When I first launched Design for MiniKind, I had assumed it would be a pint-sized version of what my other blog was at the time – a place to catalog great products, inspired artists and creative ideas from around the web. Yet the more I delve deeper into my favorite makers and projects and gifts, I’m realizing that there’s a new theme emerging: children are awakening a serious creative spark in their parents. It’s true with Lenka. With these photographers. With Bianca. With Michaela. Gone are the days of believing we were in our prime, creatively-speaking, before our kids came along. Now it seems (and this rings very true with the following artist), the best is yet to come.
My friend Ez is a fearless mother, gifted photographer and endless inspiration. Her site, loved by many, began out of a need to seek beauty and serenity in the everyday, re-focusing her perspective to get through an incredibly difficult personal experience. I’ve long admired her for this ability to turn her own life’s lemons into virtual lemonade, sweet and kicky and ready to be enjoyed by all. Naturally, when she released a set of [incredibly charming] illustrations she’d created out of the blue, I knew there was more to the story.
And there was. When her teenage daughter left for a week-long summer camp last year, she channeled her worry and anxiety into something positive (Ez’s M.O., if you haven’t yet realized), sketching an adorable creature participating in a camp-themed activity daily until her daughter returned. And her daughter wasn’t the only one who loved the sentiment – Ez’s Instagram community quickly praised the illustrations she’d posted of the series. The unexpected response, coupled with Heather Ross’ Prints book, launched Ez into the realization that drawing was something she needed to incorporate in her daily life – stat.
When I asked Ez to share some of her story, she mentioned she’d always been a doodler and that her mom often provided a sketchpad to help her keep calm in church, restaurant dinners and cross-country drives. Throughout her schooling years, her notebooks were always filled with far more sketches than lecture notes. “I used to see this habit as a weakness,” Ez writes. “But several years ago I had the realization that I actually pay closer attention while drawing, and that the mindless action of doodling brings a quiet focus to my brain that would otherwise be too overwhelmed with distracting thought and noise to concentrate.”
Isn’t that a beautiful portrait of creativity? Ez’s tendency to fidget sparked a new hobby in herself as a child. A hobby that, now, years later, is bringing peace to her soul and beauty to the world.
I don’t yet know whether Bee will be a doodler, but I can only hope that I’ll raise her to believe that her talents and interests are uniquely suited for her. That her passions aren’t weaknesses – as nontraditional as they might seem at the time – but are lemons, providing flavor and depth and sweetness to her spirit. And that, someday, she might be brave enough to – like Ez – open up a lemonade stand of her own.
Image Credit: Creature Comforts Shop / Ez Pudewa (all work available for purchase)
Related: 21 more art prints for kids!