Discover more from cosmic playdate
in conversation with bianca pozzi
and the subtle art of mothering with intention.
For this week’s very special dispatch I have had the pleasure to pick the brain of an artist whose work I admire wholeheartedly. Bianca Pozzi is a children’s book illustrator, maker and mother to Sophia. Her works portray her vision of childhood (and motherhood) through idyllic scenes inspired by fairy tales, fables, classic illustrations and the natural world. Her first book is called The Seasons Within Me and it will be released this April by Random House. You can pre-order it here!
I’m so delighted to share with you the candid chat I had with Bianca. Her thoughtful responses on parenting and art have left me with an even deeper respect for her and her practice. Read on, because this one is such a treat…
1. Hi Bianca! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself!?
I’m a Brazilian author and illustrator of children’s books. I live with my husband and daughter and a recently adopted cat (in fact, she adopted us). I have a background in Fashion and Textile Design, and have licensed my work for many years. Currently I’m focusing on books, prints and cards, which is something I have always wanted to do. My first author/illustrated picture book will be released in April, By Random House.
2. Who is in your family? And how did you choose your baby's name?
My girl is called Sophia which, of course, I think it’s the most beautiful name in the world. I like that this is a well-known name in many countries and cultures, meaning wisdom. The name also reminds me of the book Sophie’s World (in Brazilian Portuguese the name was translated as Sophia) and I love to think that Sophia is this curious, imaginative girl.
3. Walk us through a day in your life…
My alarm clock is my daughter! We wake up around 5:30-6:30am. We read a little, get breakfast, play. Around 8 I go to my studio to work and only stop to make lunch. After lunch I stay with my daughter so she can have a nap beside me, and when she sleeps I try to get back to work. Sometimes she wakes up the minute I hold a pencil, haha! But usually I’m able to work a little more.
In the afternoons I try to do admin work, both for the house and for my art business. Some days I’ll just be with my daughter the whole afternoon, and other days my husband will. As we both work from home, we have this flexibility. We try to be outside with her as much as possible to enjoy nature and have fun.
I give her dinner, bath and put her to sleep around 07:30pm. After that I take care of myself: taking a nice bath, having dinner, reading and watching series. I usually go to bed early to be able to wake up the next morning with my little human alarm clock—it never fails!
4. What is your favorite part of being a mama and what is the hardest?
My favorite part is to see the person that both she and I are becoming. It is a mutual, spiritual transformation and it is amazing. She is my guide as much as I am hers. I absolutely love this experience and I’m becoming a better person because of her. Of course there are also other moments, mundane moments, where we cuddle, we laugh, we cry, and so on. These are all beautiful and so worth living through.
The hardest part is to accept that things aren’t always going to be as we planned, that some days will be really hard, and this is all part of the job.
I’m still learning how to deal with it. I think I’ve come to accept this now. Sleep deprivation was a huge thing in the first year. I was in survival mode for so long that it affected my mental health, and I started having anxiety. It was 2020 and Covid was on top of that, so the journey wasn’t easy.
5. How has motherhood impacted your creative practice?
Oh, it impacted it in all ways possible. I’m now learning to work on small batches of hours. It also made me question what I’d want to achieve in my art career, how I should portray my vision and my values as a mom into my art. So, yes, it has impacted everything because becoming a mom makes you evaluate all things in life and your art is the mirror of it all.
6. How do you perform the great balancing act between work commitments and motherhood?
I think I might be learning how to do this now—two years later! This year I actually made a family schedule, so I know the days I’ll have the whole afternoon for my work, and the days I’ll only be with my daughter, for example. There are the things I’ll do daily, liking using the mornings to paint.
7. What are your fondest memories as a child and how do you think they have impacted your work?
My mom always encouraged reading by getting us books and I still remember many of those books. The feeling of being inside an illustration has carried throughout my life. I think this is why I chose to work as an illustrator for children.
6. Who is your ultimate mama muse?
Natalie Trusler has been teaching me so much. She is a big inspiration behind this magical, beautiful childhood I’m creating with my daughter.
7. What is the best parenting you have ever received (if any)?
“The best gift a parent can give to a child is your own happiness”
this is from Thich Nhat Hanh, quoted by Dr Gabor Maté, who adds that “parents really need to look after their own emotional lives. To examine the stress in their lives in those first few years of your child’s life. To make the child’s comfort, happiness and security their primary goal. Wherever life goals you have, put them on hold as best as you can, and really create an environment where the child is connected and secure. And that child then will be set for life.”
8. How do you unwind? Do you have any mindfulness practices?
I do try to have mindfulness practices like daily breathing, recognizing my feelings, and accepting wherever I’m going through at the moment. I learned this in therapy and it has been life changing.
9. Do you have any personal goals you are working towards?
I’m taking it slow on personal goals right now to be able to focus on my little girl’s early childhood. But I’m making paintings to sell as prints and postcards, and maybe I will work on a new book this year.
10. What are your favorite instagrams to follow these days?
One last thing…