Meeting Maggi McDonald

Meeting Maggi McDonald

You may be correct in thinking that you have seen Maggi's face before, as she has already dawned the pages of our website!

Pre COVID 19, only a couple of months back, but now feeling like an entire lifetime ago, we flew down to Sydney to meet the amazing Pink Elephants team.

This trip was all about the photo shoot for an upcoming Leina Broughton Twenty Five to Strive Campaign, to help raise money for this incredible foundation through the sale of our Mystic Dresses (pictured below).

On the top floor in a funky little retro studio, we set up ready for the shoot and to meet the Pink Elephants crew, one of which was the beautiful and incredibly talented Maggi Mcdonald.

 

Above left~Pink Elephants crew from left - Katie, Maggi, Sam & Gabbi. Right~ Maggi.

Maggi came along as a Pink Elephants ambassador, where she also works with the team to help support women who have endured loss through miscarriage.

Born and raised in South Africa, Maggie moved to London where she spent quite some time before settling here in Australia. Maggi now calls Sydney home with her beautiful family.

As well as a mother, a Pink Elephants ambassador, a business-woman and a teacher (yes she has workshops!), Maggi is also an incredibly talented and celebrated artist.

With a background in surface design, the elements of her formal training are evident in her artwork. Strong eclectic combinations of vibrance and bold lines within her powerful pieces are the outcome from her inspiration, drawn from nature and brightly coloured abstract gardens and landscapes.

We thought it would be a fantastic time to check in with Maggi to see how everything is going for her during the lockdown and to see how she is continuing to find her creativity in a space that is so different to a few months ago.

Q&A 

Can you share with us how life is in lockdown (so to speak) is going for you and your family?

Life in lockdown has been manageable for us as a family - working from my home studio I am used to being at home and both my husband and myself are lucky to still be able work during current restrictions.

We are homebodies so things haven't changed that much for us - we usually just spend time together as a family on the weekends and have a quiet day on a Sunday to recharge and get ready for the week ahead. My son is missing his friends though - as an only child it's been hard for him not to see his mates at school but they have been having regular catch-ups on Zoom.

I think it's important for us as parents to remember that their whole world has been turned upside down and if we are struggling with figuring it all out imagine how they must be feeling.

I have taken time to be present with my son and create a calm and safe space for him with lots of hugs and chats and cups of tea to go with all of our baking! I've also learned that there are going to be days when nothing goes as planned and that it's ok on those days to just step away from the school work and my own work and go for a bike ride or walk. 

As an artist and a mother – what are your tips to help inspire and grow creativity in children?

My number one tip is to let your child be bored. Encourage unstructured play, let them have the time where there are no activities scheduled and where you are not entertaining them. Often when we are bored our minds wander and we daydream which leads to creative thinking and problem-solving. Children need time to be still with themselves and our lifestyle of constant stimulation doesn't leave much space for them to do that. 

Are you managing to create artwork in this time and if so – how are you finding inspiration?

I have to be honest the first couple of weeks I was just trying to keep myself and my family safe and calm and adjust to all the changes that were happening around us. I find it hard to create when I'm not relaxed and we were certainly not relaxed during those early weeks of Covid19! I have however been finding that my creativity has returned as we have settled into our new normal and now I'm enjoying the extra time I have in the studio. Being in my studio creating is my happy place and having the ability to still do that during this time of uncertainty has been a blessing. 

What good can you find from the current situation and how can you apply that to your life?

This pandemic has effectively made the whole world slow down and take a step back. For us as a family, this has been a time to reflect on what we have and count our blessings. Social isolation has made us realise how much of everyday life in Australia we take for granted and how it's a privilege to live in a country where we have amazing healthcare and good education system. 

To see more on the beautiful artworks that Maggi creates - please visit her website here

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