Creative Family Series | Kid Crave
I’ve admired today’s creative family for a while now. Brooke from Kid Crave is not only a fab writer who has an amazing eye for design, she has an amazing perspective on creativity. Now normally, that would intimidate me, but she’s just so darn cool and genuine that she sets you at ease and makes you feel good about yourself. And don’t we all need people like that in our lives?
So I asked Brooke if she wouldn’t mind stopping by today to share some of her thoughts on living a creative life with her family. (Her husband is a musician, so there’s all kinds of creative mojo going on in that house.)
Now, I’ve read this interview a couple times now and I’m telling you, there’s so much goodness to love in it. Enjoy!
How would you define creativity?
Finding something you’re passionate about and presenting it in some form, whether it be words on paper, forms on a canvas, or fabric running through a sewing machine. Contributing to the world through your unique expression.
In my Internet-based career, the creative process relies on associations of existing ideas and concepts. As a blogger, it’s hard to overlook that, but I don’t think anyone can deny that it’s an authentically creative outlet.
Have you always considered yourself creative?
Not really, because I’ve never been skilled at making anything with my hands. Though I did show an interest in fashion at a very early age. I changed my outfits several times a day, loved to shop for my own clothing, and formed a strong opinion on what I did and didn’t like. I still consider getting dressed an expression of my creativity. I was always re-decorating my bedroom, anything from changing the paint color to rearranging things to give it a fresh feel. I took pride in the way my own little space looked, even if I didn’t always do a great job of keeping it very neat. And if it isn’t clear by the line of work I have chosen, reading and writing have always been fun for me, never a chore.
How do you nurture your own creativity?
Quite simply, I soak it all up. Every conversation, photograph, a great light fixture, or striking color gets filed away for later. An education in literature taught me to look for inspiration everywhere and make connections that aren’t always obvious.
Of course, I follow a ton of blogs. Blogs covering design and fashion, mostly, even though I cover children products. I’m also inspired by antiques and thrifting. I love old things and especially old furniture.
Did you grow up in a creative household? If so, what were some of the ways your parents nurtured your creativity and curiosity?
I would not describe it as a creative household as far as arts and crafts go. In fact, I broke my arm when I was two during an intense coloring session (true story), which might have ended my career in fine arts. There was also a messy incident involving a spin art toys, that probably left my mother feeling quite relieved that we loved to read. My sister and I were encouraged to read often and we did. As a result, we both ended up studying English in college and becoming writers.
How do you nurture it in your daughter?
Elena is not yet one, but that doesn’t stop us! My husband is a musician, so our home is filled with lots of musical instruments. We make time for music each day, even if I’m more of an observer, or the resident tambourine player. I have a growing obsession with beautiful board books (Charley Harper, Dwell Studio, Baby Lit, to name a few) and simple, well-designed toys. It is my hope that her exposure to those will translate into an appreciation of beautiful things. I handed her a crayon the other day and while it didn’t turn out so well, she didn’t break an arm. I am waiting patiently for the day we can park ourselves at the dining room table, armed with pencils and paper, paint, stickers, scissors, and glue sticks.
What are some of your favorite ways to spend time together as a family?
I love when we all pile on the bed and my husband plays guitar…our two dogs included. Elena is her dad’s copycat. When he isn’t around, she bangs on his guitars and ‘sings’. Unfortunately we don’t have the space to keep his drum kit set up. Now that would be fun.
We also enjoy exploring new places with Elena, like parks, charming towns, and restaurants. Right now, pretty much everything is new to her, but when it’s also new to us, it makes it that much more exciting, adventurous even.
How have you been able to integrate work with pursuing your creative passions?
I am incredibly lucky to be able to call writing and blog editing my career. Blogging is the perfect outlet for someone like me. I can’t necessarily follow a tutorial and create something from scratch, but I can share fun content in an effort to stimulate my audience’s imagination. Through blogging, we can all be creators, even if we can’t cut a straight line. The word curated is overused in this business, but it really does signify the role we play.
What are you working on now?
I’m continuing to work with my colleagues on more original features for Kid Crave. Sharing cool products for kids and families will always be our focus, but we are excited to bring more to the table.
At home, I am working on two sweet and simple celebrations for Elena’s first birthday. She loves flags; American flags as well as decorative garden flags that we see around our neighborhood. So the fabric bunting trend seemed like a wonderful choice for a theme.
From time to time everyone’s creative juices wane. How do you handle that?
Going back to the idea that I don’t think of myself as a Martha Stewart type, I’m prone to creative funks. It’s easy to feel inadequate after exploring my RSS feeds or Pinterest. To snap out of it, I take a step back and look at all of my work. It can be challenging when you’re writing and posting everyday to see the big picture. So I will scroll through the pages of Kid Crave and realize that I really am presenting a beautiful and unique assortment of objects. Or I’ll read feedback from my personal articles and essays. It’s kind of like a self-prescribed pat on the back that helps me to focus on the task at hand, and turns “I can’t” into “I already have and I can.”