Q&A with Sally King Benedict
Abstract artist Sally King Benedict lives a colorful life with her husband, George, and son, River, in Atlanta. She studied at the College of Charleston, but it's her travels and beautiful life that inspire her masterpieces. Featured in multiple print and online publications, her work has captivated the Southeast as her audience continues to expand. In her exclusive Q&A, Sally shares what being a mom means to her and how she balances being an artist, an entrepreneur, a wife and a mother.
BR: What do you love most about being a mom?
SB: Having a love nugget at arms length. Never feeling lonely.
BR: What is the number one way in which motherhood has changed you?
SB: I feel a kind of tenderness in my heart that I never had before.
BR: Did you breast-feed? If so, how did it affect your wardrobe selection?
SB: I did for six months and I honestly really struggled to find an outfit I felt good in. I wanted to look like myself, but I wasn't feeling myself, so it was tough.
BR: You're been featured in Elle Decor, Garden & Gun and Southern Accents, and most recently, you graced the cover of Domino Magazine, for your excellent work. What influences your artistic style?
SB: Every element of my everyday and my life go into the work I do in my studio. I'm influenced by light, symmetry, form, color, '70s style, aerial landscapes, daydreams, lush fauna, beautiful fashion, athletics, music, classic patterns, the modern art movement from the '50s and '60s, kid's art, architecture, cinema, cubism, portraits, ancient Greece, Africa... and so on.
BR: Do you find that your persona #momstyle is also influenced by your art?
SB: I definitely think it is. Pattern, color and lack-ther-of in a piece of art can certainly all tie into what my outfit choice is for the day. On the flip side, I see my work regularly being influenced by whatever style of fashion I'm feeling at the moment as well.
BR: What's the one fashion item that you'll never give up, no matter how impractical it may be to wear as a mama?
SB: I hate to admit it, but vintage Levi's cutoff shorts. My closet or suitcase is not complete without them.
BR: What are your mommy must-haves from BURU and why do they work in your mommy lifestyle?
The COREY Bonny Wide Leg Cropped Denim Pant is just so dang cute. Love this old school cut coming back.
The L.A.M.B. Denim Tencel Jumpsuit is a great color and can go day to night with a shoe change and a jacket.
I love that the Coatology Selfpak Black Trench Coat is lightweight and classic and can go all seasons and is perfect for travel.
I love this piece! The Lucy Paris Organza Overlay A-Line Skirt is great for parties or a power lunch. I love anything I can pair with a white T-shirt, great shoes and jacket over the shoulders for a quick polished look. The price is amazing.
These Annie Griffin White Ponte Pant Leggings are a staple tight white pant. Wear with anything.
The White + Warren Ivory Leather Trim Cardigan. There is nothing I love more than a good white or cream cardigan. I don't go on any vacation without one.
I love this top! Rachel Roy's White Trim Combo Jacket is airy and sporty and flattering.
The Rachel Roy Black Sleeveless Midi Dress. I love the simplicity of this cut. Rachel Roy is one of my favorite designers because she keeps a woman's curves in mind. This would be a go-to black dress for me.
BR: I read that you honed your skills during your travels through South America and Europe. What did you learn there? How did you hone your skills?
SB: I'm convinced I would be a better artist if I could travel more. In South America I was re-engerized with the colors of the landscape and art, decor and architecture of places like Rio. While in Europe I was immersed and overwhelmed with classic fundamentals of art making. I have learned the importance of making a lot of fleeting thoughts in my sketchbook while traveling along and always bringing home a tangible keepsake to remember a place by– it's then with you forever.
BR: Time management is key to the success of motherhood and as a business owner. Since you fulfill both of those roles, what are your secrets to balancing your time between the two?
SB: It is an ongoing battle I struggle with everyday. My weeks are never the same, but I feel best about my balance when at the end of the week I have: been an attentive momma, been an attentive wife, made progress in the studio, taken a little bit of alone time for myself, gotten in a good sweat, gotten in a good meal, been kind to a stranger and made the people I love smile.
BR: How did you decorate your nursery? (Colors, pieces of art, etc.)
SB: I went white because I could not commit to a french blue grass cloth that I still dream about. But, I am glad I went white because there is so much color in everything else going on in that little land of his. Black and white striped rug, modern white/natural crib, some of momma's art, some of god-momma's art (Mary Nelson Sinclair), findings from our travels and books galore! There is nothing in his nursery that he could break, too, which is key.
BR: Tell us your favorite...
- Piece of Art in Your Home: The conte and charcoal portrait of River by Liz Lindstrom.
- Bedtime Story: On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman.
- Lullaby: Frere Jacques/Brother John.
- Restaurant: The Smile in New York.
- Children's Brand: Petit Bateau and Zara Kids.
BR: What's the one thing you wish you would've know before becoming a mother?
SB: How much I was going to love it no matter how hard it would be.
Photo credits: Brittany Ambridge for Domino Magazine + Black & White family photo by
Christina Mortti of Good Graces Photography