28 Sep Photographer + Blogger, Jade Warne
Jade Warne is the creator of online parenting and lifestyle guide, Hipster Mum – a blog dedicated to showcasing the bright side of life and profiling super-cool, inspiring Aussie mothers who have a fun, stylish and creative approach to life. We asked Jade to tell us about her own life as a creative mother. This is what she told us.
I’ve always worked as a writer and social media editor. I picked up a camera when I was pregnant with my second bub and have been sinking money into this ridiculously expensive hobby ever since.
Hipster Mum launched at 4am one night in April 2014, when I was buzzing with pregnancy-induced insomnia. It’s about balancing the everyday joys with the pain-in-the-ass realities and doing it with honesty and a sense of style. I love connecting with other mums who love and want to celebrate the beauty in honesty and creativity too.
The thing I like most about the blog is peering into the lives of other mums. With my photography, I try really hard not to rehash the same clichés you typically see in family portraiture. You know, the Vaseline-smeared lens, the knitted caps, the baby all curled up in a cabbage wearing a top hat and a tinkly bell. Yes, that’s all lovely and cute, but my gosh – it’s been done to death. I wanted to see mums and bubs and businesses and brands that are cool and creative in their own way. I’m interested in other creative mums. I’m inspired by how they make it happen. I love connecting with small businesses and brands on Instagram and I’m blown away by how many of these brilliant creatives are raising a family at the same time.
Before I had kids it was work, work, work. And, just quietly, that was awesome! What’s better than being free to pursue a dream, to collaborate with clever cookies and sneak in a few high-fives here and there?
Having my first bub was like pushing the button on the blender then realising I’d forgotten to put on the lid. It took me years to work out what was happening, to clean up my act and get into it.
Lots of women talk about this earthshaking, heartbreaking, spectacular love that wells up inside them the second they meet their babies. That didn’t happen to me. In my experience, the reality of parenting – for men and women – is way more complex than the clichés let on. What surprised me about becoming a mum was how much I sucked at it. How funny my kids are. How enjoyable it can be. I had no idea how hard this motherhood gig was going to be. I have one to two days of paid childcare a week, plus a half day of family childcare. I’ve just started renting a little studio space and I’m hoping I can commit to that. I think the greatest strength of a creative career – ‘it’s flexible’ – is also a great weakness, because your income is ‘flexible’ too. Thankfully, now seven years down the track, I’ve found my feet, and hey, its green smoothies all round.
Children are the ultimate creative inspiration – and the ultimate creative frustration! Sometimes you need the time limits and the hustle to get your creative juices pumping. I do find that being constantly on the go fires up my brain way more than having a relaxed, balanced schedule. I’ll have ideas on the school run, in the bath, washing the dishes, reading a bedtime story.
There’s something about having no time and no energy that makes me desperately want to work on creative projects more than ever. What helps me parent well is not comparing myself to others, and this pearler from comedian Amy Poehler, “Lower your expectations”. Living in the city, it’s easy to get caught up in what you don’t have. I constantly have to bring myself back to focus on how lucky I am every day.
Being an Australian creative who’s a mum means being part of a community of brilliant women working their guts out to make it happen.
For me, it means looking out for extraordinary talent and shouting out to them, shopping from them and supporting them because you know how much it means. A few mums I’m in awe of are Amy Shipp of the Mum Life Project, Dee Tang from Kawaiian Lion, Kelly-Lee Wright from Feather Drum, Elke Avis of Free Girls Yoga, Jacs Powell from Inside The Treasure Chest, April Heng from Travels of a Stylist, Alexandra O’Callaghan of MammaBelle Maternity, Lisa Oliver from Oliver’s Twisty Tales and way more than I could ever link to.
Jade Warne, 34, lives in Sydney, NSW, and is mum to Valentine, 1, and Winifred, 7. Jade is the editor and producer behind parenting and lifestyle blog Hipster Mum and owns her own photography biz. You can find her work via her wonderful blog or follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.