Marissa Huber shows how to live life your way, with ‘time chunking’

The artist and co-author of ‘The Motherhood of Art’ talks about prioritizing her creativity while working full time and raising a family

Marissa Huber at Alt Summit in March 2020.
Marissa Huber is a painter and surface pattern designer who started taking her art more seriously after her son was born. Heather Kirtland (right), is a Baltimore-based painter. Together, they published The Motherhood of Art to inspire parents and non-parents who want to find more time for their own creative pursuits. (Photographed here at Alt Summit in March 2020)

About Marissa Huber

Now 41, Marissa is a painter and designer whose work has been featured in HGTV, Design Love Fest, the Create! Magazine podcast, and more. In the last two years, Marissa also learned surface pattern design and began licensing patterns, completed several 100-day projects, played Legos a ton, had incredible conversations with her dad in his final months of life, and had her second child. “I also ate a lot of drive-thru and laughed more than I cried,” she writes from her home in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

What’s it like to work full time from home during the pandemic?

Being a mom who’s used to taking advantage of whatever time I have to efficiently complete work has been critical during shelter in place.

What’s your childcare situation?

Since 2015, my husband, Mike East, has been the stay-at-home parent in our household. He’s a fine artist who’s been using late nights to get his painting done outside of being the primary caregiver to our two children. I want to note that with our first child, we lived in Philadelphia and both worked full time — he was a college art professor — and our son was in daycare. I was the primary caregiver / flex-parent, and that has been a major shift in our family.

How many hours do you usually sleep?

Ha! Totally depends. Anywhere from six-nine hours? Not totally uninterrupted since my daughter still fusses occasionally and sleeps in our room.

We realize you’re only 41, but what are the 40s like for you so far, and what do you want younger women to know about this decade before they reach 40?

I love my 40s so far. I know myself and what truly matters, I value my worth, and am more comfortable in my skin now than in my 20s and 30s. I want younger women to know that we cannot control the passage of time. But you can start doing work at whatever age to inch toward the woman you want to become, and the big dreams you want to accomplish someday.

The Motherhood of Art by Marissa Huber and Heather Kirtland

What three jumbles are top of mind for you?

1. Fighting racism.
As I write this in June 2020, a deep reflection around anti-racism is top of mind — and what more I need to do in my personal, professional capacity, and as a community leader for Carve Out Time for Art.

How do you go with the flow? Meaning, how do you work through your jumbles?

My beautiful, talented, and compassionate late brother was an addict. Losing him when I was 27 put so many things into perspective. Everyone has their own struggles, and most people are doing the best that they can. I also saw that the most generous and beautiful moments can exist in the same place as the rawness of grief. Such is the duality of life — and this resilience and perspective helps me to accept things, do better, and keep showing up.

“My beautiful, talented, and compassionate late brother was an addict. Losing him when I was 27 put so many things into perspective.” — Marissa Huber

Also, after attending plenty of NA meetings to support my brother, the Serenity Prayer is pretty damn good (coming from a non-religious person). “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

What have you figured out by now, and what do you hope to figure out moving forward?

I’ve figured out that nobody is going to give me permission to do the things I want to do except for me. So I better get on it. I’ve also realized that nobody has everything figured out completely, and many people I look up to are winging it as they go, too. Do your research, always keep learning, consult the experts, but also trust that you can figure it out along the way — for personal projects, not brain surgery.

Head of Content, Jumble & Flow + Community Manager for Fable. Bylines in Abstract, Etsy, Minted, Pitchfork. Get my newsletter:

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