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Pablo Picasso spoke volumes of truth when he said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Every artist, writer, creative-of-any-kind knows the struggles that come with trying to create art in the middle of a busy household. Not only is it difficult to find the time or the space to hone your craft, sometimes it seems impossible to find the inspiration. Where does the inspiration for art lie amidst PB and J’s, discarded socks, and dirty diapers? But hey, moms make art, too, so there has to be a way to rekindle that artistic spirit.
More than likely, you’re reading this article because you want to learn how to make art again – or because the title caught your interest. Either way, we’re glad to have you here with us because we want to help you find that lost inspiration. Making art alone can be a struggle at times, but when you tack on the responsibilities of motherhood, it can seem almost impossible.
But, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and moms who want to make art will make art. It just takes a little time and a lot of motivation.
Before we get into specific tips, you’ll want to clear out space for yourself and your art, whatever that art may be. Whether that’s a special room or just the underused dining room table, make it clear that THIS IS YOUR SPACE. Rid your space of toys, sippy cups, and unread books, and set up all the things you need to start making your art.
Tips for the mommy artists
If you’re an artist struggling to find the inspiration – or the time – to make art, there are a couple of things you can try in order to rekindle that artistic eye.
If you’re not sure what your art looks like, that’s okay! Art doesn’t always have to come from an epiphany – moms can make art of all types using prompts or pre-designed pictures. There are hundreds of artistic prompts online from Inktobers long forgotten that are the perfect jumping-off point for your newest artistic endeavors. Whether you’re using paint, clay, watercolor, or just a pencil and paper, there’s a prompt out there perfect for your next project.
For those looking to make art who, like me, may not have the “skill” they believe is required to come up with an original idea, there’s no need to fear! Paint-by-numbers for adults are the new adult coloring books and are great for making you feel the excitement of creating art without the pressure to be original. My mom, who proclaims that she has no artistic talent, has done several of these and I can’t even tell the difference between her paint-by-numbers and someone else’s original piece.
It also may be a good idea to take some time outdoors and visit beautiful, natural settings, like local parks or botanical gardens. On your next pretty day, pack up the family and find an outdoor space in your town that you may not have been to before. Not only is this a great way to get your family out of the house without worrying about too much social interaction, but it’s also a way to incorporate your family into your art as you use this time spent with them as a way to search out inspiration.
Tips for the writer moms
For moms looking to rekindle their writer’s spark, it’s important that you allow yourself space and time designated to your writing. Moms can make art and write, but not if they’re trying to take care of 101 other things that need taking care of.
Much like with our mommy artists, if you’re creative sparks just aren’t flying and you’re struggling to come up with a unique idea, look at some prompts! Pinterest is a great source for individual writing prompts – trust me, I have a whole board devoted to them – but there are also plenty of notebooks and journals out there designated to writing prompts and ideas. Not everything you write has to be originally thought up by you – in fact, it’s much less about the idea and much more about the piece you create from the idea.
Another tip for writer’s looking for inspiration is to read as much as they can. Again, I know finding time to sit and read can feel impossible when you’re juggling jobs and kids and trying to keep the house clean and trying to make sure everyone’s fed. But reading can be a great way to be inspired by the works of your fellow writers. Maybe you find a style of writing you really enjoyed reading and want to incorporate into your own style. Maybe a place or a name stuck out for you and made you think of your own place or name for your next big piece. Whatever it is, reading can be a great way to get your own creative juices flowing and remind yourself of what it was about writing that you enjoyed in the first place.
Tips for the mother crafters-in-between
For mommies that enjoy a little DIY and crafting but aren’t sure what to make, Pinterest is a great resource for looking for new ideas. While some of us – myself – maybe not so good at recreating the amazing things they find on Pinterest, other people take those ideas and spin them in a million wonderful directions. Whether it’s the sewing patterns, dinner recipes, furniture construction, or recycling-into-something-new DIY ideas, there’s something for everyone.
Another great resource that you may not have considered yet is your children. Ask your kids what they want mommy to make! Use their fun art to knit new toys. Make a quilt out of their favorite t-shirts that are just a little too small. Build a castle – okay, well, maybe not a whole castle, but I’m sure they’d love a treehouse just as much. Children have some of the most creative minds around, so talk to your kids and see what kinds of things they want you to make. Not only will this help reinspire you to make art, but it will also help create a way for you to help them make their own original art.
Here’s the thing: life is busy sometimes, and it can be hard to find a way to save time for yourself when there are so many other things that need to be done. But at the end of the day, moms make art. Moms write. Moms are the creators and the crafters, the inspired and the inspiration. Don’t let a busy schedule keep you from making great art – in fact, take a little of the hectic out of your schedule and use it for your art!
You’ll find that, when you really take a good look, inspiration is everywhere. You just have to take the time to follow it.
About Draven Jackson
Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.
To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.