“I always knew I was an artist. I also knew I was blessed to have a large family who supported my path, which makes the struggles and challenges a little easier.”
At nine years old Margaret Gerding’s father cleaned out a portion of their family garage in order to create a little studio space for her. However, even with unconditional support an artist often has to find other avenues first. Gerding has held many other jobs in her life which have allowed her to be where she is today.
“Starting right out of art college I worked in banking. I even started my MBA at Northeastern,” shares Gerding. “Next I moved to a position as art director for an advertising firm. Finally, I opened my own communications company.”
The journey for Gerding was definitely linear in growth, but the line started in a very different place than where it ended. The ten years Margaret spent in the corporate world gave her great insight as to who she is, and who she is not.
“Most days I woke up around four in the morning just to run directly to my studio in order to get a few hours in,” explains Gerding. “I had to go into the office and put in a ten or twelve hour day, so it was the best way for me to guarantee studio time. The next day I woke up and did it over again.”
Gerding realizes this doesn’t make her special. “Many people put in long days, I know that. What it did show me was how much I wanted it. How much I wanted my art,” she says. “I was good in my other world. I handled the high demand deadlines and working with clients to achieve goals, but I got nothing from it. I needed to paint every day. It was the priority for me.”
When Gerding finally left the corporate world at age thirty-three, she had to find a new balance, the balance of being a single mother and artist. “It was actually much easier. Having my daughter nurtured my creative juices. I believe being around children reminded me what art is all about—the simple joy of expression,” shares Gerding.
Margaret was also a nanny, which she claims is a very convenient job for a single mother. It may have been convenient, but many of us know raising children, especially someone else’s, is not easy. Throughout the years she has also used her skills and talents as an artist to teach, which she still does today.
“I remember my daughter coming home from a playdate. She was so sad. She looked up at me and asked, ‘How come my friends’ homes don’t have studios?’ This simple statement was confirmation that I was doing it right.
To read more about Margaret Gerding, her work, and her stories, click this link. Margaret Gerding – Insights and Stories
To view our complete collection of her work click here: Margaret Gerding – Artist Page
As always, we welcome you to visit the gallery to see work in person. Our hours for February are 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday – Monday. Come and see us!