We have been so excited about sharing this interview with you. There is something truly magical about watercolour designs, they create whimsical, soft spoken illustrations that for reason remind me of being a child. Today you will meet Joya, a watercolour artist and mama to three of the most handsome young boys. Enjoy!
Tell us about your family.
My husband and I have three boys, ages 12, 9 and 4 and currently live in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Besides being a mother, what do you do?
I am an artist and designer, and have recently created a collection featuring my original watercolor designs on handheld clutches. I am also a commissioned illustrator for brands both large and small. My vision was to bring my watercolor designs to life through textiles, and make it into wearable art.
What inspires you?
My family, my boys and their endless energy! My Indian heritage, travel, vintage photos, textiles, nature, science, fashion, kind people, people who follow their dreams.
How would your children describe you?
Well, I am not sure, so I asked them. My oldest who is 12 says : “Artistic, Helpful, Loving and Kind”; my 9 year old: “Smart, Fun, Artistic” and my 4 year old said “Sweet” and “Cute”.
Well, that makes me feel good!
What is the best part about being a mother to your three boys?
Helping them become their most authentic selves, watching them discover the world at each stage, and seeing the love of my husband and I carry on to the next generation through them.
Do you teach your son’s about their heritage?
Yes, we explore all of their cultural backgrounds and we celebrate many traditions together with our extended family and friends. While I grew up in a small town, my neighborhood was very ethnically diverse. My neighbors were Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and Christian. My mother is American, and my father is from India. We celebrated all the cultural and religious traditions within our community together. I realize now, as an adult, how special of an experience that was as a child, and I try my best at instilling this in my children, within our community.
Where else in the world would you want to live: somewhere in Europe
What can your family not live without: Avocados and a soccer ball
Favourite family meal: homemade fish tacos because it is a meal that all three of my boys can eat and love, with two having severe food allergies.
Favourite beauty product: Organic Bulgarian Rose Water
What is the best mothering advice you received?
To trust my motherly instincts!
What does a typical day with your children look like?
We rise early, fix breakfast and walk two of my three children to school. My youngest goes to a part time Montessori school, and days when he is in school, I work at home in my studio painting, sewing and filling orders. When he is home with me, he plays along side me while I work, cook and run errands. After school we stay at the school-yard for a good hour and the boys play with their friends, while us moms catch up. Then once home, it is homework, soccer practice and a family dinner together. The weekends include more family time, with walks to the farmers market, soccer matches, trips to museums, hikes, swimming in the summer and dinner with friends.
Do you have any advice on juggling a career, motherhood and marriage?
When I worked outside the home, after my first and second son were born, I felt the most helpful decision I made for our family, was having a nanny in our home to care for our children. It was someone I really trusted and my children could be in their home environment. Now that I work from home, I do struggle to find the right balance in my days without any help, but realize that these moments together, with my children are fleeting. So I try to slow down and enjoy our time together. One thing that has helped me become a better parent, is listening to my boys, really listening and making time for those one on one conversations.
In my marriage, I think making time for one another to connect is so important. To keep the romance alive, even in the mundane of the everyday, we make a point to celebrate each other in special ways. We also enjoy cooking a meal together at least one night a week, where we sit down together with a glass of wine and dinner, after the boys are in bed. It allows us a date night in, when we have busy schedules, and to have a conversation without any interruptions.
And lastly, I think making time for a hobby, a chance to read a good book in quiet, create art, have dinner with girlfriends or a coffee date is important for a sense of self. To me, these things have made me take a chance on my art and have built a supportive community of friends.
Do you have a mama icon you look up to?
My mother, for her never-ending support, thoughtfulness, selflessness and the way she loves my children, like I do.