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Wonder Woman feature of the week: “Bri”

Wonder Woman feature of the week: “Bri”

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Good morning all my lovely readers and welcome back to Inspiration Wonder Woman Monday! As most of you know who read my blog I took last week off as I was traveling & for those of you who have done it with a little baby… WOW right? Travel takes a whole different look! ha ha However we did have an amazing time and watching my daughter crawling around on white sand giggling the whole time was all worth it! So today I want to introduce to you yet another Wonder Woman, who is not only a new mother but she is also an artist and a musician. Like many women out there, Bri put her career & passion for music on hold to raise her daughter who is a little over two. Now she feels like it’s her time to shine & show her daughter the strength that is her mother. She recently started her own Kickstarter campaign to fund her music & her make her dreams come true. Check out the exclusive interview with Bri to learn more about this Wonder Woman!

METC: Where did you grow up and how different is that from living in LA?
B: I grew up in a small mining town in the Sierra foothills of Northern California called Grass Valley/Nevada City. I was surrounded by the lush, green Tahoe National Forest, the rushing Yuba Rivers and a number of beautiful lakes. The town is still a very small community that my family has been a part of for 5 generations. I currently reside in Echo Park in Los Angeles which is an amazing artistic community that we feel lucky to be a part of. LA is a very large city built in the desert with a consistent 70 degree weather forecast. It couldn’t be more opposite from where I grew up, but we’ve managed to create a nice home here for this season of our lives.

METC: What brought you to LA?
B: Love. I first came to LA as a touring musician. I would play a show in LA once or twice a year as I was making the rounds but never anticipated living here. About 5 years ago, my husband showed up at one of my shows and as we got to talking after the show, we discovered we were both raised in the same small, Norcal town. We kept in touch as another year went by and the next time I performed in LA he came out and followed me to Santa Barbara for my show the next night. Basically the rest is history. I ended up moving to LA to be with him and his job is located in Downtown LA so now we are raising our family here.

METC: What was your first thought when you found out you were pregnant?
B: To be perfectly honest, I found out I was pregnant due to overwhelming morning sickness that took over my mind, body and spirit, so I never had time to really form an opinion. ha ha. It was more like survival mode until about 7 or 8 months when my husband and I finally started to process more than keeping me alive and well. At that point we started getting excited about having a baby and a family together and felt nothing but gratitude.

METC: Child birth is not easy, what were some of your challenges being pregnant and giving birth?
B: Oh, dear. Child birth and being pregnant were easily the hardest thing my husband and I have ever experienced. It makes me cry every time I think about it. Literally my best memory of being pregnant is laying my head on the cold toilet seat with tears running down my cheeks after throwing up for probably the 7th time that day and as my husband placed a washcloth on my face he said to me, “You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” He was a rock, and the love he gave me through all of that made me respect him more than I ever knew I could. My delivery was also very intense. I have to say for a women that strongly believes in natural birth, I am very grateful for modern medicine. I labored in a very meditative headspace for 45 hours and ended up having an emergency cesarian. I’ve never taken a bigger, deeper breath of relief than when my daughter was placed on my chest for the first time. The emotional and physical recovery has been just as hard. It’s a constant battle that I work through every single day. I could say none of it matters because I have a beautiful, healthy daughter, and I’m so fortunate, which is obviously very true, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy.


METC: How has motherhood changed you?
B: One of my favorite quotes is from the amazing Annie Lenox which sums up a lot of how I feel – “Motherhood was the great equalizer for me; I started to identify with everybody… as a mother, you have that impulse to wish that no child should ever be hurt, or abused, or go hungry, or not have opportunities in life.”


METC: Have you always been very creative? (painting, weaving, music etc)
B: I think that if you were to ask my parents and my grandmother this question they would say yes. I’ve always been very inspired by drawing, painting, singing, writing etc. and my family encouraged me to do what I love. I think it became especially obvious to my mom by elementary school that I wasn’t going to excel academically if she kept me in the public school system. She put me in a Waldorf school where I crocheted every morning and was encouraged to illustrate my essays. I think it was the perfect fit for me and I thank her for being attuned to how I needed to express myself as a young girl.


METC: What does music mean to you?
B: Music is communication. It’s love, joy, comedy, heartbreak, anything you want it to be. Writing music and performing music is like therapy to me. When I go too long without expressing myself in this way I start feeling anxiety. I’m naturally an introvert and music is a medium that allows me to communicate what I’m feeling in a way that is more easily heard. I think it’s a good reminder that we are all human.


METC: You recently started a kick-starter campaign can you tell us more about it and why you decided to start it?
B: I dedicated the first two years of my daughters life to being mom. I set a goal to breastfeed and be completely present for those first two years and I did it. Now that she’s old enough, I want to share a little bit of my life with her. I want her to see my artwork hung in a gallery and see me on stage sharing what I wrote with her in our living room to a filled room, but I mostly want her to see what a supportive art community feels like.
I just recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund my new music project, Fools Gold Daughter, so I can begin doing all of these things. The campaign consists of a ’Spirit Animal’ series of paintings and weavings that I’m selling to fund my album. She was able to join me for my launch party last weekend and it lit up my world. I got to hold her while I sang to some of my best friends and family and she got to see all the paintings that she’s helped me create hung all together as a series. I loved showing her that people will gather to support art and music in beautiful ways.


METC: Has your creativity rubbed off on your daughter?
B: Completely. She is surrounded by a supportive, creative environment and that’s all she knows. She colors, paints, sings and dances everyday. She doesn’t have television and we limit her use of electronics to calling her grandparents a couple times a week. This allows for more time outside gardening and chalking the sidewalks. My husband plays guitar and piano so our mornings and evenings consist of singing and dancing in the living room.

METC: How do you juggle being a mom and an artist always on the go?
B: This is the hard part. I’m a stay at home mom and my husband works 5 days a week and sometimes weekends. I’ve had to learn incredible discipline with my art. Before I had a baby I would write music and paint when I felt inspired. Now I have very small windows during nap time and after my daughter goes to bed to treat myself to creative time. It’s often very hard, especially on the days that I haven’t had any sleep, but it’s always worth it when I finish a song or a painting.


METC: Where do you see you and your family in the next 10 years?
B: Happy.
We are trying to stay in the moment. 10 years is very far in the distance. We often talk about moving to Costa Rica but that would only be for a couple of years. The hardest part is finding the right school for our daughter. Ojai is very intriguing to us as well. We just want to be able to farm, have chickens and live a little bit more stress free.

How truthful and honest was that?? I love when you meet a fellow mother, a woman who isn’t afraid to be honest about motherhood, pregnancy & how sometimes it’s hard to put our own dreams on hold while we raise our children. That is why I started Wonder Women features because in my eyes every woman should be cherished and celebrated daily.  Every week I get to share one woman’s life with everyone who stops by and reads my blog. It has created friendships by only meeting via Instagram & emails. It has made me get to know the women who are already in my life a lot better by getting to know the real them. Bri and I have only met in person once, but I knew she was special when she married one of my oldest friends. If you want to get to know Bri and see what she is up to please make sure to follow her on Instagram @fgdaughter Here is also her Kickstarter link, which is also under her profile on Instagram. If you are an art lover you can also check out her online gallery here As always I love all the sweet comments & emails so please feel free to reach out. See you soon & have a great Monday everyone 🙂

Monika Tournaud

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