A French mama of three who’s not only a fabulous artist but whose home is one we’ve coveted since stepping inside (think eclectic furniture and a boho vibe)…
…whose hubby drives a turquoise VW van (yes, really) and whose unique mix of photography and art has resulted in the ‘Kids Of Arabia’ series (commissions available!).
Anne-Laure Roy also happens to be one of the nicest and most beautiful women we’ve met in Dubai and we’re delighted to introduce her to our Sassy Mama readers. A huge thank you to Steph @Nektar for the stunning images (to book a shoot, visit www.nektar.ae.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your career?
French-born, I moved to the UK in my teens, met my husband at the French Lycee, had the greatest time studying art in London, and worked for a little while in the fashion industry before life swept us on a life changing experience to Mozambique.
Six years, a wedding and one African-born baby later, life decided to take us on another adventure. This time, we landed in the UAE, where we increased our brood to three and adjusted to the rhythm of my other half’s crazy corporate life.
My camera, brushes, and paints have been following me all along. Over the years, they helped me out with a lot of art classes, design projects, exhibitions and basically anything creative thrown my way.
Last year was my first exhibition in the UAE, The Pin Up Series, a collection of fine art collages mixing my photographs of Dubai and Californian vintage pin ups.
This year has been all about collaboration, ‘Kids Of Arabia-funky art portraiture’ (check it out on Facebook and Instagram) came to life after a chance encounter with digital artist Azaide and I am currently working on a series of yoga photographs with my favourite yogis.
Tell us about your husband and kids.
All unique, stubborn and creative…
Where do you live in Dubai?
Umm suqeim has been my hood for the last 7 years.
Describe yourself in 5 words.
Stubborn, creative, (very) chatty, disorganised, adventurous
How do you balance work and motherhood?
By being lucky enough not to feel burdened by either.
How do you save time? What are your organisational tips and tricks?
Unfortunately, I am not the greatest time manager… in fact, I am your perfect Latin cliche when it comes to punctuality… But by not committing myself too much, I am also always available for when it matters most.
Describe your average day.
Get up, get the kids up and rush, rush, rush… swallow some breakfast at the traffic light on the way to school. Then, off I go for my daily dose of yoga at Inspire. After class, I’ll caffeinate myself with my girlfriends.
Only after that can my day start. Back home, I will work on the computer (emails and photo editing) until lunchtime. After picking up my youngest from the nursery, I will hide away in my art room and work on my paintings until it’s time to go and get the eldest ones from school.
In the afternoon, I’ll often have a bunch of kids at my place and we’ll do art and craft activities in my art room. The rest is pretty standard: homework, bath, dinner, bedtime, Netflix…
If you were stranded on a desert island, which three children’s items would you not be able to live without?
Paper, Paint and Glue.
Favourite activity with your kids in Dubai?
Surfing! When dad lands in Dubai on Friday morning, he takes us straight to the beach. We’ll buy some croissants on the way and eat them in our beloved VW van on the parking of open beach (with all the tourists taking pictures of us) before heading out to the water. And yes, there are waves in Dubai!
Favourite kid-friendly restaurants in Dubai?
The Surf House. We’ve been going there from even before they had a restaurant! The vibe is chilled out and unpretentious. The kids love it and are always welcomed with smiles.
Dream family vacation?
Anywhere, just the five of us, road tripping in a vintage van. So far we’ve done California (twice!), Australia and next on our list is the Basque country in France this summer.
Favourite date-night restaurants?
Coya, expensive but stunning food!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received as a parent?
Enjoy every moment with your kids, they grow up in a flash.
Read more: New Year’s Resolutions for Your Kids
Who is your hero or heroine and why?
It has to be my other half. He works crazy hours and flies long haul every week, yet he still manages to give us 100% of himself when he is home on weekends!
Read more: What Being a Dad Means to Me
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?
I am naturally clumsy, so I pretty much embarrass myself on a daily basis…
As a mama, I wish I were better at…
Being patient, even when tired…
My most humbling mama moment was…
A classic, but that magical feeling when your first child is born, and then when you introduce your second child to your first and your third to your first and second.
One thing I won’t sacrifice as a mama is…
Our time spent together. With my husband being away every single week, we cherish the little time that we have as a family unit. Which is why you won’t see me running around to birthday parties, playdates or activities at the weekend.
I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about….
I am way too sleep deprived to wake up in the middle of the night!
Even when my children have families of their own, I’ll still…
Worry for their wellbeing.
My favourite moment of the day is…
Kissing my kids goodnight, so much love immediately followed by the joy of knowing that my day is over.
I always feel saner after…
I wish I had more time for…
One on one moments with each of my children.
All Images used are provided by Anne-Laure Roy