Mary Clayton: Artist

Name: Mary Clayton Rach

Age: 32

City: Dothan, Alabama

Main Hustle: I am currently a stay-at-home mom to James (3) and Lottie (1). After working in the real world for over ten years, I can honestly say being home with my children has been the hardest, yet most rewarding job. My kids are proving to be quite demanding bosses, and they keep me on my toes!

Side Hustle: My side hustle is creating: sculpting, painting, building, anything that hits me, really. I enjoy pushing my creative limits by working with a variety of materials, mediums, and tools.

How did you get started?: For as long as I can remember, I have been a creator. I always have some sort of project going and usually more than just one! After moving to Dothan two years ago and becoming a Stay-at-Mom, I found myself really picking back up on my art and making it my side gig.

When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: My art is my way of expressing the chaos of daily life, and it’s my avenue to unwind each day. Nap and bedtime are when my creative side comes alive. As soon as my babies are asleep, I head upstairs to an extra bedroom that I converted into my studio. I love having a space that is specifically designated for art. It’s like my office when I go to “work.”

What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: My biggest challenge is finding time for sleep! Sometimes I will get so lost in a piece I am working on and realize it’s 3 AM, and my kids will be up in 3 hours!

What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: I find it so encouraging and rewarding when people actually want to purchase my art! This all started as something I did because it made me happy. I put a lot of time, thought, and love into each piece I create. It’s quite humbling when people find my art inspiring and want to enjoy my pieces in their homes.

Who is your greatest supporter?: My husband, Jimmy, is my greatest supporter. Most of the time he has a hard time visualizing my ideas when I try to describe them to him, but he listens nonetheless. After years of watching me translate these crazy ideas into art, he gets my process and he supports my passion to create. I love that he recognizes and appreciates my creativity and how it is a big part of who I am.

Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: I find inspiration in various things. With my sculptures, nature has a a very big influence. In my paintings, I am inspired by vintage wall-coverings and textiles. I’ve noticed lately that my art tends to give a nod to Palm Beach and Chinoiserie decor.

Have you received recognition for your work? If so, please toot your horn below: I was recently the featured artist in the March/April 2018 issue of Wiregrass Living Magazine, which was a huge honor!

What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: My hope for my Side Hustle is that I will keep evolving as an artist, that I will continue creating, and that people will continue to enjoy what I produce. I’m also interested in learning new techniques; in fact I’m currently researching welding classes for a different form of sculpting.

Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:

It’s easy to become overwhelmed trying to manage all of the plates that women everywhere are balancing each day. For those who may find themselves in a position of being home all day with small children like I did, don’t lose yourself. Painting, cooking, writing, or whatever you love to do, pursue your side hustle! At the end of the day, your happiness and sense of self will make you a better spouse and mother to your family!

Follow Mary Clayton’s art on Instagram, or reach out via email to connect or collaborate!

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