Welcome to Week One of the month-long Carnival of Creative Mothers to celebrate the launch of The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood
by Lucy H. Pearce.
Today’s topic is Nurturing a Culture of Creativity at Home. Be sure to read to the end of this post to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
Join the Carnival and be in with a chance to win a free e-copy of The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood!
November 27th: Creative Heroines.
December 4th: Creative Inheritance.
December 11th: The Creative Process.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” ~ Pablo Picasso
I must admit that creativity around here has developed in a bifold path. As a very type-A person, working in an accounting firm, for goodness sake, I never felt very creative or willing to let myself create or be surrounded by messes of any sort. Upon entering motherhood however, I found myself at home with a little ball of need (my daughter) and a similar need growing within (loneliness and a need for an outlet).
I needed a way to make visible anything and everything I was feeling. I was (and still am!) growing spiritually as a person, becoming more nurturing, more patient, and more in touch with the cycle of life. I yearned for a way to express and release the heartfelt joy as well as the frustrations that seemed to pop up almost every single day. I desperately craved some time for myself, a space for my heart and soul to sing, and some separation from sippy cups and diapers.
When my daughter was about a year old, I stumbled upon an online writing class that helped me to creatively express all the emotions I felt as a new mother. That led to another writing class, which gave me the great courage needed to begin this blog. Then followed photography classes, and finally online painting courses. Here I am four years down that road feeling like a completely different individual – an artist.
I recently converted our home office into a craft space for myself. I’ve organized all my goodies into binders and boxes, with colorful tapes and paints and pens within reach. This space is where I spend the few hours that my daughter is in preschool. I blog here, paint here, do all my e-courses here. I try to nurture myself and encourage creativity by lighting a candle before beginning. Sometimes I will have soft music playing, or incense burning. I am surrounded by a visual feast of inspiration and encouragement – bulletin boards of drawings, cards from fellow creatives, positive words, artwork.
My own creations are on the walls. There are most definitely way more ideas in my head than there is time to bring them to fruition.
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The other half of the picture takes into consideration little hands covered in glue or grasping a marker or scissors. My daughter was born musical and artistic, and since she sees her mother doing fun projects that she wants to mimic, there’s no resistance for her to freely express herself in any way she wants to. She has her art supplies (organized, of course – see “type A” above) in an accessible craft closet that she uses frequently. She thinks nothing of opening it to grab some colored paper, stickers, and glue for a quick project. Of course, she often wants to use my (nicer and more expensive) supplies, and sometimes I let her.
I sincerely admire my daughter’s ability to let loose, to ignore any rules and create whatever she wants. It’s harder for me to do that, but I use her as my teacher. She has showed me how adding salt to a painting or wetting crayons and markers creates an amazing effect, how to “mix media” to layer things I would never have thought of combining. She is paving her own way fearlessly and without acknowledging any limits.
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To continue cultivating a creative home, I must remain conscious of opportunities as they arise. I often have to stifle my sense of order and let intuition pave the path for me. I have had to learn to be ok with partially finished projects that must wait for another time. I’ve had to give myself permission to let whatever comes forth be ok, to let go of that inner critic and just go with it without judgement. I had to tell myself that it was ok to buy paint and brushes even though I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.
I have observed my daughter’s beautiful sense of expression and, in turn, allowed my own creativity to unfold. It has taught me much about patience, discovery, and loving that person I was before I became a mother and who I am now.
Please share your thoughts in the comments on nurturing creativity at home and consider subscribing to this blog. It’s sure to be entertaining as the art projects continue to get more and more messy!
If you liked this, you might also like these similar posts:
- Painting with little people
- Kids make terrible pets
- Parenting with presence
- How not to lose your mind raising children
and grab your free extras (first 200 orders only!):
– exclusive access to a private Facebook group for creative mothers
– a vibrant greetings card and book-mark of one of the author’s paintings.
or order it from your local bookshop!
Carnival host and author of The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood, Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares an extract from the chapter Nurturing a Family Culture of Creativity.
Lilly Higgins is a passionate food writer. Now a mother of two boys, she’s discovered a new calling: to instil in them a love of food and creativity in the kitchen.
DeAnna L’am shares how visioning the New Year with your child is an invitation to be inspired: use creativity and resolutions to create a fun road map for the year ahead.
Molly at Talk Birth on Releasing Our Butterflies – balancing motherhood with creativity.
Laura shares some of the creativity happening at Nestled Under Rainbows and a few thoughts about creativity.
Georgie at Visual Toast celebrates her own unique culture of creativity at home.
Esther at Nurtureworkshop spreads the love of the ordinary, the delights of everyday things that can be an adventure of the imagination.
For Dawn at The Barefoot Home creativity is always a free form expression to be shared by all in a supportive environment where anything can be an art material.
Naomi at Poetic Aperture is a mother, artist and photographer who tries to keep her daughter away from the expensive pens and paints.
Aimee at Creativeflutters writes about keeping your sanity and creativity intact with small kids in the house in her post: Mother + Creativity – They Must Coexist.
Amelia at My Grandest Adventure embarks on a 30 Days of Creativity challenge…you can too!
Becky at Raising Loveliness explores creating with her smaller family members.
Brooke at violicious spent too much time worrying and trying to be creative instead of letting it flow.
Joanna at Musings of a Hostage Mother explains why creativity at home is important to her in her post “I nurture a creative culture.”
On womansart blog this week – nurturing a creative culture at home.
Creative woman at Creator’s Corner loves color and uses it to paint, draw and decorate to inspire herself and her family.
It took until Amy at Mama Dynamite was pregnant aged 35 to discover her dormant creative
streak – she has found lovely ways of tuning into it every since.
Anna of ArtBuds is a trained educator and art therapist. She has been creating all her life and nurturing her daughter’s creativity at home is a priority.
Deb at Debalicious shares how her family enjoy creativity at home.
Emily at The Nest explores how creativity runs through her family’s life together.
Jennifer at OurMuddyBoots sees that encouraging creativity in children is as simple as appreciating them for who they are: it just means overriding everything we know!
Lisa from Mama.ie has discovered that a combination of writing and traditional crafts can provide a creative outlet during those busy early years of new motherhood.
Anna at Biromums shares what nurturing a culture of creativity means to her.
Zoie at TouchstoneZ argues that the less they are interfered with, the more creative children become as they grow up.
Darcel at The Mahogany Way celebrates creating with her kids.
Molly at MollyLollyLoo explores her family’s shared creative times.
Liz at Reckless Knitting shares how she celebrates creativity with her family.
Sally (aka The Ginger Ninja) of The Ginger Chronicles is continually inspired by her own mum and grandmother.
Just being creative is enough, says Nicki at Just Like Play, as she ponders her journey of nurturing a creative family.
Allurynn shares her creative family’s musings in her post “Creativity… at the Heart of it” on Moonlight Muse.
Laura at Authentic Parenting explores how being creative saves her sanity.
Mama is Inspired talks about how she puts an emphasis on the handmade in her home, especially in the holiday season.
Kirstin at Listen to the Squeak shares with you several easy ways for busy mamas and dads to encourage their children to be creative every day.
Chiswick Mum believes that a healthy dose of chaos is the secret to nurturing creativity at home.
Mila at Art Play Day always lived in her dreams, sleepwalking through life … now she is finding out what creativity is all about…. her inner child!
Sadhbh at Where Wishes Come From describes how picture books can nurture creativity in young children.