Saturday, 25 May 2013

Cloud break

Sometimes my brain needs a break and so I go and look at clouds. Here are some for you to look at too. If your brain is thirsty for more cloud images, have a look at the Cloud Appreciation Society. Yes, I know, I can’t believe there is actually a society that appreciates clouds. Amazing stuff.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Virginia Woolf was right

There is something to be said for having a room of one’s own. Virginia Woolf famously wrote that a woman must have a space of her own in order to write. But this could also apply to any creative endeavor. I could check my copy of her essay, ‘A Room of One’s Own’ for the exact quote but I can’t find it anywhere in my house amongst parenting books, interior design magazines or recipe books. If I had a room all to myself then maybe I’d be able to find it.

Imagine, if I had a room all to myself – oooh, the luxurious potential I could unleash in there. I could hang a hammock, to lie in while I sip my ice cold pina coladas and read a sumptuous novel or two. I’d play music that I don’t play around my toddler – loud hip hop with copious amounts of swear words, and I’d dance, throwing myself around the room like a teenager. If anyone came in I’d shout, ‘Get out of my room!’ with my face all screwed up. The walls would be covered with inspiring stuff that I’d pick up at art galleries, ripped out of newspapers, old movie tickets found in last year’s winter coat pockets, lists of dreams that I’d want to achieve and more lists of places I want to visit all over the world.

Then there would be my desk. My desk. Not a desk littered with bills to pay, half eaten bananas, clothes to repair, odds and ends like used batteries, broken toys and stacks of paper for filing. My desk would have all of my art materials, laid out like an invitation to create. It would be clean, neat, ordered and sacred. Mine. Mine. Mine.

The pull between motherhood and creativity is not a new discussion, but it is an eternally interesting conversation. How do we make time and space for ourselves to pursue our creative work when we have children without feeling guilty (‘I really should be spending time with my child’), or feeling impatient (‘I wish you’d just go to sleep so I can work on my painting’). Push, pull, push, pull.

So the idea of having a room of one’s own may be unrealistic for many of us at one time or another but let’s not let what the room represents to us be unrealistic also. It represents the permission to have time to create, unabashedly, with joy and with high hopes.

Creativity is important work, and even if your creative space is only the dining room table and a cupboard from which you pull out your art materials (like me), or your laptop or a small sketchpad, know that being creative is essential to who you are and that you must not ignore it. After all, we have a big example to set for our kids by letting them know how important it is to follow your dreams.

(P.S. I was inspired to write this post by Mique Moruichi’s post on her creative space. So, thank you Mique for the inspiration. I am eternally interested in the spaces in which all creative women make their artwork. I was also very interested to see Jenni Desmond's work space as well as the work spaces of Anna Emelia, Anna Walker, Jen Collins and Carson Ellis. If you have images of a creative space that you work in, I’d be very happy to hear from you!)

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Car park sushi

There it was. Quietly sitting on the ground in the car park next to the trolley bay. Perfectly packaged takeaway sushi. It didn’t look as though it had been dropped. It looked neatly placed. All of the tempting pieces were lined up in well spaced rows.

What was it doing there? Had some starving and harried person placed it there as they were searching for their keys whilst talking on the phone and buckling kids into their seats, eventually driving off without it? Was it a hidden camera trick to see if anyone would pick it up and eat it? Or could it have been a modern art piece, placed by an enthusiastic art student to make comment on the poetic relationship between fish, shopping trolleys and car parks?

I stared as I walked past, I couldn’t take my eyes off it as though I had just witnessed the evidence of a mini suburban tragedy. Why were you in the car park that day, sushi, why?

Thursday, 2 May 2013

‘I’m doing my best’ badge

This is what I know. Since becoming a mother, some days are just crappy. Yes, yes, cute stuff happens too, but oh my goodness, if I had a badge like this in those early days, it may have eased some of my sleep deprived crankiness.

But you know, some days are crappy when you don’t have kids, or when you’re a kid, or single, or working in a beige cubical, or living in a small dank flat with rising damp…Some days just being a person is hard.

Someone I know was made a special badge like this by her husband when she needed it most. This is my version for you.

With Mothers’ Day coming up soon, let a new mother know that she is doing a good job and that her best is enough.