Emma Hawkins asks local artist, Emma Itzstein, some questions about the eternal juggle:


As a new mum and a true creative, how are you finding it all?
It’s a balancing act! It sounds very cliche, but it’s true. I have to be ready to work as soon as I step into the studio, I can’t procrastinate like I used to.. but it’s a tricky one because pottering around and reading and listening - it’s all part of the process as a creative too. I’ve found my brain is finding it harder to focus on one thing at a time, but that has also carved out a wonderful opportunity to experiment with new techniques and styles.

Lawyer turned artist! Takes true courage to follow your passion and change careers, was this a difficult decision at the time?
It definitely took a lot of soul searching and existential reflection to come to this pivot. And to be honest it wasn’t a “decision” per se in the end. I left the corporate/office world after a mental health crisis and found myself painting as therapy.. it wasn’t until I eventually got in a better head space that I turned it into my career. You sometimes have to reach rock bottom to find your gold. It’s incredible how well I can manage my mental health now that I’m living and breathing my passion. I am now a massive encourager of people following their dreams and trying to find a career doing what they love - it’s so much easier when you don’t resist it.

And lastly who inspires you?
“Who” is a hard one.. nature inspires me. Feelings inspire me. Some rubbish on the side of the road can inspire me. Aesthetically there are a tonne of visual artists, masters and contemporary, whose work I admire and learn from. More broadly people who are extremely creative in their own fields, like music and interior design, inspire me. I feel like a get a lot of energy and inspiration from podcasts too, like Brene Brown and Talking with Painters. My husband inspires me. My son. Everything? Haha