Guest series 2012: I asked fellow bloggers, makers and creators to write on their creativity and focus their essay on one of four topics: creativity and health, creativity and business, creativity and parenting or creativity and process. I am very excited to have a wonderful lot of fellow creative folk guest posting here at whipup.net over the next couple of months. Please welcome…
Verity Heysen Kizek is an Australian artist and illustrator who recently moved back to Australia after living in Istanbul. For a peek at Verity’s new work, her life and adventures with her little boy Yashar and husband Senol, you can visit her online journal.
The birth of my son Yashar, and the changes in my life at the time were a huge inspiration and motivation for me creatively. For a long time I had a strong interest in art and making – but it was really following his birth and our move to Turkey that it turned from a unrealised dream to a big part of our lives. All of a sudden time became so precious. I didn’t want to waste any more time doing something I didn’t truly have my heart in.
When Yashar was first born all I wanted to create were the softest, calmest pieces I could. The colours in them were so pale! These early illustrations I did after he was born (and when I was first starting to do illustration!) were all about being gentle and dreamy.
As he grew I started to do pieces that were a little more colourful, but still very calm and peaceful. I created ‘Cool Forest’ in the middle of a hot and humid Istanbul Summer. I was dreaming about escaping to a beautiful green forest with Yashar, sitting by the cool stream.
While mostly the influence was quite natural and organic, other times, like when I designed this wallpaper for Studio Nommo , I would purposefully sit there and think… what would Yashar like? What would I want to put in his room? What would be fun for him? And I do a similar thing now for my work for Master & Miss – a very cute little organic clothing brand that I design some fabric prints and patterns for.
Being a mother also taught me to enjoy the process more! When we lived in Istanbul, one of my favourite times of the week was going to our art classes at LOLA. LOLA is a wonderful children’s art studio that runs, among other things, toddler’s art groups. We would join in with the children, swooshing the paint around with our hands, gluing and ripping and sticking and glittering. It was therapeutic! We were also lucky to have a wonderful teacher, Alara who actively encouraged this enjoyment of the process – encouraging the children to paint their feet and run around on huge sheets of paper, and pouring huge pools of paint on a table for the children to run their fingers through and smudge, smooth and swish all over the table.
Now, as Yashar is growing, I find him more inspiring than ever. From the crazy descriptions of monsters, to the idea of wanting to be so small he could swim in his ice cream, to his peaceful face when I see him fall asleep each evening.
Resources for creating with children: