Posted on July 13 2016
I've been an artist-mom for six months now. Six months! This sounds terrible, but I'm a lot happier than I expected. In fact, I'm often joyful. Formerly believing motherhood to be a concoction of exhaustion, spit up, and yoga pants, I thought my baby would constantly require me to give more than I possessed, that I'd regularly come up empty when faced with the daunting demands of raising a child. And yes, sure, I have felt that way more than once, but I'm shocked at how often I don't. It doesn't hurt that my baby smiles at almost anything and anyone and has already started to give me kisses. She's a happy little girl, and occasionally teething or ear aches rob me of her happy disposition, and I'm sapped of all energy, but then it ends, and I can't believe how wondrously good my life is.
After the hormonal fog that covered the first month finally lifted, I started feeling more like myself. Thinking art would be the farthest thing from my mind, I surprised myself by immediately wanting to get back to work. We decided to use my art profits to hire a nanny for just a few hours a week. It's been wonderful. She only comes for a couple hours, which means I still have tons of time to focus on my little one while not feeling creatively stagnant. It's been a good balance.
Easing back into my art practice gradually, I started by making small collages for my sketchbook. I bought this sketchbook from Paolo Olbi, a delightful bookbinder in Italy. The idea behind these little works was to create something without any pressure. If it's small, it's easier to experiment and not get overly invested, right? Wrong. Well, at least wrong for me. I still felt so much pressure to create each artwork just right. That's something I still struggle with during my creative process. Primarily creating time-intensive cut out patterns that can't easily be erased probably doesn't help. There's always room to grow, right?
Almost all of my previous work adhered strictly to the four sides and corners of the rectangle shape, and with these little collages I tried erasing the edges in an effort to make something more organic. As with all art, some succeeded more than others. I learned a lot though!