It's March and it's time for the next in Maxted's series of Inspiring Women and this month we've turned the focus on the wonderful Lisa, owner of Artful Splodgers.
Throughout 2021 we are celebrating a woman/or women that inspire us. As a woman-owned and women-run business (including working mums) we want to show our support and celebrate some incredible women who inspire us with their entrepreneurship, ambition, spirit, activism, tenacity or encouragement of others.
Lisa's business Artful Splodgers creates curated arts and craft packs and eBooks to encourage children to explore ideas and their imagination. Through this experience they develop skills like problem solving, analytical thinking and creativity - plus they have a great time and parents and educators can keep their kids busy and occupied!
Lisa inspires us and is deserving to be part of the Maxted Inspiring Women campaign because she has built a business around her passion and her children, working from the ground up whilst encouraging other female entrepreneurs. Her business promotes strong relationships between parents and their kids and helps create positive memories and moments together.
Maxted: What activity are you doing below? What do the children get out of this?
Lisa: For this activity I lay out a canvas for each of the kids and a variety of printmaking tools. It was all about exploring ways to make marks on the canvas. I love this type of process art where you provide a mixture of materials on the table and they just explore them. They all come out with very different artworks!
Maxted: What inspired you to start Artful Splodgers?
Lisa: I love art, working with kids and as a mum I understand the challenge of finding activities to entertain your kids. These 3 factors led me to start Artful Splodgers.
As a qualified art teacher, I am a huge advocate for the importance of art in education and the benefits it has on children's learning and development. That phrase parents often hear "...develops their fine motor skills'' - that's actually a thing. The more young children work with their hands by holding pencils and paintbrushes and working with clay for example, the more they develop the muscles in their hands to help develop their writing skills and control their movements. Not to mention that arts and crafts are a great way for kids to express themselves, build confidence, inquire about the world, problem solve, and most important of all - have loads of fun!
I also wanted to help mums. I know from first-hand experience what it's like to experience 'mum-guilt'! So I create art and craft packs that are sent straight to parents and carers. They're awesome sets full of original activities (not just your average let's make an animal from a paper plate). I write the instructions so they can be worked on independently, and all of the materials are supplied in the pack, so no "argh we have just run out of paint!".
Maxted: What inspires you in your job?
Lisa: The kids. Seeing the smiles on their faces when they have created something they are proud of is priceless. I love seeing how their curiosity and imagination feeds into their artwork. I'm inspired by art, music, nature and people which I draw on continuously for art project ideas.
Maxted: Who are your inspiring women?
Lisa: Alma Thomas is an artist that I love. She grew up in the 1980's in Georgia; America's Deep South, where segregation was the law of the land. She lived a life filled with with rules and fear from extreme racism and she started making art at sixty-nine years old after many years of teaching. Alma became a role model for women, African Americans and older artists through her art. I love her so much I have based an art pack on her. She is a great artist to introduce little kids to as she is all about using colour!
Maxted: What is your favourite kids art or craft pack you offer?
Lisa: I can't pick one but if I could pick two they would be the mosaic craft pack as it offers such an interesting unique skill for kids to try at home, and our Paul Klee art pack which contains three fun and colourful activities using different materials such as clay and collage.
Maxted: How do you manage working and being a mum?
Lisa: I'm not sure I'd say 'manage'. It's really hard. I mentioned 'mum guilt' - it's always there in some form. I try to include my four year old in all the art activities I create and sometimes he loves participating, sometimes he'd rather play with his cars, and that's ok. I have to try and get a balance of working and being present with my kids which is hard when you run your own business as you're always 'on'. I make lots of 'to do" lists and achieve what I can in that time, and when I'm with them, I stop.
Maxted: As a creative mum, what are the staples in your wardrobe?
Lisa: Comfort. Easy. Funky. I want something I can move around in as I'm on the go a lot. I want something easy to look after, that I can throw in the wash and not have to spend time hand washing or dry-cleaning. I also want to have an edge to what I wear and look nice. I love colour and prints.
Maxted: What do you love about your Maxted knits?
Lisa: Maxted knits tick all of my boxes. They are so comfortable to wear, nice to touch and super easy to look after. I have a few Maxted knits and I can honestly say that after all the times I have washed them they have never changed their shape or colour. They are also fashionable! I love the oversized look and the colours of the knits go with everything. I love the knit details on the jumpers.