I've been detailing my plans for upcoming book and art projects on my Imagination Tribe blog. I know there a few people here who are also IT members, who will see this twice.
I’m writing a book currently called “Mending, Making and Mothering”. It’s about living an artistic lifestyle as a family, with case studies from parents who are doing it. I’m interested in documenting how artists combine a continuing arts and crafts practice with parenting, as well as how they prioritize creativity in their family life, schedules and spaces. I’m investigating whether and how parents, especially unschoolers, are able to create a synergistic creative arts practice that is part of, perhaps the core of, their learning environment. It’s about creativity exercises, practice and philosophy.
The focus will not be on strategies for parents to “carve out” time for their art away from their children, or artisan parents compartmentalizing their life into private adult art activities versus doing “kid crafts” with their children as busywork. It’s not that I think artists don’t need time alone to work, or that the demands of family life and young children will never conflict with the burning desire just to paint or play or write. What I am interested in is how artistic families manage to resolve these issues when the priority is family centered living.
Creative living – making, designing, writing, crafting, making music, performing – can be a lifelong vocation or avocation. I hope in the course of writing the book and compiling to case studies, to give equal time to the activities of all generations in the family. Part memoir, part how-to, I’ll be including my own family’s story as well as creative activities and inspirational practices and ideas that seem to work around here.
I’m not sure how the chapters will be organized. Possible as a conceit I might organize it around the four seasons. I want to wait and see if the information I gather naturally suggests thematic organizing principles.
Initially I will send an email questionnaire to the people who are interested in participating. Give answers as long or brief as you like. I may have follow up questions, mostly because I will be learning how to phrase questions best and discovering any holes in my interview.
If you have photos that you would be willing to include that would be wonderful, especially of art work and artists in action. There will be photo releases for the participants and the photographer, and a contract/release for using your story.
My plan is to have a blog with the participants profiled and links to your own blogs and especially Etsy or other online stores. Later this blog could be a collection place for readers’ stories of being inspired.
At this time, for the sake of speed, I am thinking of self publishing through Lulu – where the copies are printed as they are ordered, and the quality of illustrations looks very high. I’d like to offer all contributing families a free copy. Can I get back to you on that?
If you would like to be part of this book project, will you please let me know, and we can get started at once.