Natalia Schonowski

:: AGE

31

:: LOCATION

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

:: MEDIUM

Fiber (textiles)

:: IDENTIFIES AS

Female

As a womxn, why do you think it is important to create?

It’s important to create as a way of self expression and communication. It’s definitely important for women to create because our voices and ideas have not been heard in the past. It has gotten better, but I believe there is still a lot of work to be done. When we create we are putting our ideas out there to be seen and heard.

What or who keeps you inspired?

Every day life keeps me inspired. It’s hard to work on my art every day, especially since I became a mother. But I am inspired every day even if I don’t produce every day. I know it may sound cliche, but once you become a parent you see things in a different light. Right now I’m inspired by how my daughter experiences things for the first time and how she finds joy in the simplest things (like pressing the elevator button). It forces me to view things in a different light. It makes me pay attention to my surroundings, how they look, the shapes, sounds, textures, smells, etc.

What has been your proudest moment as an artist/creative?

There are many instances I have been proud. One of them was being accepted for grad school. Another was traveling to a residency in Indonesia and working very hard and having been very productive.

How do you define love?

To me love is about patience. It can be about patience with your partner, yourself or others. Since no one is perfect, patience is key in all our relationships, including the one with oneself. We need to be kind and patient to be able to see results. Ultimately the transformation is within. We are not changing the other person but this patience can make us see the things that make us proud or make us feel love.

What is the space like that you create in?

I don’t have a specific space where I create work. My medium is pretty flexible, so I have hand embroidered and crocheted in subways, airplanes, living rooms, waiting rooms. I do have a designated space when I work with the sewing machine, but it’s basically a desk. Since I have lived in many different places I just worked from my apartment. It doesn’t need to be a specific place, I just need to be organized and have the necessary materials. Since I became a mother, I have to work even faster and in short bursts.

What do you like to listen to while you create?

When I have my things planned out and I’m hand embroidering a piece I will watch a show. I have also listened to audio books while I machine embroider. I have also worked in silence. It really depends on my mood.

What’s your earliest memory of making art?

When I was around 3 years old and I asked my mom to teach me how to make circles and other shapes. I was very eager to learn.

Do you have any words of advice for young womxn/artist/creators out there?

Create, create and create some more. I also think it helps for artist to learn the business aspect of arts. I don’t think this is being taught in schools. How to promote art. It’s important to learn these things.

Who is an artist/creative who inspires you?

There are many artist who inspire me, I still really like Louise Bourgeois. She created so much art later in life. I’m also inspired by my friend Aurora Molina. She works so hard and is very determined.

What do you think are some ways to strengthen/celebrate the community of womxn who are artists/creatives?

I think there should be more opportunities for women, be it grants or residencies. Now that I’m a mother, I also see that there is a lack of spaces that accommodate┬ánew mothers who are creatives. I think there should be more support, especially in this day and age.

What social issues do you care about most?

The environment. It’s not the only issue I care for, but I feel it has a great impact on everyone.