Happy New Year everyone! I hope January finds everyone in good health and spirits. Usually this month tends to be one of reflection and contemplation and that’s exactly what I found myself doing the other day. I was thinking that for 2015 I’d like to incorporate more creativity within our home. I think exposing our children to the arts is just as vital as attaining an excellent academic education. Whether spending an hour out of a Saturday afternoon to paint on canvas or taking 30 minutes out of a busy weekday to just color and glue a picture together (all things that I have already done with Henry in the past week) it’s becoming clear to me that 2015 is shaping up to what I refer to as, “The Year of Living Creatively”. So along with embarking on a more colorful year it also led me to consider the future of this little blog that I have created. Should I keep posting more photos? Should I keep writing more stories? Have I reached a plateau within my blog? Should I wrap it up and call it a day? I started bythelight1973 in 2011 and I never imagined that three years later I would still be here blogging away. Having a blog that I have nurtured has been a great experience, but I think every blogger hits a point in which they ask themselves, “do I keep blogging and should I keep blogging?” Having a blog entails setting aside time to write and perfect a post until you think it’s ready for your readers to see, but since time is a very limited factor these days with two little boys running around I have to ask myself whether I should just keep posting my photographs or take my blog in a different direction and change its focus. Which leads me to the title of this post. As I was contemplating (in my head of course) “My Year of Living Creatively” and the future of my blog Henry asks me, “Mommy, are you a famous artist?” This question came so out of left field that it took me aback, but finally I answered his question with a question of my own (hey no need to burst the kid’s bubble if he thinks his momma is a Picasso). “Henry do you think I’m a famous artist?” He nods his head and says “yes” and at this point I’m just darned intrigued as to why he thinks this. Could it be because of my framed pictures on the wall? Is it that he sees me taking pictures and working on them on the computer? Does he see me typing away on a post and thinks to himself, “wow, I think my mom is famous or something!” So here I am waiting to hear his response and see which one of my theories is correct when Henry points to the picture on the wall on says, “because you made that and it’s hanging on the wall.” The “that” that he is referring to is the following picture, This masterpiece (I know, I know I can hear your oohs and aahs) I made this past week during one of those rare 30-minutes-to-spare-the-stars-are-aligned for me to actually sit down with Henry and do something totally creative. I pulled out some markers, paper, scissors, glue and some yarn and asked Henry if he wanted to make something and what materialized was this figure of what seems to be a very happy girl. It was a totally spontaneous and organic creation and it was just plain fun which leads me back to the inner monologue I was having when Henry brought my unbeknowest to me “fame status” to my attention. Within my rumbling of thoughts on creativity, photography, the arts, and blogging I was thinking about the famous photographers I had wanted to be when I “grew up” such as Dorothea Lange, Margaret Bourke-White or Tina Modotti. These women led incredible lives and had even more incredible careers and I think if you grew up like me you wanted to emulate them somehow. You wanted to be them, but then you do grow up and life takes you in a different direction and what you realize is that these women lived in very different times. They were trailblazers and sacrificed a lot and their lives were far from perfect, but what they held onto was their passion. Their passion for their art. Their passion for life. Standing before my son I reckon that he’ll find out someday that his momma doesn’t have anything hanging in the Lourve, but I can, just like they did and just like every true artist, photographer, writer, and even actor that came before me, is embrace a life and create a home that values creativity. Whether it be going outside to photograph with your kids, sitting at a table and penning a few lines for a poem, or building a little theater for the plays that can be put together, we can all model for our kids our love for the creative process. We can cultivate and nurture within our kids a passion for the arts by allotting 30 minutes (heck 15 minutes if that is all you have) here and there throughout the week. If you start doing that on a regular basis I swear I think your right side of the brain starts to grow and neurons start connecting or something like that and that’s a good thing right? I swear I know I must have read countless studies on this stuff, but since my kid is sick and I have to stop writing soon you’ll just have to take my word for it. And if you think living a more passion filled creative life doesn’t make a difference on your little one then I’ll leave you with this. After letting Henry know that I am in fact a famous arteest I asked him, “would you like to be a famous artist someday?” and my son, the same boy that when asked what would you like to be when you grow up always without fail answers “a dad” (I know it always warms my heart to hear that) but doesn’t have any big plans for any other occupation, for the first time answers with a knowing smile on his face, “of course.”
This is what Henry painted, He’s a regular Picasso, eh although I don’t have the heart to tell him that he has all the makings of a writer.
If you would like the blog to continue as a mainly photo blog please let me know or if you would like to see more blog posts related to creativity, kids and teaching please let me know. I look forward to your comments, ideas and thoughts.