On Motherhood and Creativity
Harper's Bazaar Fashion Editor Kerry Pieri on how motherhood inspired her art
The number of pitches Kerry Pieri has received over her decade-long career as Harper's Bazaar fashion editor must be in the thousands, but something special caught her eye when she first found out about The Nopo. “I think what The Nopo is doing is beautiful—the assortment really speaks to my aesthetic, the user experience is great, and I love how they highlight each artisan under the pieces they create. I was pleasantly surprised when they asked me to be an ambassador.”
Kerry is someone who has turned art and fashion into her daily life, so we were beyond excited to have such a creative and positive voice join us. Artist, mom, editor, and interior enthusiast, Kerry is a volcano of stunning outfits, gorgeous interiors, and original art.
Growing up, Kerry was inspired by her father’s sense of fashion, his love of fun prints, and investing in high-quality, clothing that would last him for years. Clothes were always a form of self-expression for Kerry. She used to wear things over and over that “made her feel more like herself” when she was young.
Kerry was also inspired by her mother’s innate creativity. Though she wouldn’t give herself credit for it, her mom’s pastry designs were masterpieces in themselves, and all the more impressive since she managed to create them whilst bringing up four children and running a household.
“Watching my mum design and create wedding cakes felt so normal when I was little, but clearly it made an impact. It encouraged me to ask, how do you define what an artist is? Who gets to assign that title and to whom? I think everyone is creative, you just need to find out what lights you up.”
A double major in Journalism and Fine Arts, Kerry moved to NYC after graduating, where her career and life path meandered across a variety of disciplines, from high-end jewelry, through working in broadcast to finally getting into fashion and writing, which, over the years, brought her to becoming Harper's Bazaar Fashion Editor for the last ten years.
Recently though, Kerry has switched to part-time, to allow herself the time and space to develop her art and other projects, which had taken a back seat over years of photoshoots, pitches, work dinners, and travels. A big factor in Kerry’s newfound creative intent was becoming pregnant with her first daughter, Lila Sky.
“They say pregnancy is the ultimate creative act, you are creating a full human being while reinventing yourself as this new persona that didn’t exist before, a mother. I had a lot of time at home whilst pregnant, so I picked up my line drawing first and oils after, renewing my love and interest in abstract art.”
Taking up her practice again was equally meditative and inspiring, and left Kerry determined to keep it up after Lila Sky was born. But with a full-time job as a fashion editor, a newborn, and life commitments, the time was scarce. For two years after her daughter’s birth, Kerry led a nonstop life, splitting herself between work and time with Lila, being supported by her husband who shaped up to be a wonderful father.
“I thought I have the constitution that can handle that, for two years I just didn’t question the crazy routine I was living, sometimes even going out to work dinners after I had put Lila to bed. I only understood my nervous system was completely wrecked when the rest of the world stopped around me in March 2020.” Though she didn’t realize it, she had been holding her breath and powering through for the previous two years, and letting it all out was cathartic and exhausting in equal measure.
With the world shutting down, Kerry and her husband realized their Brooklyn apartment wasn’t going to cut it, with two people working from home and a two-year-old running around. They packed up and moved to Kerry’s parents in Buffalo in a shift that became permanent when they got their own house.
As a relatively new mom, Kerry found the time with her parents nourishing and precious, watching Lila Sky cook with her grandmother, spending time in nature, and, most importantly, getting closer to that all-important balance between her work, her identity as an artist and being a mom. “With Lila growing up and becoming more aware, I was so glad to be able to create a world around her that wasn’t based on fear, but only on love, creativity and spontaneity. Today, at four and a half, she’s the most spirited, artsy little girl, always making wood sculptures and painting.”
And just as Lila has been growing up and exploring her own personality and creativity, so has Kerry been inspired by her daughter’s childlike playfulness, unconcerned with judgment, prejudice, or quality, but purely and authentically following her instinct.
“Becoming a mother has been a real inspiration for my work. I can channel that childlike feeling when I’m painting or sketching, and I entirely owe that to watching Lila grow up. I am constantly trying to take that unencumbered freedom into my own work.”
That particularly shines through in Kerry’s abstract work with oils on canvas, where neutral palettes are expressed in bold patches of colors of varying sizes and shapes, truly embodying the carefree nature of the child within each of us, that same child who allows us to express artistically and intuitively.
With a children’s astrology book coming out in early 2023 and her own portfolio growing. Kerry is gearing up for the next, exciting phase of her life. Follow her artist’s journey on her website or shop her beautifully curated collection of her Nopo favorites, available from today.
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