A little about Alyice:
For the past twenty years, Alyice Edrich has delicately juggled being a stay-at-home, work-at-home mom… working various odd jobs while building an award-winning online magazine and being readily available for her kids, and her spouse. It’s a choice she’d gladly repeat, if given the chance. But it hasn’t always been an easy choice.

There have been times when she lost sight of her own identity, and times when she wondered what it would be like to climb that corporate ladder and make it to the top.

Today, she’s once again re-inventing herself as she takes her creativity to new heights by building a business around what she loves most—outside her family, of course—freelancing writing and mixed media art.

1. Why is creativity important to you?
When I was a little girl, my Aunt Sue used to whisk me away for the weekend for a creative get-together. I looked forward to those weekends for so many reasons… to escape the drama of living in the projects, to get some undivided attention from one of my favorite people in the whole wide world, and because for one brief moment I didn’t feel invisible, unloved, forgotten, or a burden.

Creating art—whether it was baking in the kitchen, painting statuary, putting splashes of color on t-shirts, or creating little Christmas villages—was magical. It allowed my mind to be free, it allowed me to literally be in the moment, and it made me feel good about myself, and my life.

Then somewhere along the way, I stopped creating.

A tragedy hit our family and I lost sight of the creative side of me. After a few years and a bit of a depression, my husband encouraged me to start creating again.

Reluctantly, I agreed to give it a go and it was as though someone had breathed new life into me. Art healed me, yet again.

So I guess you could say that creativity is important to me because it heals… because it’s cheap therapy!

2. What do you enjoy the most?
Playing with my art supplies. I like to create intuitively, without a detailed plan. I like to just pick up my art supplies and sees what comes of the time. It’s freeing. It’s liberating. And believe it or not, it can be quite challenging.

3. Do you have any fears when creating?
Yes, I fear that my art won’t be good enough to keep around when I’m dead and that it will be tossed in the trash by someone who didn’t know how much of “me” went into that piece.

4. Are your family & friends supportive of the things you create?
Yes. I believe so.

They allot me the time I need to create, and they’ve been known to buy me a few supplies as gifts or take a friend down into my studio to show off my work station, works in progress, and completed works. They’ll even suffer through a gallery opening or museum with me.

5. How do you find time to create?
The best thing I ever did for myself, was create a space in my house just for my art supplies. When they were packed up in boxes, and had to be toted out every time I wanted to be creative, I just pushed the idea of creating aside. Now that I have my little art studio, complete with a folding table as a workstation and shelves filled with art supplies, I am more inclined to play with my art supplies and create.

Another thing I did was learn to be more productive with my time by combining two loves… I know that a lot of business-minded people feel that television is one big suck-fest… but I enjoy mind numbing television. I love to watch good acting, it’s a form of art that seems to be disappearing as more and more reality television shows take their spots, so I make it a point to indulge in good television productively. By that I mean that I create while watching television.

And now that my kids are older, I rely on them to help take care of the house. In fact, I’ve been known to say, “Wash the dishes, and clean up the kitchen while I go work.”

Words of inspiration to creative chicks:
Remember that art is subjective.

Not everyone you meet will like your art and that’s okay.

As long as you feel good when you’re creating, and you walk away from your finished piece feeling good about the art you created and the time you spent creating it, then you’re good to go!

In the beginning, seek out like-minded people. In other words, join groups of artists who create art in a similar style… because they’ll get your art.

A few years back, I went public with my art and I had a really bad experience in which one person seemed to hate my art, and another simply felt my style of art wasn’t polished enough. Then, when I turned to a dear friend for comfort, she couldn’t provide it because she hated my style of art and couldn’t find one nice thing to say about it. It really crushed my spirits and had me second guessing my talents, my abilities, and even my taste in art.

But then I met a woman online who encouraged me to share my art, on my own blog, the moment I completed it…without giving myself a chance to back down, or second guess what I created. She said, “If you feel it’s a good piece of art when you’re done, share it with the world. It will help you build confidence in yourself and your art.”

And it did!

First, whenever someone emailed me or commented on my blog about the art piece, in a positive way, it encouraged me. And second, seeing some of my own art online made me look at it without a personal attachment which allowed me to see areas that needed improvement, and that has helped me tremendously as an artist… it pushed me to grow as an artist.

Then as you grow, seek out groups of artists who are diverse because seeing the works of artist in different genres, or seeing the works of artists that are better than you, will push you past your comfort zone and push you to create better art.

You can check out Alyice’s art at alyiceedrich.blogspot.com or www.flickr.com/photos/dabblingmum. Or visit her resume site at AlyiceEdrich.net