The Name Nest is a treasure trove of beautifully illustrated baby names created by the very talented Mama, Tara Sea. Her unique approach to researching the gift of a name for a newborn child is inspiring and heart felt. Her creativity and intuitive artistic style comes through her magical drawings that have captured the attention of a community of over 20,000 followers on Instagram. I had the pleasure of interviewing Tara and as you will see, she has a beautiful way with words! Settle down with a cup of tea or your favourite sparkly drink and enjoy the interview!
Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Tara and I live on the Gold Coast, Australia. I am a mother of two beautiful daughters, Isla May (4) and AubreyRose (1). My husband and I got married last year in August after being together for 10 years and we got to have the girls as flower girls, which was so magical and special. We have a big black Labradoodle named Ernie who is a gentle and goofy giant. I grew up under the sunshine of the Gold Coast and had a wonderful childhood full of adventures and so much make believe. I have always loved things to do with Islands and the beach, always collecting shells and beach pebbles and dreaming of tropical islands. I have a Diploma in Graphic Design which I studied in my early 20’s, however ended up in a Government Job shortly after my studies in an Administration Role and have been here now for over 10 years.
I have always been creative and love to write, draw and paint. I have always been drawn to interiors as well, once wanting to be an interior designer when I grew up. I loved watching Changing Rooms as a child and love nestling in to watch shows like Grand Designs and Escape to the Country. I have also loved to write. I have written many stories over the years and little poems too. I also love working with my hands and have found that this new mixture of creative work for me is the best balance creatively. I amusing my love of writing and art, as well as my Graphic Design skills which have up until this point, not been used much at all.
Tell us about your business, The Name Nest
The Name Nest is a passion project of mine that I started in February last year, it came to me as an idea when I was pregnant with Aubrey and was struggling to find baby names. I have always loved names that are unique and harder to find. I also find that a name meaning is also very important when deciding on my name choices. I felt there needed to be a book of names that did not yet exist, where I could fall in love with every name it contained, feel magic in their meanings. A book where the names are not in a specific order, nor defined by a gender. I remember hiring so many books from the library, searching the internet and found it was just a sea of names that did not stand out to me, all in alphabetical order, separated by genders and all so monotonous.
I remember being out on a walk with my girls one summers afternoon in February and thinking about being creative again. I had stopped most of my creativeness and my side business while I was pregnant with Aubrey and had not been doing anything for a while. Then like a little whisper in my ear, ‘the Name Nest’. The name just came to me and in that moment I decided to call my dad and run the idea past him (as all of my creative ventures, I like to tell my dad as he gives wonderful advice and support. He’s always thinking everything I do is amazing and ‘the best idea ever’). After talking to him and feeling very empowered and encouraged I decided to channel my creativity into this, the Name Nest, as a place where you can come and look,read and be inspired. To see the names you cannot find all in one collection. To tell their stories in unique and beautiful ways, giving traditional meanings but to also write in my own words, the magical thoughts I feel to bring them to life. Help you to fall in love with a name, a forever name, that you can cherish for a lifetime.
I have been absolutely blown away by the response to the Name Nest, the support and love that I have received along this journey has absolutely blown me away. I have had small businesses over the past 5 years, starting out with children’s clothing and rugs under the name of Tara Sea, then onto my love and passion of interior design and all things doll house with Tiny Bungalow which I put on hold when I fell pregnant with Aubrey. This was just to be a side page, something for me that I would create because I wanted to, because I loved it and not for any other gain or reward. It was not driven by money or the need to create an income, this time it would just be about sharing my writing and my art.
When I write each name feature, it is because it has come to me on its own. I normally get a pull towards a name and then feel a surge to write. It is not conscious; it is without thought and effort like it flows through me. I like to imagine a name and the little soul who would have this name, to write in my own words and from my heart my interpretation of that name and how I imagine it. My creativity is very hard to explain, however I describe it as being wild and free, it cannot be forced or it does not work. I am learning to just create when I feel it’s right, rather than having a need to create and then burning out and I have never felt more at peace with it all in my life. I finally feel I have found what I love to do,and with that I have found that I am creating my best work.
The artwork you create is so magical, what is something you are looking forward to creating in 2019?
I am lucky enough to be connected with some beautiful women in business and am excited to continue some of the collaborations I have at the moment and also what may be in store for 2019. My dream since before starting this was to create my own book, so I would love to use this year to explore that and maybe this time next year I can make holding my little name book a reality.
How do you balance mumlife, business and self care?
It is a very hard juggling act for me as I work part time in Administration as well. I find that my creativity comes in waves and a lot at night so I do spend a lot of time after the girls go to bed on my artworks and writing. I do find that being creative takes a lot of my free time however as I love it so much I could not imagine not being creative.
Who inspires you?
I have many muses and people who inspire me creatively. I feel that the more you surround yourself with others who are creative, positive and supportive, the more you are inspired and empowered to create. I am lucky enough to have connected with some of the people I follow through Instagram and have been able to meet the lovely faces behind the names that I have admired for so long.
Lucy from @houseofziggy and @lucycruickshankphotography is one such beauty who I have met along the way who is not only a beautiful mother but has started to follow her passion of photography.
Alannah from @alannahmortonphotography who I was lucky enough to stumble across through Instagram because of her amazing photographs and then go on to meet and have capture my wedding day, she is so talented and a gentle and kind soul.
Tess from @tessguinery and @theapricotmemoirs who I looked up to and adored for years through Instagram and was lucky enough to meet at a workshop she ran through @thecraftparlour a few years back. She is a soul who radiates love and creativity, a true creative being who touches everyone she meets. She has now gone on to create this beautiful ‘rainbow movement’ we see everywhere now and even self-published her own works in the Apricot Memoirs which is amazing and everyone needs to own a copy of her magic.
Carrie-Anne from @kwithheart who is one of the happiest and nicest woman I have ever met. She has her own beautiful business and puts so much love in to everything she does. We relate in that we are both mums in jobs which are not creative and so have found a way on the side to unleash this magic.
Gab from @familythreds is also another creative who I have followed for years and watched her evolve and grow. Her macramé works are so amazing and I truly believe she is a rare talent who pushes the boundaries of her craft and creates things that have not been seen before. You can see her love and passion in everything she does, she truly does create for the love of it and it shows.
There are so many more woman who I love and inspire me which you should also have a look at. I have been lucky enough to work on a collaboration with Sarah from @_bubbleslane where she has turned my artworks into beautiful children’s bedding and is one the kindest and down to earth woman I know and have been lucky enough to work with. Also Jess & Rach from @marlee_watch_co who I have also had the pleasure of meeting and working on a collaboration on, both such beautiful and warm souls who are amazing at what they do.
And a little shout out to my close and dear friend Lucy who is my creative sister, we have always been able to bounce of one another with our ideas and creative passions and she supports me with everything I do.
What are 3 things you can’ t live without?
I am going to be really sentimental and say my family,friends and being creative.
What has motherhood taught you about yourself?
I have learnt that I was meant to be a Mum. I have always known I wanted to have children and when I was pregnant with Isla my first born I was actually super nervous and anxious that I might not be very good. But it’s been the best thing that I have ever done and makes me realise what life is all about. I now see the world through my ‘mum’ eyes so now I understand more about my parents and some of the things they used to say to us. I was a child who always played games like being ‘grown up’, always wanting to ‘work play’ and forever wanting to be big. Now that I am all grown up, I can see that its so important to teach my girls to enjoy being little and that they will grow up one day but to not wish that time away of being a child.
You have created beautiful affirmation cards, located in your online shop. How was your birth experience with your children and what did you find useful during the process?
Oh thank you, I had very different experiences with both of my girls’ births. Isla came on her own, naturally the day before her due date and was a 7 hour labour which went very smoothly and without pain relief. At the time it did scare me just the power of birth and my pain tolerance was not at all what I thought it would be as I remember saying after it I would ‘never ever do that again’.
With Aubrey I remember the whole time wishing I could know the day she would come, like I wish I could look into a crystal ball and know the exact date as the unknown of that impending day was really getting to me. I thought I would go early again like Isla and it would all happen much faster than with Isla as well. The week before she was due, she slowed right down with her movements. I actually went a whole day without feeling her at all. When I saw my amazing Ob Dr Drew Moffrey (Pindara, Gold Coast) he said to me we should think about inducing me to get her out a little early, so that we did not have the risk of a stillbirth (as slowing in movements and no movements for long periods is something that can be reported before a stillbirth).
My anxiety went through the roof and I was still devastated at the thought I would need to be induced. It was the one thing I never wanted to have happen but I also knew that Aubrey was priority and her health came first.Letting go of that fear and surrendering to the intervention was the hardest thing I have ever done. The labour was much more intense and at one point I thought I would need an epidural, but in the end when she decided to come it happened quickly (despite the lead up being longer). I remember in that instant that she was born, getting a rush of overwhelming love and crying through tears of joy saying ‘oh my gosh, I love you my baby’. I think at that moment I knew that I wanted another child one day. So in spite of it being so much harder, it made me realise just how magical it truly is.
My biggest advice for any new mothers to be would be that it will happen the way it is meant to go, try not to worry about the things that will be out of your control and listen to your body as you know best. And in the end no matter how you have your baby, just know that the most important thing is that they arrive safe and healthy in the end. So giving in to the process and trusting in yourself and your support. I also adored doing pregnancy yoga as well with Isla and would highly recommend it.
Any tips for someone starting out in the arts/creative industry?
Just follow your heart! If you are wanting to start something or if you have just started out, follow your heart and your dreams.Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot do it, you need to do what makes you happy. Start small and if you are passionate and love what you do, it will show and you will grow. Also do not get caught up what others are doing, someone looking at my page may see just the number of followers in the time I have been around and think its success that has come overnight. There are years and years of hard work behind it all, trailed ventures of my other creative businesses,years of learning and growth.
Tara currently sells all of her artworks and name artworks through her website www.thenamenest.com She also offers a service of custom name artworks where she can put any name with any of her current illustrations. If you are looking for a unique piece with a special name on it that may not be featured on Name Nest as yet.
Tara’s Name Nest can be found on Instagram at @thenamenest. Follow along to see what exciting adventures and names she will be inspired to add this year!
Thank you Tara for an insightful and honest look into your creative world, motherhood journey and business!