The Real Female Entrepreneur

How Kate Tangney Juggles Motherhood and Business as an Abstract Painter

Behind the HomepageLauren FrontieraComment

HI SWEETS! YOU'RE HERE FOR ANOTHER POST IN OUR BEHIND THE HOMEPAGE SERIES!

It's a badass weekly series that's equal parts coffee date (go ahead and refill your mug!) and meeting new friends and all the parts real + inspiring. 

So, cozy up + get to know the badass female entrepreneurs (and businesses) behind the homepage.


MEET KATE TANGNEY

I am Kate Tangney. I am an artist, a mother, and an entrepreneur, and I don’t always balance it all well. And I am the real female entrepreneur.

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Balance is a unicorn. It's dreamy and sounds magical, but it's not real. Woosah. Now the cats out of the bag. So, we can all stop trying to attain the unattainable and just focus on juggling all the things the best we can. 

Kate Tangney is sharing a sneak peek into her own life and juggling all the things. She doesn't always do it all perfectly (who does?!), but at the end of the day, she's going after the things she really wants.


And like Kate says, "There’s something powerful that happens when you decide to go after what you truly want in life. "


BEFORE WE DIVE RIGHT IN, LET'S START OUT WITH A QUICK ROUND OF THE QUESTION GAME…

 

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CHILDREN'S BOOK GROWING UP?

I love this question! There are so many, but my favorite was probably Amelia
Bedelia. Apparently I’ve had a goofy sense of humor for a very long time!

HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $500 ON A SHOPPING SPREE?

Oh, I could buy so much paint with $500! I’m not really a big shopper (although my Amazon Prime account might beg to differ), but I do tend to splurge on books and art, and good food and wine.

IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE NON-TYPICAL PET, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

I would totally have a penguin. There is no way anyone could have a bad day with a penguin waddling around the house!


1. TELL US ABOUT YOUR BIZ IN 3 SENTENCES OR LESS.

I am an abstract painter and hand lettering artist. My work is consistently inspired by our basic, universal emotional states, such as happiness and contentment, or anxiety and grief. My paintings are usually full of bold color and raw texture, because emotion can be such a raw, powerful force in our lives.


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2. NOW, LET'S START AT THE BEGINNING. WHAT'S YOUR STORY?

Let’s just say, I took a pretty roundabout path to art and business! I did start out as a Fine Art & Graphic Design major in college, but shortly after graduating I got a job in a completely different field. I also met and married my husband within a year after graduation, which was a total whirlwind! Then, a few years later, we decided to start a family, and I left work to be a stay-at-home-mom to our daughter (and eventually, our son).


"I didn't actually make art for close to ten years after college, because I didn't know how to be a wife, and a mother, and an artist all at the same time."


While all this was happening, I was not making art, or doing anything creative. I didn't actually make art for close to ten years after college, because I didn't know how to be a wife, and a mother, and an artist all at the same time. The prevailing “wisdom” I had heard was that being an artist and having a family doesn’t mix. At the time, I didn't have the motivation (or the guts) to challenge that idea.

But then several things happened in my personal life that pushed me back towards art. The biggest was losing my Dad in 2012. It was devastating, and really made me reevaluate how I was living my life. My father always told us we had to make our own luck, and for me, that meant taking charge of my life, and not giving a damn what anyone else thought.


"It’s challenging being a mom of two young kids, an artist, and a business owner, and I certainly don’t always balance everything well. There are days when I think I must be crazy for even trying to do it all."


So, I started to learn lettering, and abstract art, and I haven't looked back since. It’s challenging being a mom of two young kids, an artist, and a business owner, and I certainly don’t always balance everything well. There are days when I think I must be crazy for even trying to do it all. But this life is also chock-full of the things I love the most. And you can’t beat that!


3. YOUR LIFE + BIZ JOURNEY IS A BOOK. WHAT'S THE NAME OF THE CHAPTER YOU'RE CURRENTLY IN? 

“Out of my Comfort Zone” I’m really trying to push myself out of my comfort zone, both in the type of art I’m making, and in my business. It’s scary, but also really exciting.


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4. WHAT'S BEEN THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY SO FAR? 

Time has really been my biggest issue, honestly. It’s a constant struggle to find time to do everything, without feeling like I’m sacrificing something, or taking too much time away from my family. My goal lately has been finding more structured time to work (naptime, after the kids go to bed, etc). That way I can be fully present with my kids when I’m not working, and I don't have to worry about when I’ll have time to tackle that never-ending to do list!


"It’s a constant struggle to find time to do everything, without feeling like I’m sacrificing something, or taking too much time away from my family."


5. WE'RE ALL BATTLING DOUBTS EVERY DAY AS ENTREPRENEURS. WHAT'S BEEN ONE OF THE BIGGEST DOUBTS YOU'VE DEALT WITH?

Imposter Syndrome, for sure. I think most artists struggle with Imposter Syndrome at some point in terms of their artwork, but I also had this disconnect between calling myself artist AND an entrepreneur. In the art world, there is this glorification of struggling for your art, and there is also a stigma against treating your art as a business. So, it took me awhile to realize I could be both an artist and a small business owner. More and more, we are seeing artists create their own versions of what entrepreneurship looks like, and it’s really exciting to see that mindset starting to shift.


"In the art world, there is this glorification of struggling for your art, and there is also a stigma against treating your art as a business. So, it took me awhile to realize I could be both an artist and a small business owner."


6. SHARING IS CARING. AND THERE'S SO MANY BADASS RESOURCES FOR FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS. WHAT ARE 3 OF YOUR FAVES?

  1. Think Creative CollectiveThese ladies are ah-mazing, and they have so
    many resources for creative entrepreneurs (classes, a kickass podcast, and a wonderful online community, to name a few) They really helped me to get into a business mindset, which was game changing. 
  2. 10% Happier app: Things can get stressful when you're trying to run a business, and I have found this app SO helpful when things get crazy. Their tagline is “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics,” (which, let’s be honest, describes me perfectly. Ha!) It makes meditation so accessible and easy to understand, and they have guided meditations as quick as 1 minute if you're short on time.
  3. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert: This book is amazing. She really delves into how to make creativity a part of your life, and how to avoid some common problems we face as creatives. It’s part encouragement, part reality check, and it’s just wonderful. 

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7. IF YOU COULD GIVE YOURSELF ONE PIECE OF ADVICE RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE? 

“Slow and steady wins the race.” It’s easy to feel like I’m not doing enough for my business, and things aren’t happening fast enough. So, I have to constantly remind myself that I AM making progress, and that it’s OK to go at whatever pace works best for myself and my family.


8. WHAT'S YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH FOR WHY YOU SHOULD CHASE YOUR DREAMS?

There’s something powerful that happens when you decide to go after what you truly want in life. And when those goals align with who you really are as a person, and you decide to just be yourself, it magnifies all the good stuff in your life. I know that sounds wicked cheesy, but it’s true!


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Kate Tangney

Kate Tangney is an abstract painter and hand lettering artist. She was born and raised just south of Boston, MA, and graduated from Bridgewater State University in 2005 with a degree in Art and Graphic Design. After getting married, she moved back to the south coast of Massachusetts with her husband. In addition to being an artist, she is also a stay-at-home mom to her two kids (ages 2 and 6).



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