About Us

by artcyclemama
About Us

Welcome to ArtCycle Mama!

The creation of Artcycle is a story of inspiration.   Several years ago,  in the thick of activities and carpools, I was having one of the many conversations with my daughter.  She was complaining once again about going to gymnastics.  And like a recorder with a broken repeat button, I was explaining to her how you just need to find something you enjoy.  “You don’t have to be perfect at it, you just need to enjoy it.” I explained.

Peering over at me she asked a very innocent question.  “Mama, what do you like to do for fun?”

That question stuck with me.  Here I was trying to make her find her passion but I was neglecting my own.  (Besides raising my two monkeys of course!) I was so busy being a mother that I forgot that I was also a role model.  I was the person they looked to for guidance.  They were only seeing me as mom- just a fraction of who I really was.  A fabulous role for sure, but I was more than an empty void before they came into my life.   I was creative and into nutrition and health.  Just like my mother was.  The difference is that my mother showed me who she was through her actions.  And though those examples I knew she was more than just mom.  She was a person who had interests and aspirations.  She was someone I could look up to.

They were the very reason our relationship was as strong as it was.  I knew her as Margaret not just mom.
She was a friend and confidant because she let me into her world.  And that knowledge and relationship are what gave me strength throughout not only in new endeavors but trials and tribulations as well.  I had someone smart and beautiful who believed in me.   Not just “mom.”

Up to that point,  I was focusing on being just a mother.  I was just trying to tread water to keep the kids fed and the house from being destroyed.  My patience would wear thin because I wasn’t taking time out for me to be me.  My interests were shoved at the time. Because I didn’t think they were important.

I didn’t realize until that day how wrong I was.

So I sat down with them and began to draw.  I began to write.  I focused more on my health.  They were my inspiration as much as I was theirs.  Our relationship blossomed into something new.  They would run to me and ask me to draw the latest Disney character.    I would write silly stories about them.  The stress of constantly being “on” as a mother became fun.  Because the work would also be play.  For all of us. Together we were spending time finding out who we are.  Building the confidence to try new things and finding our strengths.  And being ok with things that aren’t our cup of tea.

Not only am I taking more time out to be creative, but both my daughter Luci and my son Charlie have taken the helm in their own passions.  Not only do they enjoy painting and drawing, but they have found their creative worlds in cooking and technology. Both of which are definitely not my strengths!  Even though our artistic and creative outlets are different, as a mother it has brought me a sense of purpose to encourage them to be the best they can be.  And for me to push myself beyond my comfort zone as well.

With Luci’s love of food, Charlie’s tech-savvy skills, my quirky artistic flair and our love of travel we decided to join forces and create something to inspire.   We hope you find a little inspiration in our posts. To go out there and try something new.  To learn together and experience life. To excite the soul.

Get to know us better…

Meet Elizabeth Wininger Santos

If it is before 10 am, I’m probably on my road bike exploring the hills of the bay area or working up a sweat in one of my favorite workout classes. In the afternoon, I am probably on my second cup of tea, in a cozy sweater and jeans with a cat on my lap, a sketch pad to my left, on the computer researching our next vacation spot or putting the finishing touches on one of my writings.  With a degree in art Cal State Long Beach, my greatest joy is seeing children find their own media in which to express themselves.  The spark of creativity and thrill of traveling to new places have always been passions of mine.  Seeing those same passions blossom into my own children’s world has been a highlight in my life.

Meet Lucia!

Luci is our little spitfire.   A little naturalist at heart she loves anything flowy and laid back.  As an old soul at 9, she has a perspective that is well beyond her years. You can find her easily in her latest book and loves anything with food or Harry Potter. With the passion for culinary cuisine, she loves being in the kitchen and trying new restaurants and foods (at least once!)  Her other hobbies are playing the piano and being one of the only girls on the local wrestling team.  Shes happiest being out and about and exploring the world around her!

Meet Charlie!  (aka CJ)

CJ  creativeness knows no bounds.  Whether it is cutting up a box to make his next great invention, building a Lego masterpiece, to putting the finishing touches on his latest drawing, his imagination never stops running.  His creativity expands into the digital world as well where he has found a passion for coding.  He loves creating characters and scenes for the video games he designs.  His boundless 7-year-old energy is definitely infectious.  Whether it’s building, creating or exploring his positive down-for-anything attitude can’t be beat!