Moms and Dads

Jewelle Yeung and Olivia d’Aboville: The Canvas of Life

Jewelle Yeung and Olivia d’Aboville talk about how being artists influences their parenting style.

Artistic parents like Jewelle Yeung and Olivia d’Aboville navigate a unique and often complex juggling act as they balance the demands of their creative pursuits with the responsibilities of raising children. Their dual roles bring a distinctive set of challenges and rewards—shaping not only their strokes and expressions but also their parenting styles.

The dynamic interplay between these two facets of their lives can have a profound impact on both their children’s upbringing and the art they create—producing a rich tapestry of experiences and insights that reflect the intricate relationship between creativity and motherhood.

Jewelle Yeung on Being an Artist and a First-time Mom

“Before having kids, I was always very insecure about my work,” Jewelle reveals. “It came to a point where I found myself being influenced by too many commentaries that steered me away from an organic creative process and my work became stagnant. So I decided to take a long break from painting. I didn’t pick up a brush for about four years.”

It was around this time that she also gave birth to her firstborn, so the break was extended—partly
due to her adjusting as a first-time mom. “When I finally got around to painting again, my approach completely changed. Something about shifting my priorities gave me a different type of confidence.”

Becoming a mother has brought new perspectives to Jewelle, which is reflected in her work these days. “I used to identify as an abstract painter—trying to portray raw emotions through shapes and colors. But lately, I’ve been placing myself in my paintings as a figurative element to lighten the intensity and also to make it a bit more tangible.”

When life, creativity, and motherhood intersect, it brings about a fountain of valuable lessons. For Jewelle, it’s that there is space for everything while learning to say no to some things to make space for others. “I came to a point earlier this year where tackling three big things became quite overwhelming. And I realized that it was because I was saying yes to everything—all the shows and demands for the company.”

“This took me away from my duties as a mother. I thought to myself that I would need to give up one of these things. But I learned later that it is possible to juggle all and still find time for yourself—by
simply saying no sometimes.”

It’s this mindset that allows her to fight creative blocks while parenting. “I need to remove myself from the situation or environment for a moment. Giving myself space to breathe without being reminded that I need to be ‘creating’ or whatever expectations that come with being a mother.”

Olivia D’Aboville on Shifting Priorities

“Having kids changes your priorities,” Olivia D’Aboville, a mother of two, emphasizes. “I work from home so I would find a few hours in a day to work in my atelier, juggling between my kids, house chores, and work.”

“It’s much easier now that my youngest attends a French school with his older brother,” she adds. “The hours there are longer so I get to have a lot more time for myself and I can finally fit in a few hours to work out. I can focus on work while the kids are away and I switch to being a hands-on mom when my youngest comes back at 3 PM.”

The birth of her children made Olivia’s life much more colorful as well. “I had two solo shows. ‘Kaleidoscope’ in 2022 and ‘In Color’ in 2023. These were directly inspired by life at home with two young boys. I had never really dared to work with color so much prior to having kids. My go-to palettes were natural, neutral, earthy colors, or monochrome blue before being a mom. Now, my works are explosions of color.”

When it comes to encouraging her sons to express their creative sides, the two are very much
involved in her artistic endeavors. “My kids have seen me work on my art since they were born and they have attended all my shows. They love to hang around my atelier when I work and they do their artwork on the floor with my retaso,” she laughs.

“They love to help me pin the fabric onto the canvas and it was a great exercise for their tiny hands to develop good motor skills! Recently, my husband started experimenting with abstract painting
and my kids got into it as well.”

Olivia’s biggest blessing is her family and there isn’t a day she doesn’t feel in awe of her children. “There is always something that will trigger that feeling,” she ends. “After a long day and its challenges, it’s important to hold onto these beautiful moments. Life is so precious and we need to let go of the noise and appreciate what’s in front of us. Seeing these little humans grow before my eyes is a miracle.”


To read the full article, grab a copy of Modern Parenting’s special Holiday 2023 Print Edition. It’s available on sarisari.shopping. Or you can download the e-Magazine from Readly or Press Reader.

More about parents balancing work and life?

The Life, Times, and Wisdom Nuggets from Working Moms to Close Mother’s Month
Work-Life Balance Redefined: 10 tips on managing work from home and home-based learning
An Empowering Legacy: Nikki Tang on Building a Future for Her Sons

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