This week’s creative parent is the multi-talented, crafty lady, and all ’round sweetheart, Talia Carbis. She’s one of the women whose work got me hooked on Project Life, and I’m inspired by her both as a crafter and a mother.

on parenting and creativity

talia carbis photo

 

Who are you?

What a big question! I’m Talia (ta-LEE-a). I blog over at The Climbing Tree and I go on adventures with my husband Luke and our two sons Lior (2), and Eli (0).

 

How would you describe your craft?

I am in a phase at the moment of really culling my crafts from… everything, to just two things – Scrapbooking & Videography. I would describe both these crafts as ways of telling stories. Story telling is my passion! Scrapbooking is almost always just our family’s stories, but because I’ve started doing videography professionally I am often helping tell other people’s stories as well which is a great honour. Of course I tell our family’s stories through video as well.

 

talia carbis project life

Scrapbooking Eli’s pregnancy

 

Has your creative process and practise changed since becoming a parent? If so, how?

Definitely! I remember fondly those years at Uni when I would come home and paint whenever & wherever I felt like it!! Bliss! Now I have to be much more diligent with writing down ideas when I have them so I can implement them later, and also managing my time to find the right balance in having “me time” where I can create, and parenting time – both parts of me of course, but things that enjoy being separate as well as together. The trick is finding time for all those different variations of myself.

Now that I’m a parent my focus is often on enabling my children to be creative as well, and that’s been a struggle because I have my own ideas and skills and I need to really give that up a lot of the time so that they can be creative themselves. Now that I’m a parent and I watch my children be creative I really appreciate the skills that I have and the time I’ve taken over the years to learn things. It’s great to have good ideas, but if you don’t know how to implement them you fall down, and get dissatisfied. It’s been interesting trying to work out when and how to teach Lior certain skills, and when to just let him do it imperfectly and let the learning be totally organic.

 

talia carbis lior collage

It’s all about the process

 

Do your kids inspire your work? If so, how?

Yes, definitely. They are the focus of my work in lots of ways. I only used to scrapbook holidays & big life things but now that I have kids I’m doing Project Life & I’m loving recording all their everyday moments. They are the main subject for my Project Life and therefore my inspiration for that! The same with videos – I started getting serious about videos in order to preserve their little actions and words and all those bits I couldn’t capture with words or photos. It’s evolved into something bigger than just them, but certainly all my personal video work is inspired from them. From the things they do to the best angle to shoot them from, to interesting shots to tell their story.

 

Do you include your kids in your creative practise? If so, how?

Yes! I have been teaching Lior about using the camera! So he is learning to take photos for our project life and also learning about taking video which I can include in their monthly snapshot videos. Often Lior will sit on my lap while I edit and he loves to choose shots for the videos I make about them. I’m slowly learning to set up art activities for them to do simultaneously with me so that we can work together on projects.

 

talia carbis immersive art

Lior is having no trouble including Eli in his creative process…

 

How do you think the way you were parented influenced your career choice, and your creative interests?

100%. My brothers and I grew up in a very accepting & creative family. My mother really enabled us in all sorts of creative endeavours that we chose. Both my parents are creative in different ways and so they didn’t mind the mess and understood our intentions in our projects.

Assuming that our parents still parent us to some degree for our whole lives (by way of being in our lives), and if my career is videography then for sure, their enabling had really allowed me to blossom & grow in my career. My Dad bought me video editing software for my birthday because he could see I was good at what I did & it would help me level up. He bought the first camera I started playing around with video on too. They’re very supportive and that’s super helpful.

 

What do you do to encourage creativity in your own children?

I really want to enable my children with a very broad range of skills so that they can pursue their own creativity. I try to be patient with Lior when he’s learning new things, don’t get upset about mess or mistakes, and provide him with lots of different mediums to explore.

 

talia carbis nature collage

 

As they get older I would love to spend more time focusing on creative thinking and problem solving as it’s a very translatable skill across all areas of life from art to parenting to corporate jobs.

 

talia carbis food dye painting

Creating and learning

 

How do you make time for your craft? What strategies do you use to ensure that you get shit done?

I fail at this! I try to grab every alone time I have and wrestle it into submission for my creative needs. I often get distracted by the internet though, which is incredibly frustrating. I am also realising that parenting is such tiring work that sometimes when I have that spare half hour when both kids are playing or watching TV or entertained by someone else, that I perhaps just need to sit and have a cup of tea to recharge instead of crafting… This is both liberating and incredibly frustrating as the list of things I need to do is longer than my arm!

This question has definitely prompted me to think this through more and make a plan. Though I think any time in your life when you care for a baby under 1, you really need to give yourself a break and realise you won’t be super creative for a little bit. Lior’s 2nd year was great, and I look forward to that time with Eli too!

 

talia carbis workspace

Talia’s workspace

 

What do you do to recharge when you’re feeling completely tapped out?

Two things really. The first is to just… forget. To just embrace life right now and just totally engage myself with my kids and my life, and not try to be creative at all. I meet up with friends, and we almost always go to the beach or a river. I never really realised that before writing this, but I love to be by the water, and that is a bit of a recharge for me. I also pray. Often if I’m feeling tapped out it’s not just affecting my creativity, it’s across all areas of my life, and praying helps me to get everything lined up again, and let the fog of my mind lift so I can see clearly.

Thankfully my husband, Luke is very sympathetic to my creative needs, and he loves what I create for our family, so the second thing I sometimes do is I have a bit of a whinge to him and then ask politely if we can schedule some time for him to look after the boys, and for me to just… make stuff. I generally feel tapped out when I don’t have a plan, and when I have too many creative ideas that I can’t make any of them happen. So knowing that there is a space of time available to me in the near future (Luke works from home so we can often schedule time fairly quickly, even just for a few hours) helps.

Also, pinterest. Haha!

 

 

Talia blogs at The Climbing Tree. She can also be found on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

All the photos used in this post were taken by her.

 

Other posts in this series

Kate Whitfield

Mat Larkin

Penni Russon