Motherhood is full of ups and downs that you don’t get to see if you’re not a parent yourself. That’s one of the things that artist Paula Kuka shows in her witty and truthful illustrations about the reality of raising children.
The Australian artist’s drawings demonstrate that what society sees in public is just the tip of the iceberg. For example, we might spot a mom scrolling her phone while pushing a pram and we’re quick to judge her. But we don’t see all the hundreds of small things she did for her children that day. Much like with professional athletes and skilled musicians, we see the end results, not the hundreds of hours of effort, pain, sweat, and tears that happened offstage.
We bring you some of Paula’s best and insightful illustrations, so be sure to scroll down to the very bottom, and upvote the drawings that you enjoyed. And be sure to let us know in the comments which of Paula’s work you thought was the most illuminating and why.
Paula revealed how she became an artist, what the challenges of motherhood are, and what her future plans are. Scroll down for the full interview. Especially if you’re artistically inclined because Paula has some great advice for you if you’ve lost your motivation or creativity.
“I never had plans to be an artist. When I finished school, I studied landscape architecture at university and went on to work in that profession for about 10 years,” Paula recounted her journey towards becoming an artist. “When I went on maternity leave with my first child, I started drawing as a way to keep creative.”
She explained that she draws digitally and uses the very same technical skills that she used as a landscape architecture. “After I had my second baby a few years later, I started drawing cartoons as a way of documenting our daily lives (because I was useless at writing in their baby books).
“I posted them on Instagram and they very quickly gathered attention from other parents who loved seeing such a relatable view of parenting. I like to talk about some of the challenges of motherhood — the guilt, the frustration, the boredom, as well as the hilarious and heart-warming aspects. It’s important to me to talk openly about these things as I know it can help other parents feel less isolated in what they are going through.”
Paula revealed that a few months ago she started doing a weekly cartoon and writing a column in ‘The West’ newspaper in Western Australia. “I am also putting together a book which I hope to have out early next year. And as long as people are enjoying what I am creating, I’ll keep posting and see what opportunities arise,” the artist said about her future plans.
She also had sound advice for artists who are struggling, have lost their motivation or creative sparks: “Opportunities can come in the most unlikely places. Be generous with your time and skills.
“All my greatest opportunities came when I went out on a limb and did something for someone and didn’t expect anything in return.
“Just keep going and stay true to yourself. People resonate the most with authenticity.”