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Monday Mom challenge: Get in touch with your inner artist

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

The artist in you

Do you ever look at crafts and artwork and think, “I could never do that!” Do you get frustrated crafting with your kids, thinking it’s not good enough? Do you marvel when your friends show you their newly spruced up powder room and wonder how they even conceived of it? Do you daydream of an Etsy shop of your own -- even if you have no idea what would be in it? Yeah, lots of us do. But there’s a little bit of artist and creative talent in everyone -- even moms who think they can't be creative. You just need to let it out! It’s time to let go of that self-doubt and allow your personal creative expression to shine through! It's time to get in touch with your inner artist.

art palette

Yes, you are creative. Perhaps you just don't know what medium is yours yet, but you are creative. If you've ever wanted to be more creative either with or because of your kids, or just because you want some personal expressive outlet, there's no time like the present to get out those arts and crafts supplies. Take a new approach, take some chances and exercise your creativity muscle. You might be surprised at what your inner artist creates!

A different kind of problem-solving

Think of artistic creativity as a kind of problem solving. Just like you brainstorm the best way to handle a discipline issue with your kids or strategize how to get through a particularly busy carpooling and sports practice day, creating an artistic vision is a problem-solving process.

Ask yourself what your goal is for this creative expression and think about steps to achieve that. Yes, even the very simple steps, such as getting out the easel and setting aside time to just doodle with the paintbrush. Look at pieces of art you admire and think about the steps the artist took to get there. And then think about what it will take to get you there!

Creativity is a muscle

Creativity is muscle. It needs to be exercised regularly to work its best. Just like you'd never expect to run a record-time 5K after sitting on the couch for six months, you can't necessarily expect to take the best photos ever after not picking up your camera for several months. You can't produce a near perfect pen and ink drawing if you haven't been exercising your vision and hand-eye coordination. Like your child's math and reading homework, your regular exercise routine and so many things in life, mastery takes practice.

Take a class

No matter the way in which you hope to be more creative, there's a class for you that can help jump-start your efforts. Have you always loved watercolors? There's a class at the local art museum for you! Scrapbooking? Ceramics? Is there a local shop or community education program in your town? Whatever way you want to be more creative, there are resources out there. You just must be willing to look for them -- then sign up.

Take some risks

Not every creative endeavor will have a successful outcome. Professional artists go through more trial and error than you may realize. Many toss or abandon as many or more pieces of work than they finish and present to the world! Creativity -- in both the craft and artistic realm and the whole life realm -- involves taking risks. Try something new and different. It might work. Sure, it might not, but you'll never know unless you try. And isn't taking risks a lesson you want to give to your kids? Walk the walk -- don't just talk the talk.

Let go of "perfection"

If the idea of not being "perfect" is holding you back from getting out those watercolors, let it go. One of the really fun things about artistic creation is that sometimes you don't exactly know what the outcome will be! More than a few professional artists have talked about "happy accidents" -- while attempting one thing, something entirely different resulted that was better than the initial vision.

Whether or not you think you are creative, whether or not you have professional art aspirations, there is an artist in you. Let it out -- both for your own self-fulfillment and as an amazing example to your kids of creativity, risk-taking and personal growth. Whether or not that Etsy shop is ever opened, you'll be on the path to a more creative family life.

More about finding your creativity


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