We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristy Edgar and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristy, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I think the biggest factors in determining my work-life balance is prioritizing my resources. When I was first starting out as an artist, I said yes to everyone, accepted any project, and spent more time and money on the craft than I probably should have. But over time, I’ve learned to be more discerning. I realized that the most valuable resource I have is time – time to create, time to relax, and time to be with my family. That also happens to be the most limited resource. I can always find another client and I can always get more resources, but time as a mom, wife, and individual is most important. So, I’ve started saying no more and accepting that I can’t make every client happy. I’ve accepted that if they really want to work with me, they’ll be willing to work with my time table. My time has as much if not more value as my craft itself.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The medium I use to create most of my art is paper craft. I create teeny tiny paper pieces of characters, pop culture icons, and custom orders for family and friends. I first started in 2014. I initally described myself as a procraftinator. I would only make little paper pieces when I was supposed to be working on something else, like cleaning. Up until recently, I was actually a full time teacher and that was my main source of income. Creating art was my distraction and means to relax. But as my skills grew, my online presence also gained momentum and I had strangers from all over the world reaching out to me requesting art. When I first made something personal for someone I’d never met, that’s when I realized I could do this as a second job. Despite the fact that my work was gaining more attention and appearing in more places, I was still incredibly resistant to making this my only source of income. Thinking of making this a career made me so anxious and I was always flooded with doubts – what if I don’t make enough money? What if my art isn’t that good? What if people would rather work with someone better than me? What if I don’t succeed? It was this doubt that was most crippling and impeded my ability to take the plunge. I was perfectly happy with being a teaching, making a reliable income, and dabbling in art for people every now and then. It wasn’t until my husband took a new job, which led to me leaving the classroom, when the choice to make this my full-time job was kind of made for me. To my surprise though, despite initial concerns and apprehensions, I was able to easily migrate my life to this artist life. The biggest challenges now is time management, daily organization, and keeping my supplies out of reach of my two-year-old.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This actually happened not long ago! My best friend from Nebraska had just gotten married and she and her husband decided to honeymoon in Houston! They stayed for four days and it was a great time! Our main stops included a trip to NASA, Galveston Beach, an Astros Game and Whataburger (at least 3 times). We also took them to see a show at Alamo Draft House because it had always been our favorite movie theater. We ended their trip with a long day downtown where we visited Hermann Park, the Japanese Gardens, and the Science Museum (my friend was a middle school science teacher so we HAD to make a trip there!)
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wish I could say any success I’ve seen stems from my unwavering confidence in myself and unfaltering resilence, but that would be a huge lie. To be completely honest, I have very little faith in my ability to be successful as an artist and the only reason I’ve decided to pursue it as a full-time job is thanks to the belief OTHER people have in me. My best friend in Houston, Chelsea Lerner (who is the best singer in town, just saying), has always given me the most optimistic outlook. Her posivity and effervescence are infectious; she always brings me up when I’m feeling down. My husband, Craig Edgar, has always given me support. Any risk I wanted to take, any artistic opportunity I’ve wanted to pursue, he’s encouraged me to go for it. Being a teacher at the Village Middle School gave me the freedom to be creative. My coworkers and my administrators (especially Cindy Proske) never held me back. This unbridled support in the classroom allowed be to grow in my skills as a teacher but also as a creator. And of course, my family. My mom fostered my creativity at a young age, introducing me to art and allowing me to flourish. My dad provided guidance and feedback when I was older which helped me develop vision and aesthetic. All these people (and let’s be honest, so many more), shaped me into who I am today as an artist.
Other: TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@frompentopaper?lang=en