the residency, ep. 04 | Maggie Stephenson

Art has always been a part of my
life. I’ve been drawing ever since I was a little girl with my grandfather in
Poland. He taught me how to draw a lot of little cute animals, wildlife. We would go
for walks in the woods and he would teach me how to draw plants and the
trees. A lot of my inspiration comes from music, I would say. If I feel like I’m
stuck in a rut or I don’t know what to draw, I will pick up any music that I
feel would help me out, whether it’s sad or something funny, and then I will just
listen to it and I don’t know how to explain it but something happens where I
just feel things and that creates images. Hi, my name’s Maggie, I’m the artist for
the Winter CAUSEBOX. Being able to have this career and work from home and still
spend time with my family is probably the biggest privilege I could ever have.
I know it can be very hard when you initially get married, have a family, have
children and try to do all these things, you kind of put yourself on the back
burner so it’s hard to get past that point and not feel like a bad person for
finally stepping sort of out of that shell and doing something for you,
pursuing your career. It’s definitely something that you have to learn and
realize that it is okay to follow your dreams while still taking care of your loved ones. You’re not neglecting anyone, you’re not putting anyone behind you, you’re basically doing this all together as a family. I actually have a lot of creative blocks
and I almost feel terrible admitting that I have learned with time not to let
it stress me out initially when it happened. I was just taken aback, I’m like, “Wow, this is it, I will never draw again. I don’t know what to draw.”
I remember scrapping every single thing that I would try to illustrate and I was so
frustrated. I was actually crying at one point, it was very dramatic but then I
just stepped away from it and I took a walk, spent some time with nature
and it’s just things started happening again. I started getting inspired by
colors, by shapes, by all the things around me and so now when it happens to
me, I just don’t stress about it. Take a seat back, step away from it, don’t
force it, most importantly have a glass of wine and have some tea, whatever gets
you through and something will pop in your head and you’ll be okay. I was about 10 or 11 when I was
listening to Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash and I thought they were like the
coolest thing in the world, jamming out pretending Elle’s on stage
singing and I can’t sing and I had this vision of America that there’s cowboys
and horses everywhere, I’m like “I’m gonna go there” and no I just always wanted to
come here, came here on vacation, loved it. People are so nice so welcoming
literally everywhere, I go I feel like I make a friend who will just like talk to
you and are not afraid to, you know, hang out with you so you always feel like you
could make friends anywhere which is so nice. My favorite part about designing
the Winter CAUSEBOX was coming up with an idea of what winter is about. Is it
about material things, is it about you know just one certain holiday and it’s
really not. It’s just about people coming together, spending time together,
it’s about community, about celebrating friendship and the friends that you’ve
made along the way, whether here or elsewhere. I’m just kind of reflecting on
what makes you feel good, what makes others feel good. Trying to figure out
how to turn that into a design was a lot of fun and I feel like pushed me a
little bit of out of my comfort zone. Yeah, I guess that’s how it came about
all the people just dancing and celebrating, cheersing. It was just
great. Well, I had a great time!

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