Maggie Stephenson on Why She's Collabed with Indonesian School Kids: 'We All Are in Need of Playgrounds to Fuel Our Days.'

Maggie Stephenson on Why She's Collabed with Indonesian School Kids: 'We All Are in Need of Playgrounds to Fuel Our Days.'

From the world of fashion to her editorial clients like Elle and Times magazine: artist Maggie Stephenson is everywhere. Fortunately for us, she took the time to collaborate with the Indonesian school kids from the Duduk Atas school. We’re very proud to announce our collab with her! Maggie told us she wanted to join our cause instantly: ‘Creating art that has the potential to help others – I don’t think it gets better than this.’ 

Face This: Can you tell us something about your cultural background? Where did you grow up? Did you always like to draw? 

Maggie Stephenson: I grew up in a small village of about 800 people in Southern Poland, close to the Czech Republic. Drawing and playing outside were my go to activities. It was a beautiful, simple way of growing up with nature and art being my playgrounds.

Face This: Is there one drawing that you can recall from your childhood? What was it about? 

Maggie Stephenson: That’s a tough one! I can’t recall a specific drawing but what I do remember is my grandfather teaching me how to draw birds. They were so simple, yet so charismatic and his enthusiasm as he was drawing them was infectious 😊 

Face This: Are there specific moments in your life that made you decide to become an artist?

Maggie Stephenson: It was during a time when I felt unsure of which path to take career wise. Caught up in uncertainty and worries, in that moment of doubting myself and feeling as if I had nowhere to go, I decided to follow my first passion and the next day I began to draw again, this time with a mission to make it my career.

Face This: What is the biggest challenge for you, being an artist?

Maggie Stephenson: Balance. When your passion becomes your job, it’s easy to work all the time. There were times when all I did was work because I enjoyed it so much. While that is ok for a while, I have found that if I don’t take a break and unplug from creating – it has a way of overpowering the rest of my life. These days I intentionally take breaks and look to other things to fill my time with. Taking these breaks has allowed me to return to creating with a renewed focus.

Art by Maggie Stephenson

Face This: As an artist, do you have any dreams? Are there some goals you would like to achieve? Is there something you’re building up for?

Maggie Stephenson: This has been the focal point of this journey for a while. I’ve pondered the question of how I can merge my work with reaching others, how I can use art to collaborate with organizations and missions that focus on uplifting and helping others. I’d say collaborating with Face This is a great start in this direction 🙂 

Face This: Pablo Picasso once said: ‘Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up’. How do you remain an artist? And do you have tips for non-artists to cultivate their inner child?

Maggie Stephenson: How true that is… The beauty of children is, they create from a place of joy without a worry of what others think. There’s a valuable lesson to learn here – to create for the sake of creating, from a place of joy without worrying about how it will be perceived and whether it’ll be popular or not.

Face This: You designed an artwork by using some of our Indonesian childrens drawings. With the proceeds of your artwork, we will be able to provide the kids you’ve

collabed with a playground. How important is playfulness for you as an artist? 

Maggie Stephenson: Playfulness is the essence of wellbeing, it means everything to me. If we take time to explore, to play, to laugh – it has the power to set the tone for the rest of the day. We all are in need of playgrounds to fuel our days.

Face This: When we reached out to you, what made you want to join?

Maggie Stephenson: Creating art that has the potential to help others – I don’t think it gets better than this. 

The Maggie Stephenson x Face This collab is available on tees and a sweater. Pic by Julie Vielvoie

Face This: When you received the drawings, what was your first reaction? What did you see in them? Can you describe them a bit for us?

Maggie Stephenson: I must have smiled the entire time while scrolling through the drawings. How sweet to see the creations of children ❤️ They are mostly centered around community and nature. People, flowers and animals – what a beautiful reminder of what really matters in life.

Face This: Which drawings did you use to create your artwork with? And why did you pick these? 

Maggie Stephenson: I picked the last drawing in the slides because it made me pause. It’s a beautiful drawing of a person amidst flowers, the person appears to be happy and dancing. May we all find time to dance amongst blooms. 🙂

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