The Tot FIVE x FIVE invites inspiring mamas to answer five questions on motherhood and curate five products they can’t live without. Here we talk to Guady Pleskacz, illustrator, and mother of two.
If you’ve scrolled through Instagram and paused to double tap an emotive minimalist illustration of a moment in motherhood, then chances are you’ve liked Guady Pleskacz’ work
. The Southern California based graphic designer, illustrator and mom of two, is highly celebrated for her incredibly relatable and powerful depictions of parenthood.
Inspired by her own experiences and children, Guady creates art that reflects the universal experiences we share as parents, and in particular – the many shared experiences that women have in life. Today, she’s here to chat about maternal mental health, the importance of pressing pause, and how she’s raising her kids in the midst of a global pandemic.
Five on Motherhood
1. Your work is so unique and original, what inspired your personal artistic style?
“Growing up I always admired the work of Henri Matisse. I was drawn to minimalism and cubism as art forms. When I started to play around with my design style I knew I wanted to pull shapes together in a very minimal but free flowing way. The mothers depicted would have no facial features so that they could represent all types of mothers.
When researching monotypes I fell in love with and was very inspired by the work of Renee Gouin.”
2. The element of diversity in your illustrations is not only beautiful, but incredibly important. What advice do you have for artists who are trying to forge a career in illustration and graphic design?
“Don’t overthink it. Just draw or paint what feels good. Study the people around you— Your community, your family, your friends and draw inspiration from them. Diversity is so beautiful, we are all so different and as an artist its so wonderful to be able to depict that through art. “
3. You’re very vocal about self-love and maternal mental health, what’s your advice for parents needing to hit the pause button every once and in a while?
“Take the time you need to recharge. Becoming a parent, especially a mother is such a complex experience that carries an emormous mental load. It’s ok to pause, breathe, sleep— whatever that may look like for you. When we are at our best, so are our families. Don’t feel guilty! Spend time with your friends, meditate, drink the wine. Whatever works. And dont be so hard on yourself— GRACE.”
4. Tell us what a day in your life currently looks like! Any tried and trusted tips for keeping kids entertained while you work from home?
“Life right now during a pandemic is absolutely crazy. I have 2 small children 3 and 4 so they keep me very active during the day. I usually work at night after they go to bed but if I’m lucky there are some days where I can get them hooked on a fun craft, or a movie (tons of snacks) and I can get some work done myself. I work on an iPad so I am able to be very mobile and help them when they need me. But to be honest, the evening is when I love to create. In the stillness of the night when it’s dark and quiet. That’s when I feel the most energized.”
5. How do you talk to your kids about the current state of the world?
“My children are small so I try to keep it very simple. They know that there is a “Corona Virus” so that they can’t do all the things that they are used to doing but that it won’t be like this forever. They know they need to wash their hands, wear a mask when we go in public and I am always just stressing the importance of being to kind to everyone we meet. We are all different but the same and we all deserve kindness.”
Five from The Tot
“We had one of these when my children were younger. It was really a life saver when trying to cook a meal in the kitchen. They got to be a part of the experience and they both loved that.”
“Both of my kids love this board. It keeps them entertained for a good amount of time.”
“My daughter loves to cook and play in her cafe. This is a must.”
“These are great for car rides!”
“Both of my children love art like me, so I encourage them to draw and paint as much as they want. This type of easel is easy to move around the house and keeps the kids busy.”
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