Life with a small kid (and probably a big one, too) means constant change. My son is almost ten months old, and sometimes I feel like it’s been years since my old life. Yes, “old life”, because it truthfully feels like another time.
And I was expecting (because I’ve been told a million times “What To Expect”) this first year, and next year too, to not have any kind of routine that sticks. For us, this has been true, and I’m proud of myself for not trying to plan any big projects in light of this. I’m also proud that I’ve been easy on myself for not being in great physical shape, rock climbing as much as I used to, riding my bike, etc.
I completed a big project that I’m happy with (though I’d do it differently if I could) and I have two others cooking in my brain. My son is going through a nap transition, with leaves me with very little time during the day to really sit down and work. As a result, I’ve gotten back into sketching loosely, trying new techniques, and whatever else.
I think I’ve always liked looking back on my sketchbooks versus my finished drawings because the former take me back immediately to where I was, or where I might have been, when I made the work. Sometimes I wish my sketchbooks could be counted as finished publications, although they can at times be cringe-worthy.
What’s funny to me about trying not to design big projects in my head is that the watercolor sketchbook that I bought for this year, which I started with my 32 weeks drawing, is that I wanted to use it as some kind of container for all my thoughts on being a mother. That alone set me up for never being able to travel back to the person who just wants to draw her arbitrary thoughts, or the person who just wants to sit and make meaningless patterns on paper. I haven’t been blogging that much, either, because I want to draw spontaneously, and I was putting too much pressure on myself to post meaningful content.
I have lots of posts floating around in my brain about what I and/or friends of mine have experienced in motherhood; I have some writing started and saved on my laptop, with accompanying sketches for illustrations. What’s funny to me now is I just wanted to make this post about getting back to loose sketching and new techniques I’m trying, and it’s turned into a piece about adjusting to a new life and clinging to parts of my old self.
I can never fully escape being a mom (and I don’t want to) and I’ll never fully let go of my old ways, even if my previous life feels like it was someone else’s. And that’s a beautiful thing.
And here are some sketches. Thanks for reading.