168 Caregiver to Working Artist with Margaret Byrd

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Caregivers need a creative outlet

Margaret Byrd, 50, lost her mother to Alzheimer’s disease just eight weeks ago, but as many caregivers of parents suffering from dementia, she says the grieving truly began four years prior, when they received the initial diagnosis.

At 46, she was a working single mom with three children and made the decision to bring her mother into their home. Although Margaret (Byrdie to her close friends) has a very successful career in technical sales, she found that going back to her original college training as an artist gave her a sanctuary of peace from the stress and sadness in her new situation.

The pull of the midlife pivot

She had to keep her full-time job in order to support her family, take care of her mother and her kids, but she felt the pull of a midlife professional pivot that would give her something positive to focus on in her private moments. She found the creative process of her art and the new learning required in building an online presence to give her a focus beyond caregiving.

Margaret shares with Experience 50 Podcast listeners how she found the gumption to learn about creating an online art business ALL the while keeping several plates spinning in the air. We discuss her resistance to technology, how to push through that resistance and her feeling of empowerment.

This episode is sponsored by CREATIVE LIVE where you can answer YOUR creative calling while in your jammies.

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Visit Margaret’s website: margaretbyrd.com

Margaret’s Bio:

Margaret Byrd, 50, is a Seattle-based artist who has explored various mediums for 30 years.  Graduating from the University of Montana with a BFA in Photography, she discovered her love of sculptural work and installation late in her studies.

Although life has tugged her in different directions in terms of livelihood, she has been able to weave her creativity into a daily practice and is currently painting, working with mixed media, and dreaming up her next site-specific installation project.

While raising three children, Margaret actively developed art docent programs to promote creativity in the public school system and taught art workshops for children.  When her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2015, Margaret’s priorities shifted to caregiving, and her creativity surged as a coping mechanism.  What bloomed from a tumultuous time was Margaret’s decision to build a creative business with the goal of becoming a full-time artist for the next chapter of her life.

Margaret’s work has been selected for juried exhibitions in the Pacific Northwest and purchased for both public and private permanent collections.  Wanderlust has kept Margaret traveling the globe where vast landscapes have inspired her artistic practice and visual aesthetic.  She is excited to have had her first large scale installation in the spring of 2019 at Fabrica la Aurora in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and continues to seek opportunities to share her work.

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