Today’s very special tag team 5+5 doubles as a high-priority heads up for all you child-rearers out there. It comes courtesy of longtime friends of 20x200, Sara Mauskopf and Anne Halsall — the badass entrepreneurs and incredible moms behind a visionary new tech startup tailored to the modern parent: Winnie.
In essence, Winnie’s a social networking app for people with children, but in practice it’s so much more. Winnie’s a place for parents to ask questions, connect, share insights, and get recs on everything from breastfeeding to babysitters to cool things to do with the kids. Get a load of Mauskopf on Bloomberg TV giving the rundown.
Not only are these two app innovators dead set on developing super duper (and long overdue) software for parents, they’re tirelessly vouching for women and mothers in the tech world. But they’re deeply in-the-know beyond that, drawing attention, for instance, to more and more dads being present and participatory, and the magic of co-parenting. They’ll also teach you a lesson or two about Millennials bringing up babies. Just hop over to the New York Times where Halsall talked “Parennials”, or peep this popular piece she penned.
Mauskopf and Halsall are blazing a path for a realistic alternative to "having it all" by being honest and vulnerable about the challenges of juggling all the life/work responsibilities, not celebrating workaholism, and channeling their energy and experience into tools that make life easier for millennial parents. It’s a wonder they had time to talk art with us, but we’re awfully glad they did. Catch their characteristically thoughtful prints picks and Q+A below! – Team 20x200
5 Perfect Picks from Anne
1) Austria, Ski Lodge in the Alps, a 20x200 Vintage Edition
I love so much about this piece. The negative space that draws you up over the horizon (where no doubt something amazing awaits). The long shadows and profound sense of stillness and quiet. The airborne POV. I could stare at it for hours.
2) The Last Days of Disco by Hollis Brown Thornton
I find myself wondering what's reflected in the ball. Every time I look at it I see something different. I love that the disco ball is an iconic symbol of nightlife and frenzy, but this composition is so muted and still. It's peaceful.
3) Power Outage by Ann Toebbe
I secretly love it when the power goes out and you get to light candles and eat all the ice cream in your fridge. Electricity makes so much noise that you don't notice until it's gone. I want to curl up in this darkened room. I especially love the candle in front of the TV screen, with its defiantly circular glow.
4) South Side of the Moon, a 20x200 Space Edition
I'm obsessed with the colors and flowing organic forms in this one. It's just lovely. The moon is a dead place, but here it's full of life.
5) Apres Grande 12 by Christian Chaize
That airborne POV again! I must have a thing for being on the outside looking in. I love that the horizon is not visible, and the presence of the ocean only implied. It's very dreamlike, with these muted colors that don't seem quite real.
5 Q's + 5 A's with Anne and Sara
1) What's your favorite museum?
The Art Institute of Chicago, easily. Every room will take your breath away. I always make a beeline for the Monets, which can't really be appreciated until you see them in person. The entire Impressionist exhibit is bonkers. It changes you.
My favorite memory, though, is of a painting in the Modern Art wing. It was a large, flat, solid green canvas. Nothing else on it. I looked at the placard and it had this long ornate title like "Detail of a Chinese Dragon on a Jade Teacup Handle." I swear I stared at that thing for like 20 minutes. I was convinced that there had to be something hidden in that green canvas. (Why else would it be in an art museum?) Then suddenly it hit me: it was just green paint. There was nothing else to see. Several emotions went through me: first I was angry, then embarrassed, then eventually amused. Okay artist, you got me. I fell for it. Nice one.
Since then, I don't read the placards. I've also learned that not all art is meant to be taken seriously. — Anne
The Bay Area Discovery Museum :-) It's not a museum for adults but my daughter loves it and always has the best time running around there which means I have the best time. Prior to becoming a parent, my answer would have been the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I grew up right outside of Philadelphia and was fortunate to be able to go there a bunch growing up. It's worth a trip to Philly just for all the great museums there. — Sara
2) What's your most coveted coffee table book?
The Girl with a Watering Can. It's a children's book where the little girl in the famous painting decides to leave and wander around in the museum. She gets into trouble with the other paintings. It's good fun. — Anne
Women by Annie Leibovitz. I got to see the exhibit in person and meet Annie Leibovitz. Hearing her speak was one of the most inspirational days of my life. — Sara
3) If you could be reincarnated as an artist, who would you want to be?
Van Gogh. I think he had something special no one else had. It drove him mad. But I would like to see the world that he saw. — Anne
My co-founder Anne Halsall. She's a super talented artist and designed the original artwork for Winnie (check out Winnie to see it). I want even half of her skills! — Sara
4) You've got $5m to spend on one piece of art. What would it be?
As much Ed Ruscha as I could buy. — Anne
I would be way too scared my daughter would ruin it to ever spend that much money on anything. — Sara
5) Your app is all about making it easy for parents to arm themselves with all kinds of resources, connections, insights and ideas. What’s the best advice for someone trying to integrate more art into their kid’s life?
Get children's books that celebrate art and artists! I had many books growing up from the Art Institute, the National Gallery, MoMA, etc. We went to a lot of museums and would always pick up a book to bring home.
I also embrace graphic novels as an art form that is uniquely accessible to kids. Get some age-appropriate comic books or even cartoon anthologies like Calvin & Hobbes. Your kids think they're getting away with something, but the jokes on them — they're appreciating art! — Anne
Your own kid's art is a good start (and free)! We hang up the artwork my daughter makes right next to our real art and she loves that. She is always so proud of her work and loves to show it off.— Sara
The 411 on Sara Mauskopf
Sara is the CEO and Co-founder of Winnie, the companion app for modern parents. Prior to Winnie she held product leadership roles at Postmates, Twitter, and YouTube/Google. She lives with her husband and daughter in San Francisco.
The 411 on Anne Halsall
Anne is the co-founder and CPO of Winnie, a tech startup focused on building great software for parents. She's also the co-founder of two little boys, Hugo & Felix.