When I Grow Up • by Ellen Luckett Baker
I find it challenging to write about how art saved me. Have I been saved? Not sure. No miracles here, but I feel that I didn’t really know much about myself and my own creativity until I started making things. They say that boredom breeds creativity, which was true for me. Home with a baby and a toddler, I started a blog to share some of the things that I was making. It felt satisfying to learn that people were actually interested in seeing my projects and it validated me as a creative person—a validation that I’d never found before. My kids added the confidence and daily inspiration that I needed to move forward.
Finding a Balance
Now that I’ve turned crafting, sewing, and designing into a business, some days it feels like a chore and less like the creative and spontaneous way that I approached making things when I first began. I can’t complain that I was fortunate enough to turn my hobby into a business and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had, but now I’m seeking a better balance. I want to make things simply for my own process, rather than worry how my designs will be received. Life presents many challenges, and after reading the other ART SAVES stories here, I see that many people create in order to cope. I recognize many of their stories in my own life. There’s no doubt that I would be even more neurotic than I am now if I hadn’t found a creative outlet. I still don’t consider myself an artist, but I want to be one when I grow up.
Ellen Luckett Baker is author of The Long Thread, where she writes about her adventures with sewing, crafting, and kids. Her book, 1, 2, 3 Sew, was published last year by Chronicle Books and her debut fabric collection, Quilt Blocks, is now available. Ellen lives in Atlanta with her husband, two daughters, and a growing number of pets. Currently she is working on her next book, 1, 2, 3 Quilt, scheduled for publication Fall 2013.