A couple weeks before Mother’s Day, the folks at the Creative Action Network reached out to see if I could send them a few thoughts on how I juggle making art with being a parent for their Mother’s Day blog featuring some of their mama artists. In responding, I realized how much I have benefitted creatively through raising my children because of the interesting parameters and lessons that come with managing the lives of little humans.
Becoming a parent was one of the most creative transformations of my life–each day is filling a canvas to help young minds learn about the world in unique and powerful ways. My life is a constant juggle of finding time to create, managing the schedules and lives of three little humans, running a business with my husband, and working on projects to help save our democracy, fix our criminal injustice system, and heal our planet. The apple doesn’t fall too far in that our 7-year old daughter is also a Creative Action Network artist and created one of the bestselling “Vote” pins for the pivotal 2018 election.
I usually go to sleep at 8:30pm just after tucking in my three girls aged 7, 5, and 3 years-old, so I can wake up at 5AM. That peaceful time each morning before everyone else wakes up is my sacred opportunity to solo paint and write. In addition to taking advantage of my alone time, I also try to make art when my kids are around so we have the shared experience of creating together. I’ve turned our family dining table into our Mama-Daughter art studio–with paper, paints, glue, markers, crayons, and more. My kiddos have free rein of our makeshift studio so making art has become central to our life as a family. The kiddos often paint and create art while my husband and I are making meals or doing work, yet we are all just a few feet away from each other in the process.
My children inspire my creativity–they are the prime example that we are all born as artists. Give a child tools and materials to make art and they will blow your mind. They aren’t inhibited by what others think or the rational sides of their brain. They continually remind me to see the world through curious eyes and to not judge what comes out of my pen or paintbrush.
The Creative Action Network is a community of artists making art with purpose. My “Everyone Welcome” print has been a featured piece in their What REALLY Makes America Great campaign that was then published into a lovely coffee table book to celebrate the diverse tapestry of ideas, principles, and things that truly make our nation great.