International Women's Day: #ChooseToChallenge with Art Lover Mama Regina Ong
Happy International Women's Day to all the women and mothers out there. A challenged world is an alert world, and from challenge comes change. So this year, let's all choose to challenge!
To celebrate this milestone, Mama on Palette will be dedicating this month to help forge a more gender-equal world. We believe that celebrating women's achievements and increasing visibility while calling out inequality is key.
Hence, we have produced a special series for this year's IWD featuring three amazing mother artists.
Previously, we featured Art Mama Amanda Lapus Santos, a mother of two, and a visual artist who enjoys working with vibrant colour, texture, and expressionism in her artworks. Read her story here.
Next up in this series, we have Regina.
Meet Regina Ong, a loving mother to two children. A decade ago, her father introduced her to the insurance and financial planning world. Since then, she has been serving in this profession.
However, her love for art begun at a young age when she often found herself doodling on her textbooks and spending after-school hours creating paper dolls. Even though she is not a professional artist, she still uses art as a platform to connect and bond with her two children.
1. Art Is Always A Surprise to Her
To me, art is a movement of the soul. It is a natural way of expressing myself in a way that words cannot adequately capture. The artistic process of creating something new is fun, therapeutic, and cathartic - highly personal yet strangely universal. Not to mention exciting - like a child opening a Kinder Surprise, you never know what you’re going get.
Art allows me to connect with the deep in me and to discover new worlds. I like art that reflects everyday life and its myriad of seemingly insignificant encounters. This is where I believe art can transcend the ordinary and bring out the sublime in the mundane.
2. Art Allows Her To Be A Child Again
Art connects people, regardless of age, race, language, or religion. It gives me an avenue to bond with my young children (and be a child again) and offers me a way to see things from their perspective. I fondly recall the moments spent drawing and doing up craft works for my kids’ pre-school projects. Through these interactions, I get a glimpse into their inner world. I can appreciate their unique personalities and artistic expressions.
Art reminds me that being an artist means that I do not always have to be perfect, and that is okay. It’s the journey that counts. True learning lies in the chaos of creation.
Like a budding artist mastering her craft, I tell myself to persevere in my parenthood journey and keep on observing, learning, and creating!
3. The Fine Art of Balancing Work and Family As A Mother
The most challenging part of my parenthood journey is the ability to give my children my undivided attention. As a working mother, there are always 10,000 things running through my mind, and the checklist of to-dos keeps growing. Sometimes, I could be physically present with my kids, but my mind maybe elsewhere.
It takes incredible mental effort to still be myself and be fully present to my children.
How have I practiced this presence of mind? I try to set aside “sacred” blocks of quiet time where I can read, pray, do an activity or simply sit around with my child. Doing an art project together really helps. I doubt I’ve conquered it or ever will, as this is an ongoing struggle. I remind myself to cherish these little moments as they slip by too quickly.
4. She Has A Strong Motivation
I was a free thinker until my conversion to Roman Catholicism during my university days. I found my anchor in God, and that gives me hope to face the storms of life. The act of faith requires a constant surrendering of my own self-will, much like how the clay is continuously being moulded in the hands of the potter, trusting in the process.
From this perspective, I like art, which elicits the profound mystery of our existence, leading me into deeper contemplation of life. Faith, family, friends, fitness, and finance – I hope to have it all!
5. She Lives By A Quote
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Simple yet powerful.
This particular quote encourages me whenever I am faced with a challenge. It brings my focus to the next step before me, which is an invitation to begin and get going, rather than the perilous road ahead.
Want to try something new? Take the first step. Want to get out of my comfort zone? Take the first step. As long as I am willing to take one step a day in the right direction, the journey will unfold and bring me to my eventual destination.
In hindsight, this saying applies to my marriage, growing a family, raising children, career choices, pursuing artistic endeavours, etc.
Echoing what Dr. Seuss says: Kid, your mountain is waiting. So, get on your way!
6. She Believes There Is Beauty in Diversity
Be your kind of beautiful!
Like how St. Therese of Lisieux, a Catholic Saint, puts it: “The splendour of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.”
So, be you and live out your fragrance. Collectively, we make a garden! I would like to affirm and cheer all the Art Lover Mamas rocking it in their own unique style.
On International Women’s Day, we celebrate our struggles and achievements, weaknesses and strengths, sorrows and triumphs, vulnerability and confidence, tears and laughter. Our experiences make us stronger.
May we never settle for less than who we are meant to be.
Thank you, Regina, for sharing your inspirations and achievements as not only an artist but as a mother. Learn more about Regina here!
Read Art Lover Mama Amanda
Lapus's story here!
Meet Amanda Lapus Santos, a mother of two and a visual artist who enjoys working with vibrant color, texture, and expressionism in her artworks. She has been professionally painting since 2012.
Before being a full-time visual artist, she worked in various industries such as finance and events management to find herself returning to what she truly loves - art.
Meanwhile, keep an eye out for more special features coming up this month. Subscribe to our blog or follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn to be notified with new content!
Follow us on:
Join the Art Lover Mamas community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/artlovermamas/