A couple weeks ago I flew to Utah to attend Snap Conference: a get-together for creative bloggers and entrepreneurs. It was SO much fun learning from and mingling with other impressive makers. I got to meet several of my sewing blogger heroes and connect with people I’ve watched online for years. And if a weekend full of education, parties, food and friends wasn’t enough, I was also BY MYSELF. As in, no little people who needed me. It was a glorious break.
Plus, check out all the swag I brought home!
**Yes, that IS a real Instax camera…there was an amazing party hosted by Fuji and Heidi Swapp with legit awesome free stuff!
Seeing hundreds of talented women in one place (most of them mothers) got me thinking about creativity and motherhood, specifically, and why it seems that so many young moms feel the need to make stuff. Stay-at-home moms with artistic side businesses seem a dime a dozen these days, be it a hustle making hair bows, taking orders baking cakes or helping friends with interior design. What is it about women in general that makes us want to be so darn creative?
The basic biological function of mothers is to conceive, grow, bear and nurture other human beings…even biologically we are CREATORS! The essence of motherhood is within us all, even those without children. It is the need we feel to empathize, comfort, care for and otherwise lift others up (also that biological urge to cry uncontrollably at Hallmark commercials). I believe that the very essence of creation stems from love; when we expend time and energy in creative efforts, we’re simply sharing love. (I talk more about how moms need to create in this post.)
This past year and a half of growing the Whisk ‘Em blog and starting my pattern design business has been so fulfilling. I wake up every morning and go to bed each night with fresh ideas for blog posts, sewing projects and new patterns swirling inside my head. I spend all my free time either in front of my computer, sewing machine or behind the camera, often staying up half the night to finish a project that has me gripped in its clutches. The question is…why has this creative vein recently manifested itself now that I homeschool 7 small children and barely have time to pee??
**Baby Mimi turned 1 just a few days after I got home. Crying all the tears about this one! (Those sweet decorations behind me are more free stuff from My Mind’s Eye, the cutest paper store!)
Here’s the thing: I rather think that the inspiration for making beautiful things is always hanging out there, patiently waiting for us to find it. Only once we begin to pay it any attention does our propensity for creativity sprout and grow.
This idea of creativity being almost a real, living entity is explored in Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book “Big Magic”. It is a fascinating look at how and why we create, and the best ways to invite inspiration into our lives. I tend to take a pretty spiritual approach to creativity; if we feel inspired to exercise, make music, paint, decorate, entertain, educate or some other avenue of improving our lives, I believe we’re being inspired by God!
One of my favorite points that Gilbert makes in Big Magic is that creativity is both frivolous and indispensable. In other words – no one dies if we’re not creative; it’s not essential to basic survival. But, it IS important. If we have access to the internet to read this, then we likely have the time and resources to create, simply for pleasure’s sake.
Even my ancestors, who fought hard to stay alive while settling the western U.S. 200 years ago, still made time for beauty. They passed on heirloom china, embroidered dish towels, built beautiful churches and otherwise used their talents to send beauty out into the world.
No matter how stressed, busy or overworked we are, there are always creative opportunities to be found. In fact, perhaps it’s in the midst of this chaos when creativity is the most essential!