I went to college for Illustration and it’s been three years since I’ve graduated. I had a hard time making art right after college and I’m blaming it on the constant art making for four years (excuses, excuses!). I remember getting pregnant (Odin was the best surprise I’ve ever received) and thinking to myself that I would never make art again. I had all of these hopes and dreams and visions of myself as an artist. I wanted to make paper toys and paper dolls like I had in my thesis and eventually illustrate a children’s book or two. I mean- these are still my goals and I really hope one day to achieve them, but when I found out I was pregnant I shut that chapter of my life. I’m not sure why I wasn’t able to wrap my head around the idea a mother who was also an artist, but I just couldn’t. This made me very sad throughout my pregnancy and through quite a bit of Odin’s first year. I gave up the person I was completely. I know we all give up a little bit of our pre-baby self when we have children, but there’s an evolution involved. It should be a slow transition from who we once were and to who we are now.
I am a very happy mother. I’ve always been happy being a mother. I love adventuring with my boy and I couldn’t imagine life without him. But there were many many times throughout his first year that I would regret not making art. Like I’ve said, the moment the pregnancy test showed positive, I gave up on any sort of art career in my future. Art has always been an important part of my life and I wish someone would have told me then that I didn’t have to kiss it good-bye just because I was becoming a mumma. I look back now and wish I could be pregnant with Odin again. I would know that I could continue to do what I love and with even more passion than before. I would’ve been happier if someone would have slapped some sense into me! Zak told me over and over again that I didn’t have to give up art to become a mother, that I could be both, but sometimes sense really has to be shaken into you. I’m trying hard not to have any regrets, I just wish terribly that I wasn’t so sad about this while pregnant.
Throughout Odin’s first year, I tried very hard to make art and grow into motherhood. The art was hard for lack of motivation but the motherhood seemed to stick. I love being Odin’s mumma and everyday was easier than the last during that first year, but I still wasn’t making anything. When creation is in your blood and you don’t create, you always feel as though you may explode. Explode with frustration and sadness and regret. All of these negative feelings that I had sworn off years ago. Something positive needed to happen to start me on my wave of motivation. I searched hard. I started this blog. Many people gave me such positive feedback when I did. Zak bought me my first DSLR for my birthday (almost a year ago!!) and many people started to inquire about my photos. This spring, Sakura Bloom sent me an e-mail saying that I had been accepted to be a part of the Sling Diaries because of my photos that I had taken with the camera that Zak bought me for my birthday. This was the first big wave of positivity that flowed though my life this year. I’ve been a fan of Sakura Bloom and the Sling Diaries since their beginning and I yearned to share in spreading the wealth of knowledge of babywearing. With that small wave of encouragement, I was able to make a large piece for a local gallery and two more smaller pieces, all three sold within an hour of the show’s opening. As part of my Sling Diaries entries, I was able to draw a portrait of myself and Odin, which received an amazing amount of positive feedback. I have started selling babywearing portraits to mamas because I had been selected to be a part of the Sling Diaries because of the photos I submitted that I had taken with the camera that Zak bought me for my birthday (do you see what I’m talking about? Good things come in waves!). This wave of art encouragement this year has been amazing and I’m so thankful for the events that have taken place to get me here.
I finished up a painting for another gallery show tomorrow which will be one of four pieces I will be showing. I wore Odin in my Sakura Bloom sling that I received as part of the Sling Diaries while I painted. Before Odin was a thought in my mind, I daydreamed of painting with a baby curled up in my lap nursing. I dreamed and dreamed of that moment for years before I even knew Zak, and now here I am living the moments I have always dreamed of.
I had a hard time getting to this point but as I sit here and type this, my eyes are swelling with tears. I knew what I was going to write before I sat down, but thinking these words through has brought me to the sudden realization that I am exactly where I’ve always wanted to be. I’m not sure if I would’ve even imagined everything to be so perfect if you had asked me six months ago about what life would be like for me today. Thank you universe for leading me here, I am forever grateful.