Here goes nothing!
I’ve always been creative. Ever since I could remember, I was making sculptures out of my food at the dinner table or breaking into my dad’s spray paint cans to paint some bits of treasure I had found. Creativity was easy for me as a kid. You just go out and do. You make things. As an adult, creativity has become much harder. Just like most people in my position, I have my routines. I have the same thing for breakfast every morning, the same lunch, dinner, etc.. I comb my hair the same way, I even drive my car with the same habits. Habits and routine aren’t bad at all but I have found that I don’t make time for making things any more. Creativity is something that needs to be done deliberately. I didn’t realize this until I started Color, Construct, Create Studios back in 2011 with my lifelong friend, Kristin.
It started off as a way for us to both work while not sacrificing time away from our families. Doesn’t every parent want something like that? We both had little kids at home and were working as a special education teacher and occupational therapist in the public schools. We were good at what we did but even the best teacher/OT is not able to find work life balance amidst the unmanageable caseloads and time demands placed on us.
My bachelor’s degree is in Fine Art. I studied at San Diego State in the late 90’s. When I got my teaching credentials, I decided to go ahead and spend the extra time and money to get the art credential even though, in the back of my mind, I never thought I would use it. There aren’t exactly a plethora of jobs for art teachers any more. Kristin, on the other hand, became an Occupational Therapist. Although she doesn’t have the formal degree in art, she is one of the craftiest people I know. She makes quilts, paints, designs and sews all her kids Halloween costumes, and so much more. She has a natural gift for figuring out how make things. In another life, she would have been a mechanical engineer! It makes sense because you wouldn’t expect a person to teach fine motor development without highly developed fine motor skills! I always envied her ability to make just about anything and everything. Although I can draw a true likeness of someone, I have never been a crafter. I tried to scrapbook, knit, and several other things I thought I was supposed to be good at and failed. Miserably!!
When Kristin and I sat on her sofa back in 2010, brainstorming what the heck we were going to do with our lives, it dawned on us. Do what we both love, arts (me!) and crafts (Kristin), with the kids we love to work with. Lightbulb moment!!! Over the past 5 years, we have had regular weekly classes and met some amazing kids and families. During this time, I went through a major self realization. I LOVE to be creative! I also need to be creative. Coming up with lessons that will teach new things to our students while building their love for creativity at the same time is one of the most rewarding things I could ever imagine. It’s like a part of my brain that has been asleep for a very long time is finally awake. Watching our projects inspire kids has to be the coolest thing I’ve ever experienced. Wow. How many people can say this about their job? This! This, right here, is why Kristin and I do what we do! We are so lucky.