We get to know artist, Elysha Ferris while taking a peak at her latest projects and how she balances, life, work + kids. Discover Elysha’s favourite styles from our Winter 2022 collection, Playdate.
Hi Elysha! Tell us a little about yourself..
Hi, I’m Elysha! I’m a mum of three - Indiana (6), Hugo (4) and Daisy (2). They keep me incredibly busy, so finding time to fit painting in around their busy schedules can be challenging - but they’re also my biggest inspiration, the reason I’m doing it all.
We love your amazing art pieces. What is your go-to for inspiration when starting a new art piece?
We are lucky enough to live by the sea, on the beautiful Northern Beaches of Sydney. We love the lifestyle up here - everyone is very relaxed, and we enjoy the slower pace of life. We try to get to the beach as often as we can, and I draw most of my inspiration from the scenes I see each time we visit. Lots of umbrellas, shells along the shoreline, families making memories - these are the things that I hope translate in to my work. They bring a little slice of that paradise in to the home, and make people feel more relaxed when they’re looking at them.
What's you go-to tip and advice for balancing all things life, kids and work?
To really just try and be present to the task at hand. I learnt pretty early on, that to paint well - I really needed to focus completely on the piece I was working on. Sometimes that’s not entirely possible, but I have an amazing husband and family who help wherever they can - my mum has the kids one day a week, and we have an incredible girl who helps me with them another day each week too. That way I can really just be with them when I’m in mum-mode, and I can paint well when I’m in artist-mode. I struggled to do anything well when I was trying to juggle everything at once - but when I divided my time, I found it easier to focus and actually finish whatever I was doing properly, the kids were happier, and the house ran a little smoother.
What does a weekend away look like for your family? Any favourite destinations?
We are currently doing a top-to-bottom renovation on our house - so weekends away feel like a distant memory at the moment! We do love to get away though - our all time favourite place to visit is Shoal Bay. I grew up holidaying there as a child, and it feels so nice getting to take our own family there now too.
What's in your weekend getaway bag?
The whole house!!!? Haha it feels like it anyway. As the kids are getting older, it’s getting slightly easier. But I definitely am known for packing half their wardrobes - jackets in the middle of Summer in case it snows, and swimmers in Winter in case we happen to have a beach day! You just never know. Then we go away and everyone ends up wearing the same outfit all weekend anyway. Always better to be prepared though right!?
What activities do you take for the little ones?
They are each allowed to pick one toy to take each (there isn’t much room left in their bags after I pack all their clothes!). Then we usually take an extra bag with some games - UNO is always on hand, colouring books and textas, and books to read.
What are your go-to styles for your kids this Winter?
Hugo is an overalls boy through and through - he wears them year round, but in winter I just layer him up with big jumpers underneath and boots. The girls love a long sleeve dress with boots too. We’re lucky in that it never really gets too freezing where we live - so layers are key for us, as generally by midday everyone is too warm!
Elysha’s top 5 picks from the Playdate collection:
Mini Vintage Jean Denim, Sammy Corduroy Overalls .Lottie Corduroy Dress, Austin Vintage Denim Overalls, Banjo Knit Cardigan - Ivy
What are your fondest memories/playdates you had growing up?
I grew up backing on to a bush-fire trail - I had lots of friends who lived around me, so we spent our days making little bush cubbies and going from house to house on our bikes. I am lucky enough to have a sister only 18 months younger than me and we were inseparable growing up - it was like getting to live with a best friend permanently.
What was your favourite item/outfit when you were a toddler?
I remember Mum taking us all to line up for the Mini Minors sales back in the early 90s - her friends would all meet us there too, so all of the kids would end up with the same clothes! A favourite was this little yellow and navy wool tartan skirt and big navy knitted jumper that we all wore with navy tights and boots - there were about four or five of us with that same outfit, we all loved matching!
What's one thing you do/ recommend for us to do at home to be more eco-conscious?
I definitely try to buy things that can be passed down to each child - for example, Daisy is now wearing the same boots that Indy wore at her age, and Hugo wore them too. I prefer to just have a few quality key pieces for each child, rather than lots of cheaper, poorer quality clothes. I also try to buy from smaller brands who are more focused on their environmental footprint.
Best advice/tip you have for new mums and/or kids starting school?
I think it’s just to know that you don’t need to put pressure on yourself. You just do you - don’t worry about what other Mums are doing with their kids, or what milestones their kids are hitting before yours. Everyone is just doing their best, and that is more than enough for your child. Just being there for them, and being really present when you’re with them, is all they really need.
You can catch more of all things Elysha over on instagram @elyshaferris , her art page @elysha.art and one amazing reno in the making at @alexanderhouse_
along with her website here!
The G+A Team