All images by Lenka Clayton
Three years ago, I wrote about Lenka's Artist in Motherhood Residency on Design Mom. Lenka Clayton is a fine artist who had a tough time finding a residency that would accept her because of the constraints of having a child. So, she created one herself and called it Residency in Motherhood. She printed business cards, scheduled part-time child care, and established her own "studio space" where she dedicated herself to exploration and creation and journaled the process for the world to see. The result is beautiful. (Alain De Boton agrees.) When I found Lenka's project three years ago, it moved me. When she photographed objects she found in her child's mouth (63 Objects Taken From My Son's Mouth), I laughed. I got it. When she typed interrupted, stunted, exasperating events of the day (What do we do all day? jpg file name "nightmare"), I was right there with her. I was her, and she was telling the story I didn't know how to tell, but felt. She was the Artist of Motherhood, accidentally painting a dizzyingly poignant picture of my personal motherhood.
Three years and two more children later, I rediscovered Lenka's project. I don't recall what I was doing on the desktop computer—I'm so rarely sitting down in the office these days—but I happened upon her personal update. She's shown art in the Guggenheim (among so many places!), she's waiting for her second child to arrive, and she's created a Artist in Motherhood Residency kit so anyone in the world can create their own "formal" residency at home or at a studio, and even seek a grant. It moved me again, just like it did three years ago. But this time I did something about it. I pulled a sheet of paper out of my notebook and scribbled down the following mess:
And just like that, I am an Writer-Artist in Motherhood Resident. (Albeit a Bachelor-watching, stick-figure drawing, part-time one. Baby steps, right Lenka?) If you want to join me, sign up and put your name on the world map and let's keep in touch and follow each other to see each other's projects. I'll be sharing some of my thoughts here since I am calling myself a Writer-Artist, but most in my private physical journals. (I still keep those, but alas, no key.)
PS One of those links in the Design Mom post now takes you to a Tumblr featuring breast augmentation. LOL