An Interview with Carmen Torbus

Today, I get to share with you the interview I did with Carmen Torbus.  I have just recently met Carmen, but when visiting her website, I feel like I have found a soul sister in what I am working on here at Visionary Mom.  She is ALL about supporting and empowering us to live creative, passionate lives.

Read on…

Thank you, Carmen, for taking the time to chat with us.  Why don’t you tell us a little about you and your family.

I’ve been married to my husband, Dan for almost 11 years.  Our daughter Morgan is 8 and our son, Colin is almost 7.  We live in South Florida.  I hold a lot of titles, but the ones I get most excited about are Bliss Follower, Big Dreamer, Mess Maker, Cheerleader for Creative Entrepreneurs and Lover of the Words, “I’m so inspired right now!”

What would you say your big dream is?

Turning my passion for inspiration, creativity and encouragement into a career as a professional cheerleader (for creative entrepreneurs).

You are working on a book right now.  What can you tell us about it?

It’s an art book about developing signature style.  It’s so neat to see the way different artists use materials and supplies and create a style all their own.  My book takes a look at some techniques from some of my favorite artists with distinctive style and teaches those techniques to the reader.

Have you always wanted to be an artist?

No, I’ve always wanted to be a cheerleader.  I had no idea I would ever become an artist.  In fact, I discovered Mixed Media Art in early 2008 by complete chance when I picked up a copy of Artful Blogging magazine at the bookstore one day.  I was drawn in immediately and haven’t turned back!  It was such an honor to come full circle and have my blog featured in that very magazine this past October!

That is really inspiring!  So, what did you want to be “when you grew up?”

A cheerleader.

How does that compare with your real life now?

It’s funny because although cheerleading was what I always wanted to do when I grew up, once I got past a certain age, I thought the dream was lost.  And I never really went looking for it for the last 15 years or so.

The last few months I’ve been doing some soul searching and I’ve realized that even though I’m a 30 something mom… I still want to be a cheerleader when I grow up.  And that’s what I intend to do.  The difference is that now I get to cheer for other creative entrepreneurs and women like me who could use some support, enthusiasm and encouragement!

I love the creative space you create around you.  Have you always been creative?   Share with us how you got to where you are now.

Thank you!  I’ve always been creative, but never like I am now.  I’ve always felt as if something was missing and freely expressing my creativity was definitely part of it.  I’ve really only been focused on leading a creative life for the past 2 years, so this is something that I’ve committed to after kids.

One of the biggest challenges I encounter is time.  There seems to be so little!  I work full time outside the home as an admin assistant and I have a one hour commute (both ways!).  Once I get home we have ball games, practice, dinner, finishing up kids stuff like reading, showers and all that goes with getting the kids tucked into bed.

It’s important to me that I make time to be in my studio, work in my art journal, write or do something else to keep my creative juices flowing.  That usually happens sometime between 8:30 pm and 2:00 am.  I’m a night owl.  If I was an early riser, I’m sure I would make time by waking up super early.

Also, my husband works nights, three days a week.  So I use those nights for creative me time after the kids are in bed.

What things do you let yourself blow off to make sure you are spending time expressing yourself as a creative woman?

Housework, TV shows (I love my DVR!), surfing the web, checking email, etc. Although, blog hopping is often creative time for me because I get so inspired by other creative people!

When you are really in the zone, being productive, and doing all the things you want to be doing, what does a typical day look like?

I really can’t answer that question because I’m not there yet.  I can imagine how it will be when I’m pursuing my dream full time, but for now; it includes regular day time stuff, then hitting the studio after the munchkins are in bed, where I paint, play, make a huge mess, paint some more, take some pictures and blog about it.  And when I’m finished, grab my journal and start writing about how I feel and how inspired I am.  These little tid bits of writing become ideas for future blog posts or content for articles I’m working on.

Do you feel like parts of yourself have been neglected since becoming a mom?

There was a time when I would have answered yes to that question, but I’ve come to realize that it’s really important that I find ways to meet my needs so that I can be a better mom, wife and overall better person. It’s a good feeling to know that I’m honoring what’s really important to me.

What do you wish you had more time for?

Everything… so I could do more, be more, enjoy more.

How do you or tap into your own creativity and passions in those times when you feel tired and worn out from your mama duties?

I’m really lucky.  My husband helps out so much.  His work schedule allows him to be the primary taxi parent.  He drops them off at school most days and picks them up every day.  He helps them with homework and shuttles them off to practice or games, where I usually meet up with them for the evening.

But, on the days when I do get overwhelmed by mama duties, it can be difficult to get back into the zone creatively.  I find other bloggers and creative friends that I’ve met via social networking to be amazingly supportive and there is always someone out there that I can reach out to when I need to.

Do you ever feel guilty for wanting time away from your family?

Yes and I’ve found that the best thing I can do it let go of that guilt and fully embrace what I’m doing when I’m away from them.  Otherwise, it’s time wasted.  Sometimes, my husband will send me off to the bookstore for some “me time” and although I feel a tinge of guilt was over me, I check it at the door and enjoy myself! I’m always glad I did and I come home happier and am more pleasant to be around.

What would you say is the single most important thing that helps you balance who you are as a mom and who you are as an artist?

There is no such thing as balance, and accepting that and going with the flow is the best practice for me.  I’m not one of those people that can compartmentalize who I am.  I wear many hats, but I am, at all times, all of those things rolled into one.  I am a mom when I’m an artist and visa versa.  Recognizing that helps me realize that I don’t need to try to find balance.  I don’t think balance is attainable… and that’s ok.  Life is kind of like the ocean.  Absolutely amazing, and it ebbs and flows, always.  There is no controlling or balancing the ocean, it just is.

What gives you hope and inspiration?

Other people that are living their dreams or vigorously and passionately pursuing them.

Me too!  :) What do you see for yourself in this next year with regards to your work and being a mom?

Continued growth all around.  I plan to continue working on my vision for a creative business. I’m working on some creative workshops and collaborations.  I’d love to eventually be able to pursue this full time so that I can have a more flexible schedule and be available to my kids for things like field trips and volunteering in their classrooms or help coach their little league teams.

Anything else you want to let us know about?

You can find me online at:

website & blog:  http://www.carmentorbus.com
twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/carmentorbus
facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/carmentorbus

Also, I have a new column over at WishStudio starting in April called “So inspired right now!”  http://www.wishstudio.com

And I’m teaching at The Purple Cottage in May.  The workshop is called Art & Dreams Bound.  http://www.thepurplecottage.com/

Thank you Carmen!  I love how inspired you are while you are working on your dreams.  It is contagious!   We should all love what we are doing as much as you obviously do.

Carmen describes herself as a Bliss follower, big dreamer, mess maker, cheerleader for creative entrepreneurs and lover of the words, “I’m so inspired right now!”  She wears many hats, from wife and mom of two busy kiddos to full time admin assistant and she squeezes in her passion for art and connecting with other creative people in any free moment she can find.

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