Mom-Artist, Artist-Mom. The order doesn’t really matter as both are about creation and both are integral to my identity. And each enhances the other.
I feel like I didn’t come into my own as an artist until I had my son. The act of growing another human being inside of me and then pushing him into this world awakened my creative soul like no other thing could. I pictured him growing in my womb like the way I watercolor: start with the base, adding broad swatches of color. Then add in the larger forms, bringing shape to the piece. Grab a small brush to add in the details. Finally your painting– your baby– is ready, a complete being with lights and darks, shadows and detail, and you have birthed this new creation, this new life that now interacts with the world. (You don’t think art interacts with the world? Go see a Rothko in person. Talk about pulsating color and form that alternatively shouts and whispers at you.)
My son has made me a better artist, and my art makes me a better mom (I need to remember this last part when I feel guilty about wanting time to create). His newness and wonder at the world reinvigorates the way I see things around me, giving me new ideas and fresh ways of approaching the act of creating. Making art is a sacred act that brings out the best in me, and my son sees this. Even at his young age, he sees the value I place on art and handmade items, the conscious thoughtfulness that goes into each piece and he realizes that anything made in this way is special. I know this because of the delight he gets from making art and from having me make him things.
He also seems to realize that these objects made by another’s hands have stories in them– recently when he was working on one of his artistic creations he told me the colors I handed him weren’t right and that, essentially, they didn’t go with what his picture was saying.
I feel such joy when I see him create. He inspires me to no end, and I am blessed that I have him beside me on this artistic journey.