Art & Mothering
April 09, 2020
Dear Allyson,
 
 How did you and Alex manage to keep creating and raise a baby?
 
 Kathya
Ask Allyson Image
Boo-Boo by Alex Grey
Dear Kathya,
 
 Thanks for writing.
 
 An artist that becomes a mother is still an artist. You do not want your story to always be, “I was an artist and stopped making art when I had a baby.”  Common but not extraordinary. A better story might be,  “Being a mother gave me a greater commitment to my artwork.  Having a baby made me present to the importance of my artistic identity." A child who grows up learning that creativity is inherent and not optional, will live a creative life. Before motherhood: paint and draw every day. After motherhood: paint and draw everyday.
 
 The moment the baby emerges from your womb, they are moving away from you — exploring and interested in the world. In a few years they are off with their peers, finding their own way. Don’t make the mistake of assuming you will get back to your creative life later. Creativity is as fundamental to life as exercise. We wouldn’t say, “I’ll get back to exercise when the baby is older.” We need to be fit all the time. If your self-identity tells you that you are innately an artist, showing creative evidence will keep your identity in tact and preserve your sense of self-worth through motherhood, a time of radical giving. Rather than limiting, motherhood is all about expanding to include. 
 
 BTW — By the time your baby is 2 years old they need a sketchbook of their own — and a good pen or/and a set of colored markers — in your bag, ready to pull out whenever they are waiting, especially for food. Have your own sketch book, pen, pencil... handy, too, and be the example of “I make art and you can, too.” Artist mothers share with their children a passion for art. By taking creative children regularly to art environments, museums, galleries… art classes. Make sure they have a good time by remember their sketch book and basic supplies, by taking them to lunch at the museum for a snack, by taking them to the gift shop for a small purchase.
 
 We are proud to say that our daughter makes art everyday. She plays piano, exercises and takes good care of herself as an adult. This is what we really want from our children. They become the example we set.
 
 Love and happy mothering, 
 
 Allyson
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