Encouraging a Creative Journey

Our modern life is cluttered with day-to-day hurdles. Exploring creativity with Amanda Blake Soule could save your family from the unintentional and mundane routine.


| December 2017


The Creative Family Manifesto (Roost Books, 2017) by Amanda Blake Soule dives into the challenges of raising children during our time. You can find advice on how to embrace life with a more simple approach and learn how to create meaningful connections along the way. The following handmade guide will allow time to relax, play and grow together. This following excerpt is from the introduction “A Creative Journey”.

 At the heart of every mindful and loving family lie the seeds of endless creativity. With patience, support, and just a bit of guidance, that creativity can flourish and grow in beautiful ways. In our modern lives, it’s all too easy to get swept up in the busyness of the day-to-day  —  meals, cleaning, school, work, and other life details often stand in the way of the time we need to pursue our creative endeavors. As parents, it is both our responsibility and our privilege to be sure that our family’s creative spirits have all the room and tools they need to soar freely. 

Fortunately, we don’t have to “teach” our children to be creative  —  inherent in the very core of children’s beings is the embodiment of creativity. To think of something in a new way, to inquire about something that others don’t even question, to come up with something truly unique and new is what children do best. When we give our children the space and encouragement to explore their own creativity, they can become our most inspiring of artists, our most inquisitive of scientists, and our most original of philosophers.

As their parents, we are blessed to have these amazing teachers. I’m reminded of this each and every day as I watch my children in the simple and small, but fully creative and dynamic, things they do: Adelaide, our one-year-old, finding pure delight in a basket of fabric from which she can recover her favorite piece of purple silk and start a game of peekaboo; Ezra, our three-year-old, lying on a riverbank and examining handful after handful of the earth’s rich clay, which he later portrays in a painting; Calvin, our five-year-old, rushing out of bed to draw his dream before he forgets it  —  a gigantic half-pipe with a dozen or so skateboarders, kids on scooters, and inline skaters spinning around in circles, all with gigantic smiles on their faces. These seemingly simple acts of childhood are small, yet full of wonder, appreciation, and imagination.

Given the creative nature of children, it is no coincidence that so many of us are led to seek a more creative life in their presence. Either an old creative passion or pursuit that has been forgotten is internally churned up, or we suddenly feel a need for something else in our lives when we’ve never considered ourselves creative before. Being around even the youngest children  —  and the purity of their rich creative energy  —  brings out our need for that same innovative spirit. They inspire us not only to nurture and embrace all of who they are, but to nurture and embrace our own creative selves as well. 

For me, my creative spirit was awakened  —  and awakened loudly  —  through the presence of my shining children and the lessons I’ve learned from them. As a child, I never would have defined myself as “creative,” nor do I think my parents or teachers would have done so. I thought creative meant something much different  —  something having to do with skill and talent and “art.” Surely, I would not fit into that category. In school, I stumbled my way through art classes, managing to do just enough to get by. In high school, during the one semester that home economics was required, I came one pillow project away from my first failing grade. I would make things here and there; I just never thought of that as “creating.” 





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