Creative Importance in Life

Picture of block-style drawings. The first is of a blooming rose with leaves and thrones, next to a fire burning over logs, followed by a tree with its canopy of leaves, a Celtic-style knotwork design, and a spiral made of rope. all drawn with a dark green permanent marker on white fabric-like material.
Some of the doodles I would sketch during short breaks at my previous job.

I am forever thankful to have been raised by parents who have always encouraged the growth of my brother’s and my creativity. Didn’t matter the media or tools we used. They offered us anything they were capable of giving us to support our abilities to be creative. From singing in choir to learning martial arts, painting, gardening, and even making chain mail. Their support and belief in us has always been unconditional.

Picture of a realistic pencil drawing of a young boy sitting on a cushioned stool holding a harmonica, as if he was just taking a break from playing it.
One of my brother’s drawings from his art school days.

Creating Freely

My parents’ support of us is not based on the fact that someone in our family has become famous from being artistic. There is no claim that it’s simply “in our blood” to become “successful” artists. There is no extra privilege our family has been given by society through art. And, there is no pressure on us to use our abilities to become “the best” at anything either. My parents have simply encouraged us to openly express ourselves, because they know how important the act of creating is to the body, mind, and soul.

Picture of two smooth flat stones side by side. One painted with the words, "Baby Baca," date, "24-8-2020," and a painting of a small baby lying curled in a white lemon flower above two lemons growing from a lemon branch with leaves. The other has the words, "Baby Leticia," date, "29-3-1968," and paintings of a red white-spotted mushroom, purple daisy flower, red heart, and rainbow colored circles around the edges of the stone.
Stones Mom and I painted for a Memorial Garden here in Totnes dedicated to the families of lost babies. The one I painted was for our dear friends’ baby, who made their mom crave lemons. Mom painted the other colorful stone for her baby sister, Leticia.

A Family of Gifts

Mom loves to craft and decorate. She’s been enlisted to make and arrange decorations for multiple formal parties, classrooms, and  gatherings with beautiful results every time. She’s also a mother to everyone, and has that special ability to make everyone around her feel loved and cared-for.

Picture of two snowmen made of white painted wooden blocks decorated with green top hats, pine cone and acorn hands and noses, multi-colored buttons, ribbon scarves, and googly eyes.
Mom made these two snowmen for our outside Yule (Winter Solstice) display this year.
Picture of table decorations featuring mini animal statues in nature scenes made from natural plant materials, such as pine cones, dried flower heads, and dried eucalyptus leaves.
Some of the gorgeous crafts Mom arranged and decorated with natural materials she foraged.

Dad loves to build, tinker, garden, sew, cook, and bake. He’s a true handyman with his own artistic style of beauty in simplicity. He was also quite good on a harmonica in his younger days. Sadly though, he hasn’t played since before I can remember.

Picture of a bracelet made from twisted willow switches capped by two seed heads touching.
A simple, yet beautiful, bracelet Dad made for himself out of willow switches and seeds.
Picture of redish-brown wooden table made from cut planks supported by a center leg made from stacked wood blocks with four white-painted metal shelf brackets at the base for extended balance support.
A table Dad made for their back garden.

My brother is a very talented drawer and painter. He also has hobbies in sewing, photography, playing bass guitar, sword fighting, gardening, stick-and-poke tattoos, and more. Plus, he is an encyclopedia of knowledge on many subjects, especially world history. There have been multiple times when I’ve asked Cristophe an obscure history question, and he’s answered me with, “That’s a brother question.”

Picture of front of black leather jacket covered with metal studs, activist patches, and band buttons.
Frontside of a jacket my brother studded and designed himself.
Picture of back of black leather jacket covered with metal studs and activist patches.
Backside of the same jacket.

My Own Art

As for me, I draw, write, paint, craft, apply henna designs, sew, decorate, cook, and organize/arrange. Yes, that is an art form when done well. I also enjoy photography, modeling, singing, and share in Mom’s affinity for encouraging growth in all other living beings. Though, enjoying those activities does take some significant battling with my social anxiety at times. Even with such supportive parents, I have still struggled with self-esteem issues. Societal impacts on the psyche are strong. But, my journey towards balanced health over the past few years has given me more strength to openly share my creative skills.

Picture of a painting over connected white-painted wooden blocks of a silver stag with golden antlers, silver and golden rabbit to his lower right side, and a silver, white, and golden robin perched on the top of his left antler, in front of a background of white snow mounts, and below a blue sky, with the sun rising between two snow banks posed right above the stag's head between his two antlers.
Yule painting I did for our outside display this year.
Picture of Rimakej wearing a cloth wrap top, long red dancing skirt, and Native American style face paint, while softly leaning down towards a tall flower growing in a patch of prairie grass in the bright sunlight. Photo by Jessica Kearney.
A photo from my modeling portfolio taken by Jessica Kearney.

Creative Family Growth

Of course, I would find a life partner with just as much creative artistic affinity as myself and my family. Unfortunately, Cristophe had a significantly different past than I did. This stifled his creativity for most of his life. In the years we have been together though, I have felt privileged to witness the reemergence of his many gifted abilities. He has always had the blessing of being able to retain vast amounts of knowledge. And, he has always had a strong will to learn making him adept at survival skills. But now, he has been able to rediscover his love for creating things simply for the joy and shared experience of it.

Picture of a dark green pine tree painted over connected white-painted wooden blocks decorated with gold and silver ribbons, shiny purple-hued stars, and topped with a wicker snowflake tipped with silver glitter.
The Yule tree Cris painted and decorated for our outside display this year.

Cris’ talents as an educator, drawer, crafter, cook, painter, writer, photographer, builder, healer, grower, etc. are being exhumed. And, I’ve even been able to enjoy his singing on occasion. Though, we do share our aversion to doing so in unfamiliar company.

Picture of one of Cris' delicious all organic meals of blackened shrimp and sausage over brown rice with bean sprouts and onion.
One of Cris’ delicious all organic meals using his blackened spice blend recipe on shrimp and sausage over brown rice with bean sprouts and onion.

Creative Progress

Creativity is an ability all of us share, and an intricate part of who we are. Finding yourself involves finding your creative gifts. You don’t need the lust for fame and fortune to motivate you to create. And, everyone deserves the ability to safely share their talents with the world in a just and non-harmful way. I am aware of the restrictions current society unfairly puts on most people. Some are stuck just trying to survive. Most of us aren’t but one misfortune away from falling into that same category. But, all of us who are capable, can devote any amount of energy we can towards change. We can work to bring about a time when everyone can safely be their true selves and progress the world together.

Picture of Rimakej smiling, while holding a plate of coconut curry shrimp with scallion pancakes and a daylily flower.
Enjoying another flavorful all organic meal by Cris of coconut curry shrimp with scallion pancakes and one of our sweet daylilies, which are also edible when grown naturally.

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