walls. Rather than disassemble my creations, she always encouraged them. I had art projects all over the house, and that was never a problem. For Halloween, I was encouraged to create my own costumes. I proudly wore two different colored socks to school, and she was always ok with that.
Most importantly, she never tried to train me to draw within the lines. There was never a "right" way to do art. That helped me to be open-minded and not have any borders. When I changed majors in college from pre-med to fashion design, she never warned me that my salary might not be quite as high in my new career. It was always about being happy and fulfilled.
Since I've been designing things (professionally) for several years now, art absolutely brings us together. It's what we love to do when I come home to NYC to visit her. When she flies out to visit me in Columbus, we wake up at 5am for antique hunting to find old treasures that we can turn into beautiful things. Because of her, I can't wait to have kids and pass on what we've created! "
Q: Was there anything in particular in your childhood that set the stage for your artistic endeavors as an adult?
parents always encouraged us to be creative. They always kept art
supplies around the house. Whenever I was bored I could just pick them
up to make something. My parents realized that much of the value in
creating a piece art was in the process. No matter what the finished
product looked like it was just wonderful to spend time creating
One of my sisters and I attended a nursery school where ice-skating with bare feet in finger paint was a typical activity. My sister is now a very highly respected artist.
Q: Now that your children are teenagers and older, I can imagine that you are much freer to spend time on all your creative projects. What was it like when they were young?
Actually I was able to accomplish a lot when the kids were younger. I would set up a space on the floor of my living room and start a project. I would leave all of the materials I needed right there. It is easy to work for a very short amount of time and then stop to drive a carpool, cook dinner, or do whatever needed to be done, and then return to the piece I was creating and work for a while again.
Q: Thank you so much Roberta for taking the time to share your life with us. You are truly a great inspiration and I'm so very happy to have had the opportunity to make this interview available to other creative moms around the world!