on being creative…

on being creative


on being creative


on being creative


I took these photos of Luke as he experimented with soft pastels for the first time.

(The girls & I had just finished ours.)

My boy sat at the table and created in such a burst of raw expressive energy, it left me spellbound. I watched as he chose colors and shapes became people and houses. Some of the pastels broke of course, and he looked up at me for my reaction. "Be gentle," I suggested. The flurry continued until he stopped, eyed it up, and thrust it at me announcing, "it's done!

Then off he went…. me chasing after him to get the chalky colors washed off his arms and fingers.

The entire event left me thinking about the process of art and creating. People create for so many different reasons. Process, product, beauty, utilitarian, restoration, nourishment….

I am a firm believer that we all have an innate desire to create in our own ways. That being creative is an essential piece of feeling alive. Of being whole.

I also believe many of us let this creative voice fall quiet as we grow up. As we become "responsible adults". And you know what else? I know a lot of us turn 30 and that voice starts jumping up and down and we realize it's hungry after all these years of forgetting to feed it. (My mama tells me the same thing happens again at 50.)

So we start to listen to it….

paint, draw, cook, write, sew, dance, garden, cut, hammer, weld, mold, model, photograph, CREATE

Do you hear it?

In a recent email to a writer I admire, I told her I felt like my creativity voice was all over the place…. completely overwhelming me and making a mess. Taking over. I told her I felt like I was trying to collect rainwater with a colander. That once I cracked opened the door, it got swung wide open with such force that I was left dumbstruck. I felt disoriented and vulnerable.

Take it slowly… she offered. But keep going.

This was a gentle reminder for me to appreciate the process, the act of being creative. To be okay with smudged drawings and bad writing. To meet myself right where I am in this moment. 

With all of this swimming around in my mind & heart….. I watched my kids create with new eyes. The eyes of a recovering creative. It's kind of true, right? I suddenly felt the utmost significance in my role to protect and nurture the creative light within in them. That this could be my greatest work. 

Are you with me?


30 thoughts on “on being creative…

  1. Kids are amazing to watch… I think as we get older we over think creating! We are not in the moment but in our heads instead. We can learn so much from them! Great post!


  2. “That once I cracked opened the door, it got swung wide open with such force that I was left dumbstruck. I felt disoriented and vulnerable.” What a way with words! This is so true for me right now. I have such a collection of creative tools and materials that it really is a mess, but I am an intuitive artist and it comes in waves for different mediums.


  3. This sums up perfectly how I am feeling these days – the taking it slow but keeping it going part anyway.
    It feels like all my creativity is in fits and starts and spread out every which way.
    Thanks for this.


  4. i agree with you wholeheartedly. one of the main reasons we were driven to homeschool is because we wanted them to have plenty of time for imaginative play and to create. sadly, our current system of education tends to stifle the creative spark in children.


  5. it’s interesting you mention the ages 30 and 50… i’m near the latter, maybe that’s what’s going on… i do feel a shift, a change and something needing to be different… mmm… great post!


  6. With ya. I think at different points in our lives, we rediscover our capacity for creativity. It might have to do with the different ways in which we are needed, if we are mothers. Right now, I can feel myself just beginning to have more time to think, to ponder, in ways that I haven’t had the capacity to do in the last three years. Some days, not losing my cool with young children, tackling the laundry, and preparing a decent meal at the end of the day is about all the creativity I can muster.
    And as for the children, I think it’s the least I can do – to try to protect the opportunities for open-ended moments where creativity can exist.


  7. I truly agree. We let our mind get in the way don't we? I love the simplicity of just doing that I see from the kids…. hoping to write it on a mental sticky note so as to remember…


  8. Ahaha! Deb…. that made me giggle. This post was inspired by a really good conversation with my mama last night. And that boy… goodness do I ever appreciate all his wild and crazy ways. He teaches me so much!


  9. My mama & I are 30ish & 50ish right now. We've had so many conversations on listening to our creative inner being in the last year. I feel a huge shift in my own life and I know she has too. Things are really changing for me…. and it's something very new. Very good. I don't mean in a lucrative "be the next famous artist" sort of way…. but in a being connected to my desire to create. Which is important and beautiful work, you know? Best of wishes to you on your own journey…


  10. Nichole…. that is it! Truly. The last 15 years for me has been filled with the busy days of nurturing little ones. Which I have adored. And now, almost suddenly I see that I exist as my own being…. not just with them. It's been strange and really wonderful all in one. I totally know you are one of those who is on the same page with nurturing the fire in the children in your life. You are such a sweet soul. Truly. And keeping a house & creating food is most certainly the work of an artist. xo~~


  11. Yeah-hoo. I love knowing there are so many mamas and women out there in the same boat. {and I listened to you today via podcast as I folded laundry…. you sounded just like you all ready did in my mind…. how crazy-cool is that?!?}


  12. Love this! So relate to the need to create! And your photos remind me of a pic I took of my littlest niece the first time we finger painted. Precious!


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