Payal Mathur joined Sketchbook Skool at its inception and lives in Pittsburgh, PA.

Q: Payal, what got you started on your creative journey?

A: I always had this need to be creative but somehow the line of work that I chose did not coincide with that. When I moved to United States, I took some time to reevaluate my priorities and I found Danny’s blog in 2013 and through that, I found Koosje’s Draw Tip Tuesdays. I was really encouraged by their message that anyone can draw or be creative. I had already purchased a sketchbook and a pencil as I was trying my hand at Manga to see if I liked it. But this gave me a whole new perspective on how I can pursue creativity so I started sketching anything and everything that I wanted. I instantly felt at home with myself and my surroundings in a new country and a new city! When Sketchbook skool started, I enrolled myself and became a part of this beautiful community that I cherish so much.

Q: Give us a typical day in your life! When do you create? What else fills your days?

A: I work full time and I have a 10 month old baby boy. So I try to find short breaks in my day where I can sketch like after putting my son to bed at night. Or during lunch break. Sometimes along the draw with me sessions with Danny on Thursdays!

Q: How has becoming a parent changed your creative habit? How do you stick with it through big, exciting life changes like that?

A: Becoming a parent was such a big change in my life that I had to get really creative with finding time for myself. And sketching was the number one activity on my list to find a bit of peace in the chaos that came with all the sleepless nights and running around after the baby. In the very initial stages I committed to Inktober knowing fully well that it would be a challenge.

But I ended up making a bunch of quick 5 minute sketches of my newborn son and shared them on Instagram. Not only did they make me feel more connected to my baby but also I have them as lovely memories for him when he grows up. I think no photograph can be as precious to me as those sketches are. Since I already broke the ice with the Inktober challenge I did not find it daunting anymore to find short windows of my time during the day or night to sneak in a few lines.

Q: What gets you out of a creative rut?

A: Koosje’s Draw Tip Tuesday videos have helped me get out of a rut often. Also, just picking up watercolor and creating a wash on a page without giving it much thought helps me. Then I’m already with my sketchbook and have that initial hesitation taken care of. So by then I feel like drawing pretty much anything I want. The Sktchy app has also helped me a lot because I don’t have to go looking for a subject if I’m not finding the confidence to draw from real life. Also, art supply shopping is probably the other best mood elevator for me when I struggle with motivation!

We love Payal’s attitude towards drawing and seeing the way it has added a new dimension to her role as a mom! You can see more of her art here.

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