Series: Your New Best Friend, Kara

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Kara Western

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I don’t remember, but I’m fairly certain I found Kara’s page on my Instagram Explore page. I had recently written my Mom Jeans post and her post about Mom Jeans popped up in my explore page, I suppose for that reason but, does anyone really know why Instagram does what it does?

Regardless, I was so excited to see her drawing that expressed my feelings on Mom Jeans and I entrenched myself in Kara’s feed for a good while laughing and connecting with her view on life and motherhood.

I’m so grateful she said yes when I asked to interview her because I really just wanted to know so much more about her. And I’m so glad I get to share some of her story with you!

Kara said that she started drawing back in 2015 when she decided to draw a calendar of her and her partner’s upcoming year as new parents. “It was a super simple and basic calendar, I drew it with kids markers that you get at the grocery store for $1/pack. But I really enjoyed imagining what our life would be like with a little one and it just took off from there.” Though she continued to draw she didn’t start sharing her work until 2017 when a friend, Pete from @kellie_and_pete, motivated her to start her account. “I felt like, if he could do it, I could do it too!”

Kara says that the artistic side of her creative business comes easily but the technical side has been “very challenging to figure out, and very overwhelming.” Despite all of that, she’d really love to turn her account and illustrations into something bigger. One of my very favorite things Kara said during her interview was how she hopes her art serves those around her and those who follow her.

“My hope is to "normalise" all aspects of motherhood. I want to help parents feel less alone, because I think we are all experiencing the same truths when it comes to raising little humans.” A lot of times we see others sharing their gifts and talents on social media and wonder why they do it. I think Kara’s hopes for her work is one we all have deep down. We’d just like others to feel less alone and more understood.

With that said, so much of the internet world can be filled with those who don’t take you seriously or are just plain unsupportive, and in those moments it can be difficult to keep going. Kara, thankfully, had a small community of fellow illustrators that would support her and comment on her work. Not only that but her partner has been so central to her being able to share and sell her work. “He was always behind me pushing me to put up my work and sell it online. He has really helped encourage me when I felt like my drawings had no value.”

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One thing that I connect to so much with Kara’s drawings is the fact that they aren’t just about these perceived ‘perfect’ moments of parenthood. They are about everything that happens in family life both the beautiful and the not-so-beautiful.

“I like to focus on these little moments, whether they're positive or negative ones, because they help me appreciate all of life's experiences. It also helps put things into perspective. I'm able to better appreciate the happy moments with my family, and be truly present in the moment. And when I draw a "negative" experience (like baby bugging me while I drink my coffee), it helps me realise that I need to take a pause and stop fighting against toddlerhood.  They are only little for so long. My drawings bring me a lot of happiness because they help me reflect.”

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Kara says that she'd love to sell art prints, cards, books and other illustrated products. And she would also love to explore other topics with her drawings, like veganism, minimalism, and sustainability. “These subjects are integral to my parenting methods, and I'm very passionate about them.”

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I like to know what someone’s BIG dreams are for the future, and I think big can mean something different to everyone. It doesn’t always mean expensive or fancy but is instead the things you know will bring you joy. Kara said, “My biggest dream is to own a small home lost in the wilderness somewhere, where I can grow my own veggies, make fresh pies from my garden, harvest herbs for tea and homeschool my children in the beauty of nature.”

Just from personal experience, I know that so many of us can relate to the way Kara felt before starting to share her work. You just want everything to be perfect and aren’t quite sure what the reaction will be. If that’s you, like it was me, Kara has some very wise words for us.

“Just start! The truth is, it's a process. It doesn't matter if you only post once a month in the beginning, the importance is that you started, you've already done the hard part. Just start working at it more and more, start posting more, practising more, challenging yourself more... before you know it, you'll have something you're truly proud of.”

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Click over to Kara’s Instagram to see her beautiful drawings and some peeks into her and her little family’s life. Which includes a little bit of yoga and lots of fun moments with her toddler. She also told me she has an incredible recipe for lemon meringue pie that I definitely need to get from her!