My first year as a mother has been one of continuous transition—not to mention limited sleep, little personal time, and the anxieties that come with the responsibility of being a new parent. But the indescribable intensity of love and experience watching a human being grow exponentially in such a short period of time has impacted me, and my work, in a profoundly positive way. Every artist I spoke with for this story felt similarly—that having children benefited their work rather than detracted from it. “My children are a source of love and satisfaction that I consider to be one of the only true markers of ‘success,’” says Donovan. “I guess I have chosen to privilege my personal agenda over any agendas dictated by others, which I believe is a choice all successful people need to make.”
All women have the right to choose to have children, or to choose not to have children. And like their male counterparts, women artists who choose to have children need not feel they have to sacrifice their careers to do so.
Cover image: Portrait of Tara Donovan and her sons in her Long Island City studio by Daniel Dorsa for Artsy.