Here at Darlybird, we are all about living creatively and colorfully. In our new series “Our Creative Home,” we talk to some of our favorite creative friends to see how they encourage creativity in their homes and families! First up, Alma Loveland of Ollibird and Caravan Shoppe.Tell us about your family!
Mike and I are a pair of artists who are happy to be doing what we love. We are both artists, but focus on different areas, so teaming up has actually expanded what either of us was ever able to do alone. Before kids came along, we would make really creative gifts for one another, but SURPRISE, when kids came along, we suddenly had no more time or energy for extra creativity. We have our creative outlet at work, and once work is done, well, we're lucky if we have the dishes or laundry done on a somewhat regular basis (a 3-week laundry cycle is regular, right?). We have 2.5 kids: Oliver (5), Joan (3), and a baby boy due later this year. Parenting a 3 and 5 year old has its challenges, but the rewards far outweigh any of the frustrations.
How have you encouraged creativity in your home?
I don't know if there is anything that we do to consciously encourage creativity. Our children are 3 and 5, and to be totally honest, activities like coloring, drawing, cutting, or crafting don't hold their attention for long at all. Without exaggeration, I think it's fair to say that we get about 3 minutes of activity, and 20 minutes of setup/cleanup. Although we are artists, our lives don't look like what is seen on Pinterest or parenting blogs. We're just pretty normal, trying our best to balance work and family. Creative activities can be as simple as hauling out the play dough, or letting the kids help make cookies.
That said, this summer I have a goal to make sure that we are regularly engaging in fun, interesting activities. One thing that I would like to do is have a simple science experiment every week. I think I can manage that (but ask me again at the end of the summer). So like we can start with Mentos and Diet Coke. Just a few minutes to put together, but something that is exciting to the kids, and makes them laugh and wonder about the world we live in!
How do you get your kids involved?
My kids love to be outside and to explore. This also echoes the childhood that I had. When I think of my childhood, most of my memories revolve around the great outdoors! The times that I feel most creative with my children and most fulfilled are when we are outside and appreciating the world around us. This could be little hikes, collecting bugs or flowers, campfires, or kayaking (I even bought a kayak for my kids). I think that activity, curiosity, and exploration all help to foster creativity so while I'm not sitting down for craft time with my kids, they are still learning to look, and to see.
What advice would you give to families hoping to live a more creative lifestyle?
I have a pretty laid back approach to life. I think my best advice for others looking to live a more creative lifestyle is to eliminate the comparison to those around you, or to what you see on blogs, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. The most important thing that you can do is to spend time with your kids, and it doesn't matter if your activities look picture-perfect.
Thanks so much for sharing, Alma! Readers, how do you foster creativity in your homes? We'd love to hear from you!