Filed under: catalyst
As always, thank you to all of our visitors and all the encouraging comments you left for us. For those of you who did, thank you for playing along with us.
Ok! Here’s catalyst number one hundred and twenty-eight:
What are you (or would you be) giving your children that you wish you’d had?
We’re thrilled to have Tam Laporte as this week’s Guest Artist.
Here’s a quickie self-bio for Tam:
Tam (also known as willowing) has been doing art since she was very young. One of her proudest achievements in junior school was drawing a cat, and when she was 13 she produced a comic strip about a boy with an alien friend that everyone loved! She studied art in high school and proceeded to audition for 2 art academies in Holland for which she both got accepted. She didn’t enjoy it there very much, however, and left after a year. Since then she’s been a self taught artist who enjoys drawing girls with pink hair, giraffes, and swirly trees. She spent 10 years in london before moving to Sri Lanka for 2.5 years. It was there where her love for art journalling blossomed. Her art became increasingly more mixed media, messy, complicated and layered which is how she likes it now. At present she is a student of non-violent communication and lives with her partner, the magical Andy and her beautiful baby boy Dylan, in Brighton, England where she creates mixed media art daily. She likes pink bubblegum, avocados, humour and kindness. Tam has been running online art workshops since 2008!
Here is Tam’s art with this week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version and a lot more detail.
The immediate and obvious answer for me was: unconditional love & acceptance. I believe that if there was more unconditional love in the world, particularly for our little babes, the world would be a much less violent place. Instead we get conditional love; I love you if you tidy your room. I love you if you get good grades. I love you if you behave nicely, say please and thank you, do this, do that, don’t pick your nose etc etc. Instead, I’d love to hear something along the lines of: “I love you, no matter what. When I see your room being untidy I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the mess, it’d make me so happy if you were willing to tidy your room, how would that be for you? (Peaceful discussion on how everyone’s needs could be met, not just mine, or the child’s). Non-violent communication embodies a way of being with other people (be they children or adults or in between) that allows unconditional love and acceptance while also getting to talk about and honour everyone’s needs. I really wish that’s what I’d had when growing up, so that’s what Andy and I aim to give Dylan. (More on non-violent communication: www.cnvc.org).
Because Tam’s the coolest person ever, she made a video for all of you to see technique highlights as she works on this art piece. (You can click on the title in the video to watch it on YouTube, it will be much larger!)
Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team.
Creativity and craft was always encouraged and celebrated and shared in my family. I hope my children say the same thing when they are grown. In addition to fostering his creative spirit at home, one thing I am thankful I am able to give to my son right now is the space to create in a weekly in-studio art class. I wasn’t able to get a photo of him in class that I could draw, but this portrait is of him, at this age, as a young artist.
As a child I was really lucky to have most of the things I really wanted. My parents were trying really hard to do it, despite the fact that were hard times in Poland and there were no pretty tous, fun free time acitivities and other possibilities. The only thing I was missing then were some srt lessons – my friends used to have them and I wanted them too, but in the same tome I had to attend english lessons… Oh well… When I’ll be having my own child, I’d try to do my best to provide it some kind of art education – if she or he will be willing to do it of course!
There isn’t too much I can say that I missed out on as a kid, my mum and dad where wonderful, the love and attention they gave their three children was amazing, but there is one thing that I wish that I could have persued and that was Music, we moved around a lot as kids so it was hard to get classes. My daughter really wanted to learn the flute, so this was something I wanted to make sure that I could do for her, and now she also plays the Piccolo and Piano, and is learning the Piano. Music is a big part of my daughters life, she absolutely loves it, and I am so very pleased she had the chance to learn.
I think maybe I had a charmed childhood…I can’t think of one thing I didn’t have that I want to give my children. In fact, what I try to do is give them things that I *did* have (like traveling the world).
I grew up in a home filled with addiction, fear, and violence. I left that situation and made a life for myself. I’m happily married, though we have no children. If I had children, I would create a safe, stable and secure home for them. One where they could thrive and truly blossom.
It’s a small art quilt (8.5×11″) titled “It’s Complicated.” I had a really blissful childhood and there is almost nothing that I wish I had had — except for maybe that proverbial pony. But my relationship with my Dad has grown complicated as I’ve gotten older. I love this photo of the two of us. He’s letting me shave with a razor (no blade) so that I can be just like him! That memory — that photo — is surrounded by all the other things that have happened between then and now (represented by the fabric beads). Little pods of memory.
When I was a little girl, my mom always worked. When I got home from school, she wasn’t there and it made me sad. I vowed back then that I would always be home for my kids when they came home and wanted to talk about their day. My mom was wonderful but I did wish she was around more.
I would give my daughter a sense of security and confidence that being a sensitive girl/woman is not a fault. That tears, dreams, emotions are important and there is always the place and time on it, regardless of what other people says. I would like my daughter be responsive and full of empathy, love to people and not things. To be beautiful in the inside. I’m gonna give her all of myself to be able to grow in this way and become good, sensitive girl.
Above all things, I want my daughter to have a proper education, a good cultural background, so I´m investing in a full time bilingual school for her, something my parents could not afford for me.
My parents were amazing parents. I do not have any regrets or wishes of changes. I think being a parent has taught me that we truly do our best and that regrets are a waste of time. One thing I did not learn when I was young was fiscal responsibility. I want to teach this to my children because I think it’s one of life’s most important skills.
The knitting basket was my mom’s. She was a knitter, and always had several projects going at one time. After she passed away, my daughter became interested in knitting. She asked if she could have Grandma’s knitting basket. Thinking I would never knit, I gave her the basket of mom’s knitting and crochet things, with bits of rolled yarns holding miles of memories and moments…I hadn’t even gone through the basket. I wish I had waited a bit longer. My daughter cherishes the basket, but I wish that I had it. Machine and hand quilted.
One thing I have given to my children that I wish I had learned earlier is tolerance. Having a son/brother with Autism has certainly changed the way we see people and life. It is a fact of our everyday lives that has made us who we are and dictates how we treat others and how we behave ourselves. It has shaped the way we live and the way we love.
I made a tag with the word FAITH on it. What I wish to give my children is FAITH! I got is from my parents, a great family treasure when I was young. And I would like to give that to my children! I made some spots with melted white candle wax, so cool to do. When it’s on my paper, I stamped on it with black stazon ink.
Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What are you (or would you be) giving your children that you wish you’d had?” I urge you to give it a try. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you.
Leave us comments with your work so we can share in your creative therapy, too. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.
Remember, this is not a competition. If your art makes you feel even a bit better at the end, you’ve won.
Until next month, enjoy each and every moment.
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