Breakfast with Carmen
You’ve seen her at this blog before before: artist, mother, and blogger Carmen Torbus. Sit down for this week’s installment of Breakfast and enjoy getting to know the lovely and talented Carmen!
CC: Please give us an intro to who you are, what you do, and your family headcount.
CT: My name is Carmen Torbus. If I had to describe myself in one word, it would be “dreamer.” I currently wear many hats. I’m wife to my wonderful husband of 9 years, Dan. I’m mom to my little monkeys, Morgan (6) and Colin (5). I work fulltime as an admin/personal assistant in West Palm Beach and I’m a college student, studying to become a licensed clinical social worker. My passion is in development… I’m an artist. I’m finally comfortable saying that sentence.
CC: Tell us about your creative work and what’s on the offing in your Etsy shop.
CT: My art is continually evolving. I love learning new techniques and ways to incorporate them into art. My artwork is often a collage of texture, quotes, words, paper, fabric, and lots of paint. The focal point in my art lately has been girls with a whimsy, folksy, funkiness to them.
I’m embarrassed to say that my Etsy shop is a little bare right now. There are currently two paintings listed. One of them, “Personal Growth” [at left] is one of my very favorite paintings. It represents my growing, evolving heart.
CC: What prompted you to start a blog? What keeps you going?
CT: I picked up a copy of Artful Blogging at the book store one day and started flipping through it. I was mesmerized by the artwork of Bridgette Gurzon-Mills. Her artwork on her blog, Contemplating the Moon, drew me in and when I got home, I jumped online and started reading. Her blog lead me to other blogs and I was hooked. I knew I just had to find a way to become a part of this amazing community.
I’ve never considered myself much of a writer, but my blog gives me a place to document what I’m up to, share with my family and friends as well as serve as a journal that I can go back to and see how far I’ve come.
The inspiration I get from bloggers across the globe keeps me going along with the connections I’ve made with some of them. The comments, e-mails, and thoughtfulness are truly amazing.
CC: Where do you do your creative work?
CT: Right now, I work in the corner of our master bedroom in the condo we’re renting. We just bought a house though and when we move I’ll finally have my own room to serve as my studio. I’m so excited to have my own creative space.
CC: Do you have a schedule for your creative work?
CT: I don’t have a schedule for being creative. I fit it in whenever I can. My life is so full with work, kiddo activities, support groups I attend, and school, that it makes scheduling time for art difficult. I do most of my painting late at night or on the weekends.
CC: How has motherhood changed you creatively?
CT: That’s an interesting question. When my kids were born, I stopped being creative and I didn’t even realize it. It wasn’t until that day that I picked up that issue of Artful Blogging that I realized how long it had been since I had painted.
What I find really amazing is how much my creativity affects my kids. They want to do whatever I’m doing. My daughter is a very talented little artist. She is so creative and I get a lot of inspiration from her.
CC: What do you struggle with most?
CT: Probably believing in myself and thinking my work is “good enough.” I think that’s probably a common theme with artists. Developing a style all my own is a struggle as well, but it’s coming. I just have to remind myself to slow down and be patient with myself.
CC: Where do you find inspiration?
CT: Oh gosh, everywhere. I live in paradise. South Florida is just beautiful. I sit at my desk at work and literally stare out at the ocean. It is incredible. I’m truly blessed.
I also get a great deal of inspiration from other artists that blog. Especially the ones that share themselves and their journeys openly. The raw emotion that can be felt by looking at someone’s work and reading their truths inspires me like nothing else.
CC: What is your greatest indulgence?
CT: It’s a tossup between art supplies, books, chocolate *wipes drool from chin* and big ole Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks.
CC: What are you reading right now?
CT: A book by Dr. Brené Brown called I Thought it Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame.
CC: What advice would you offer to other mothers struggling to find the time and means to be more creative?
CT: Just do it. Get the supplies and sit down and do it. Don’t worry so much about all the “stuff” on the to-do list. Get your fingers messy in paint, dump that old box of pictures out on the table and get to it, dig out the tools and beads and make that jewelry. If it makes your heart sing, don’t put it off. You deserve it.
CC: Thank you, Carmen!