Creative Family Series | Petit à Petit and Family
If it’s cool, if it’s indie, Celina Bailey makes it or finds it. As a designer, she had her own kids label. Currently, she’s a regular regular contributor to La Petite Magazine and Babyccino’s blog. She’s down to earth, and one of loveliest people out there. Today, I’m excited to talk with her about creativity and raising children.
How would define creativity?
Creativity is finding a way to do something with a little imagination.
Have you always considered yourself creative?
No, no, no! I think I used to mix up being artistic with being creative; I think I still do sometimes. I can’t draw, I’m not sure what to do with a paintbrush and a canvas, I don’t play any instruments and I sing… terribly. Although I grew up dancing, that was just something I did. It wasn’t until about 12 years ago that I realized I was creative and that it was going to be an important part of my life. After 3 years of doing a bachelor of science in Psychology at University, I decided to go to fashion school and pursue my true passion. Now creativity is just part of my day to day, and I guess it has always been.
How do you nurture your own creativity?
For me, traveling is the greatest inspiration, large cities or small, the mountain or the sea, far or near. I’m not sure what travel does to me, but it does the mind and body good. Now I just need to do more of it!
I also love people watching, sitting in a café and watching the people go buy inspires me.
Sleep is a must. Oh, and I get the best ideas just before I fall asleep, but then I can never remember what they were.
Anything vintage is inspiring to me as well, I love thrift shopping or looking at old magazines, movies and books. Honestly, I get most my creative juices from looking through books and magazines; I could spend hours at the bookstore. I’m an image junky. I spend a lot of time on the web, reading blogs, looking through Tumblr and ofcourse Pinterest. I soak it all in and something eventually comes from it.
And of course my ultimate source of inspiration, these days, as cheesy as it sounds is my kids.
Did you grow up in a creative household? If so, what were some of the ways your parents nurtured your creativity and curiosity?
I did grow up in a very creative environment. My mom used to macramé, make some of her own clothes and Jewelry. I got my love of thrifting and good taste from her, whilst I got my handy skills from my father. My dad is a musician and he used to build his own guitars, he is also a very talented carpenter and can make anything with his hands, it’s no wonder I always made the best sciences projects growing up! Also, I grew up dancing over 10 hours a week in a special program and dreamt of being a choreographer. I grew up making clothes for my dolls, took my first sewing classes when I was 13 and dreamt of becoming a fashion designer. I grew up gathering all the neighborhood kids to put on a play and I dreamt of becoming an actress. As I grew older and saw how tough life was on my parents, I decided at about the age of 14 I wanted nothing to do with an artistic life and so I studied sciences and was on my way to getting a Masters degree and PhD. I sometimes think what my life would have been like had I continued that route.
How do you hope to nurture it in your children?
I think we are all born creative. I see my kids and I can’t believe the amount of imagination they have. Everything they do, they do with creativity, whether they are drawing or playing with their Lego, the way they invent lyrics to a songs, the way they express themselves through dance. They are also extremely creative to avoid going to bed, not eating their dinner and getting what they want! I think as a parent I try to nurture this creativity by letting it be. I used to try and tell them what to do, but I’ve given up on that, now I try to guide them, and instill some confidence in what they are doing. I also try to involve the kids in the projects I’m working on, especially if it’s something for them. I try to lead by example.
All in all, we dance a lot and sing on the top of our lungs a lot. We like to play with old school Legos, hours at a time. My son is obsessed with drawing and writing these days, so we put the markers at his level so he has access to them whenever, so my daughter got some on the carpet and the walls… oh well! The Etch-a-sketch is another favorite in our house, and we love books, all kind of books. The kids also really enjoy it when their dad plays guitar and Dj’s for them. We would really like it for the kids to learn an instrument, maybe Mathis will take piano next year and Elsie, ballet.
What are some of your favorite ways to spend time together as a family?
Sunday is family day, that is the only day we get to all spend together. We love going out for breakfast and then we usually walk around downtown, go to our favorite flea market or spend the time outside at the park. I really do wish we went to the museum more often. I love my Saturdays with the kids; that is when we get to do all our crafty projects. I’m excited about the future, when the kids will want to learn to knit or sew, when we will be able to papier maché and build a teepee together and, and, and… Our absolute favorite time together is vacation time. Every year we take a 6-hour road trip to Ogunquit Maine, it’s the nearest beach to Montreal, and we spend 5 days relaxing by the beach. There hasn’t been a day this year where the kids haven’t mentioned Ogunquit! Only 28 days to go…
How have you been able to integrate work with pursuing your creative passions?
For 10 years I have pursued my creative passions. I worked as fashion designer, I created my own kids clothing line, and I owed the coolest Kid’s clothing boutique. After having 2 kids and many more responsibilities, I’ve had to put those dreams on hold to get a full time job (which happens to be somewhat creative too). To keep up with my creative needs I blog and I make things with or for my kid’s.
Tell us how you got into blogging?
The first time I tried blogging was because no one around me knew that Stella McCartney was designing a kid’s collection for Gap and I felt like EVERYONE needed to know!!! But that first blogging experience didn’t last too long, 7 posts in one year. One year later, is when I really started blogging and haven’t stopped. I knew I was going to have to find a job and I was in the middle of sewing up my last and final collection, somehow I felt like I needed to start blogging again—a need to share what I liked and what inspires me, a reason an excuse to keep on searching the web for the next big trend, to stay in touch with my passion, children’s design. And it grew into so much more. It made me more creative in so many different ways, from testing out my graphic design and photography skills, for coming up with tutorials and finding fun and different ways of sharing what I make and like. I’m a better person and mom because of it. I’m less lazy and more motivated to do things and to do them better and as much as I blog for my readers, I blog for myself now.
What are you working on now?
I have a few plans for this fall. I recently opened up a small online store and I hope to fill it with lots of goodies. I couldn’t stay away from designing for too long! It’s a very different feeling designing when it’s not for your livelihood, so much less pressure to please and so much more fun.
I’m also thinking of re-designing the blog, I’m in the mood for some change. However, I thing I will take it easy over the summer and play with the kids outside before it’s -30 degrees again.
From time to time everyone’s creative juices wane. How do you handle that?
I never really realized when my creativity would wane, I would just keep going and let it pass, I guess. I realize it more when I have too much I want to do and so little time. It’s true with fashion there are seasons and deadlines, but I happen to work best under pressure. However, now with the blog I feel a different kind of pressure. I try to write 4 posts a week and sometimes after a long day at work, whiny kids and a burnt dinner, I’m just not in the mood to get on the computer. However, I feel like I owe it to my readers to give them something. I believe my readers will come back if I don’t write a post here and there, or at least I hope so. I’d rather skip a day, than produce something half-heartedly. It’s never the content I’m missing, just the motivation. We are all human after all, right?