Lila Stuempfig is a third generation Philadelphia artist. She surrounds herself with art and her fingers are always making. She cares about and considers every detail, pouring her love into all that she creates. Lila Stuempfig is a woman of many talents. She is a painter, a shoemaker, a jeweler, a doll maker, a mother and so much more!
Lila Stuempfig joined Little Moon + Arrow in an extraordinary Winter Solstice pop-up event this past December with her Waldorf inspired dolls! Lila's incredibly detailed dolls are still on sale at the store (729 S 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA) and on our online shop! If you are interested in her hand beaded earrings, we sell them at our sister store Moon and Arrow (754 S 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA). You can find Lila on Instagram at (@lilastuempfig) and more of her work on her website (https://www.lilastuempfig.com)
We asked Lila some questions about her practice, living as an artist in Philadelphia, and balancing motherhood with her art. Learn more about Lila and what inspires her work below.
1. What does a typical day look like for you?
I don’t want to get out of our snuggly bed. I do and then make breakfast and lunch feed the animals and get my son ready for school. I drop him off for the day. I go to my studio and delve into my world of making art.
I often do not surface for lunch, water or exercise though I am working on finding more balance. I pick up my son after school and we go for a walk in the woods or play by the fire or with friends. I try to tidy up the house make dinner and hope that he eats and then we get ready for the next day. We read stories, currently, he is really into the greek and Norse myths and then we go to sleep. I try not to fall asleep but i usually do if I don’t I go back to up to my home studio. I love this quiet, quiet time when everyone is asleep and i am all alone and i get lost in my making.
2. When did you start your practice/ craft?
I started making art before I can remember. I have always like to design things and have a deep desire to know how to make everything. The mediums I use change over the years and through the seasons but I am drawn to color and details. I take too much time and put so much love in everything I do. I used to be a painter and then I became very excited about shoemaking and beadwork about ten years ago. My earrings became my new wearable paintings comprised of tiny colorful glass beads woven together with thread. I also really love to sew. When I was pregnant with my son I started making dolls with my step daughter, she was eight at the time and also really loves making art. This was a really fun project to do together. I have no idea what i am doing with my life but in the meantime I'll keep making art.
3. Tell us more about your inspirations and who inspires you?
I am inspired by so many things and people. I am inspired by my children, my husband, my family , my friends, love, color, nature and light. Right in this moment Im feeling like i need to acknowledge my father George. He is a sweet and crazy and wonderful artist and he always encouraged me and instilled in me this confidence that I could do anything. He wasn’t really big on taking classes or education, instead, he would get me the tools i needed and say you can do it. He really believed in me, I love that.
4. How do you balance motherhood and your art?
I am still trying, motherhood feels never ending. In the early days, I would savor the minutes that my son was asleep and go straight to my studio to work on anything just so I felt like I had something that was for me.
Those stolen minutes were the only self care I had. It was precious alone time and perhaps I should have been resting or washing the dishes but this helped hold me together. It was so hard in the early years and looking back its really important to try to be kind and patient with yourself and remember that its just a moment in time and things will change.
Now both my children are in school full days so I have more time for my art.
5. What other moms inspire you?
I am so inspired and amazed by all of the mothers in the world and by everything they do.
6. What excites you about motherhood?
Seeing these tiny humans grow and the joy and wonder in their eyes and their whole beings as they discover the world. That is so cool. I love cuddling and reading stories. I also really love making toys and costumes for my son. I also hope I can instill that confidence in him that he can do whatever he’s into.
7. How do your children inspire you?
My son love loves to play dress up and he really gets into his character. I love it when he comes to me with a design for a costume or an idea for a toy or structure and asks my husband and I to help him make it. He is mostly the designer now but is watching and thinking and learning how to make and perhaps in a couple of years, we will be making these things together.
I am also inspired by my teenage stepdaughters fierce, fresh energy and her style and how she is carving her own path as an artist.