Letting Creativity into Your Life

by Lian on March 17, 2010

Creativity: an attitude, not an action

Creativity: an attitude, not an action

Every week, I get an e-mail asking me cultivating a creative life. The emails come from mothers, fathers,  empty nesters, over- worked employees, and Panini Generation members who are all looking for a way to express themselves. But somehow, they are stymied when it comes to starting.   I take these e-mails very seriously, as opposed to those e-mails I get from Uganda asking me to send ten thousand dollars in the name of Mr. Johnson. I believe everyone should find someway to bring imagination to their life. Because everyone has a unique voice and story and a unique way to tell that story.

Corny, but true.

To me,  creativity isn’t a single expression, resulting in a book deal or a gallery show. Some creativity seekers can get hung up on commercializing their art . Others get so paralyzed by the thought of judgment, that they can’t even begin.  But I see creativity in the everyday. I watch amazing moms and other busy women express their inner creativity through their generous cooking, their beautiful gardens, or their incredible sports photography.  I have friends whose homes reflect a soul and spirit I can only dream of in my interior design! Some people delight me with their fashion sense or the careful way they wrap presents. Great storytelling can be the highest order of creative expression. Heck, even making a school lunch can be a creative experience in the right hands. And I’m all for that. It can be a cold, dry world. Creativity to me is a little bit of magic in the everyday– whether you write it, sing it, paint it, cook it, or create it in a million different ways.

To read more thought on the topic ,particularly how creativity can enhance your identity as a mother,  check on out my new on oprah.com about Tapping into your Creative Spirit

For inspiration, visit a website I recently discovered called studiomothers.com This is a supportive, enthusiastic community that will inspire you to start creating whatever it is you want to create.  Choose your medium! Then get going! I love the Monday Page.  I’ve been lurking there for several months, reading about other mothers creative intentions! It’s like our Chaos Chronicles To Do List. but if you really have a project you want to tackle– and need the motivation of stating your intention out loud– the Monday Page is for you. You’ll also find wonderful writing,  craft ideas and groovy moms, so check out studiomothers.com.

And, for even more inspiration, discover the website of one of the Chaos Crew. (Again, another discovery I made while procrastinating on my own little project. But when you friend me and twitter me, I check you out, people.) I enjoy reading and soaking in the gorgeous photos and designs at Betz White’s blog. Betz is a fabric designer, mother, my Tweeple,  and Holy Cow! — can she craft! I feel renewed when I check out Betz’s little felt ball trees, even though I would never attempt something that required so many fine motor skills and patience! A trip to Betz’s blog is like putting a Creative Boost in your Jamba juice.

I know many of you are working on creative projects. I’d love to hear more about this topic. And please feel free to e-mail me a link to your site or photos of your creations to lian at chaos chronicles dot com.  I’d like to make sharing our creative endeavors an ongoing experience at the Chaos Chronicles. And, if you have a project you’d like to share with the Chaos Crew, send it along.

What are you working on now, Chaos Crew?

Embracing my Chaos, Lian



Roseanne Krzanowski March 24, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Good topic, Lian! I am a songwriter. This is a good outlet for a mom because I can do it in little pieces and still turn out a song in a few months, or a yea, by taking advantage of naps, insomnia, or a mom’s morning out. It’s a great time to be an artist of any kind, because of all the technology and outlets available. For anyone interested in songwriting, I recommend the Connecticut Songwriters Association website, http://www.ctsongs.com, as one starting point. There are good articles and links there.

Jennie March 23, 2010 at 6:31 PM

Thanks, Lian! I make a great bookmark (I’m realizing how much I make and give away without taking a picture and am trying to update the blogspot…) and would love to send you one, is there a p.o. you use? Last night we ate Nettles from the ditch at the farm — first green stuff of the season here on the lil’ prairie!

Christine D. March 22, 2010 at 7:14 AM

I am remembering how much fun and creativity was stirred up in me at garden stores last season…I tried plants and flowers I had never heard of before, as well as lots of native species…all with fairly good results…each day brought joy as I weeded and surveyed my garden… will be fun to see how it fared over the winter… sometimes creativity is as small an effort as serving my meals on unconventional but fun dishes, or creating unusual salads to chop…. we need just to think about what we do and we will find creativity just below or on the surface of our beings…after all …we all are life givers.. as moms and dads…

Joan March 19, 2010 at 8:58 AM

sorry, typo…it made me want to play again…

Joan March 19, 2010 at 8:57 AM

I ran into my piano teacher from 30+ years ago and he said, “Are you still playing?” Uhhhhh, no. But just because he asked, it made be WANT to play again! That is a sign of a good teacher! So I’m off to see what a casio keyboard will produce…

Mari (Bookworm with a View) March 18, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Thanks for this post, I will click through to the links. I was an art/design major when I was a freshman in college. I love to draw, throw (pottery), photography is a passion of mine (our house is covered in snapshots and framed photo’s).

I am always looking for creative outlets.

Denise March 18, 2010 at 4:59 AM

I, too, had been trying to find a creative outlet. And, I’m struggling like everyone else. However, in the last few months I’ve adopted the “do it yourself” lifestyle mostly to help our budget. I used to love to sew, knit, paint, refinish furniture, create special birthday cakes and the like. I had gotten away from that because it was just easier and less time consuming to go out and buy something someone else had created. We’re now trying to simplify our lives and by “doing it myself” I’m rediscovering my creative side and it’s been really fun and rewarding. My 12-year-old daughter is amazed at what I can create out of nothing (because in recent years I haven’t had the time to make anything, so she didn’t know what I was capable of). As an example, she wanted to go out and buy an ipod cover, but when I saw that they were boring and $20(!), I offered to make her one. I created a quilted cover with squiggly quilt lines out of fabric we had tie dyed when she was 7. Now her friends all want one too. I’m hoping that thru our new lifestyle I will be pointed in a creative direction I can continue to follow into my retirement years. Who knows, maybe I’ll discover a new career in the process.

robin March 17, 2010 at 9:23 PM

I fell in love with the Studio Mothers Community the instant I was introduced. I had been longing for some validation for integrating mommyhood and creativity and you can find it RIGHT THERE!

Lian March 17, 2010 at 8:14 PM

Miranda– you have a wonderful community there at studiomothers. com ! Thanks for putting that all together in such a lovely way.

And Jennie, further prood that you are a 21st Century Ma Ingalls. Cause living in Plum Creek just isn’t enough! Your work is beautiful. And please, do not be shy about describing your work and process. I’m sure others would love to know how it all works and where it comes from. Start with a few lines about each piece– you can tell that your work tells a story. So don’t just show us– tell us!

Thanks for sharing. It does take guts, doesn’t it?


Miranda March 17, 2010 at 5:53 PM

What a fabulous shout-out for Studio Mothers, Lian–thank you so very much!! :-D

Jennie March 17, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Hey — Funny you should mention…I just got the guts to start posting my sewing/quilting — I’m not really going to Blog, I don’t think, but I finally have the guts to show my work and have a way to talk to people about custom orders. I think of it as “Etsy for Chickens!” http://www.whatmamasews.blogspot.com

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