Antonia writes; I’ve been following @memyselfandernest on Instagram for over a year and I always find myself laughing at all her illustrations about parenting. As an illustrator and a writer, Fariah is spot on. I think it’s a true talent that she can sum up so much in one illustration. I wanted to share her work on Mumvoice because I think it shares a lot of the same core values; honesty and comedy.
Parenthood can test you to your limits and sometimes we feel sad and isolated like we’re the only one struggling through difficult child behaviour/ parenthood mundanity/ multi tasking like maniacs. Fariah’s illustrations remind us of the commonality of human experience. Whilst Fariah’s humour is key to lightening our mood and reminding us that there is often a very funny side to difficult situations. I am thrilled that she has found a moment to answer some questions for me about how and why she started her business. Check it out below;
I’m a freelance writer and illustrator and love finding new ways to be creative. Me, Myself and Ernest started off being a simple drawing of my comical parenting life but quickly grew. Since then I’ve worked with some incredible businesses including magazines, photographers and a Disney/ Marvel brand confectionery company. I still feel a little awkward calling it a business, mainly because I really enjoy what I do!
Why did you start your own business?
I found being a stay at home mum really hard especially when I had little time to read and be creative. I really needed an outlet but with my husband working in London and commutes being long I frequently felt very isolated and had little time for myself. My husband wanted more time with the family and luckily now works closer. Once I started to gain more ‘me time’ I used these breaks to write and draw what I loved most about being a parent. Some days were tough and I expressed those too. So, in a way, my blog and work started as a form of therapy.
What was the moment that made you want to take the plunge with your business idea?
Like Rome, my business wasn’t built in a day. In fact, it took a good few years of starting and stopping, swapping and changing before I felt I had the faith in myself and my work to really go for it. However, the moment I did decided to go for it was more like a jolt! I realised I spent so much time creating but not doing anything with it. That’s when I decided to share it with others, and meet other creative people too and so my business began.
What have your biggest challenges been?
Trying to find time to fit both my children and starting a new business was stressful and I was going to bed at silly o’clock for a few months! But it did get a little easier especially meeting other mums (online and in person) all trying to achieve a similar goal helped me immensely.
I read a quote recently that summed it up perfectly, it said ‘the hardest part about being a working mum is trying to work like you haven’t got kids and trying to raise children like you don’t work.’ Ah, how true.
How has your family influenced your work and business?
I wouldn’t be doing any of this without my family’s support. My husband, my mum and in-laws have encouraged and have stood by me through it all. But it’s when my children think my work is amazing and go off and draw their own creations or when they pretend to have their own business like mine that I well up with pride. I see how my business is already making small changes in our family and it always makes me smile (like I am now) and in turn, I think their enthusiasm and view of the world keeps my creative juices flowing and moving forward to try bigger and better things. I just hope that whether I achieve my own goals in life that by watching me try, they feel they can achieve theirs.
You can find Fariah’s work on Instagram at @memyselfandernest
Fariah’s website is http://www.mymyselfandernest.com