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Aimee: Mothers of Invention

Crossposted from Artsyville, by Aimee Myers Dolich.

an EXTRA special thank you goes today to the fabulous jennifer new, who published my artwork this week on her recently started blog mothers of invention. jennifer, who is also the author of drawing from life: the journal as art (a must-read for art journalers), spun off the MOI blog from her series of excellent articles on the challenges that women face while balancing a creative career with the round-the-clock demands of raising a family. she is currently working on a book proposal to give the many creative mamas out there a much needed resource on how to manage those challenges.

jennifer’s articles have put a voice to many of the feelings i’ve had since my first child arrived nearly six years ago. in her words i recognize the despair and resentment i’ve felt from having to abandon a great idea or cut short a creative process because someone won’t take a nap, needs something, is systematically emptying out every dresser drawer in the house, or just won’t let me complete a thought.

her writing has also made me realize how much of my creativity i owe to my children. the urge to create came and went during my pre-baby years, but never consistently, nor with much conviction or purpose. once my girls burst on the scene, so did my desire to create, and that desire fed on itself until it became an essential part of my life, my way of making sense of the world.

just watching my children grow and learn is creativity in progress. they constantly push me out of my comfort zone and i think that’s essential territory for an artist to explore. they approach life with a freshness that cuts to my heart when i stop and take the time to think about what they’re seeing and feeling. life is so new to them; they’re trying to understand things that i expect and take for granted. they say and do things that would never occur to me. their interpretations of the world take my mind in unexpected directions.

my girls have also taught me to live in the moment. with children, there is no tomorrow, no yesterday, only now. because of them I’ve learned to pay closer attention to my surroundings because I have to, and I’m surprised by what I see and what I missed before. i create with an intensity and purpose that i didn’t fully understand before they came into my life. recognizing the significance of those small moments has helped me to be a better mother to my girls as well as my art.

so thank you, jennifer, for your insightful writing on such a complex topic, and for bringing together such a diverse group of women to discuss our common challenge. we are parents, we are creatives — and in order to satisfy both of those worlds, we must be mothers of invention as well.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love this piece, Aimee, and I love the pair of images that so beautifully illustrate the strange dichotomy of motherhood as a creative woman.

    I had my children so early in life that I can’t actually compare what creativity was like “before” and “after” — but I certainly relate to how children pull us into the present moment, whether or not we want to be there.

    Speaking of present moment, I am RIGHT THIS MOMENT going into the other room to place your prints into the frames that I bought at Target this morning!! 😀

    February 4, 2010
  2. thank you miranda! this was a fun journey back through time (really not all that long ago, even though it feels like years!) i’m still fueled/stifled by all of those things, sans the diaper changes. i don’t miss those!

    February 4, 2010
  3. Sophie #

    Thanks for that wonderful post.
    Perspective can change everything,
    without having to change anything outside.

    The more mothers that will acknowledge
    and appreciate the gifts of creativity children bring,
    the more creativity will be expressed,
    and richer will the life be of these children too,
    having been brought up with the feeling that their presence
    not only demands, but adds to the life of their mother/parents.

    I’m not a mother (yet…) and don’t know what the future holds for me in that regards.

    But knowing that there is a community of creative and conscious mamas helping each other to create and redefine motherhood and creativity certainly is inspiring.

    Thank you so much.

    Lotsa Love to your loved ones and long life to your creativity

    Sophie- Quebec city

    February 8, 2010

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