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12 Questions: MOTHER + ARTIST: Mindy Sue Wittock

1. Can you tell me a bit about yourself? What stage in your career were you when you had children?

I’m Mindy Sue Wittock and I currently live in Cedarburg, Wi with my husband, six year old daughter and our porky little puppy Chuck. I was a couple years out of graduate school and adjuncting at University when I had my daughter. 

2. What first inspired you to begin working with your chosen medium?

When I was in college at UWGB my sculpture professor Davy Damkohler and my textiles professor Alison Gates encouraged me to work in both mediums. They gave me a big studio space on campus that allowed me to experiment and make both sculpture and fiber work.

3.Where is your studio space located and how do you make work balancing motherhood and art making.  Could you share an image?

My studio is currently the landing at the top of our stairs in our townhouse rental. I call it #studioatthetopofthestairs It is small, but I have a window and it’s enough space for me to make work. It’s right by my daughter’s bedroom so she can play while I work. For right now it works and it feels like a magical art making fort. 

4.What are some of your rituals in the studio to get the momentum going?

I light a candle, listen to 80’s music or Harry Potter audio books and thank my space and technologies for the opportunities they provide me to be an artist.

5. How do you overcome ‘failure’?

I cry and move on. Keep making, even if it’s hard.  6. What is the most inspiring place you have been to?

I went to London in college for a month and I still think about it all the time. It was incredible. I went to the Rothko Room at Tate and I’ve never been so moved by art in my life. It was dark and it felt like I was in his paintings. Very moving. 

7. Do you have any other interests or hobbies?

I love watching vintage television like Mary Tyler Moore, The Honeymooners, and The Monkees 8. Do you collect anything?

80’s memorabilia 

9. What are 1-3 books that have influenced your life?

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, all the Harry Potter books, and Sula by Toni Morrison 

10. What are the biggest challenges you have faced as an artist/woman/mother? Have you experienced unfairness because of being a mother? Has your needs as a mother held you back from pursuing career goals?  

The biggest challenge for me is not being able to do artist residencies at this time.  11. Who/What are influences for your work?

Childhood memories, 80’s nostalgia and watching my daughter play and grow up. 

12. What are you working on right now?

I’m working on a series of Sacred Textiles, domestic textiles that are nostalgic. I’m also building soft sculpture from old stuffed animals and other found domestic materials like dish towels, jewelry, and toys.  I also work on a collaborative embroidery project with Minneapolis based artist Jenna Freimuth called The Wondermakers Collective.

See more of the MOTHER + ARTIST exhibition and Mindy Sue Wittock's work on Artsy


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