Our creative family manifesto
I created my personal creative manifesto last year, and have found it really helpful in terms of focussing my own goals, intentions and ideas about creativity. I wanted to write our creative family manifesto as a way of extending this to become a way of life, as creativity is so important to us as a family.
The Creative Family Manifesto
The idea for this came about after reading The Creative Family Manifesto by Amanda Blake Soule*. Tom’s Mum gave me a copy of this for Christmas a few years ago, and after Littlest One was born I finally started dipping into it when I got 5 minutes here and there. It is the most wonderful book, and I wish I had started reading it sooner! If you want to live a more creative life and encourage your children to get involved at every opportunity, then I would highly recommend it.
Soule encourages you to use simple things around you to encourage creativity as a family. I love the part where she talks about imaginary friends, as Little One has an imaginary camel and he comes everywhere with us! He really is like a part of the family now, as is Camel’s friend Elephant and Elephant’s friend, Oscar the dog. Soule also emphasises the joy of sharing the tradition of handmade things, which is obviously something that is really important to me too.
Writing our own family manifesto
We are about to embark on our home education journey, as Little One will soon be 4 and would be going to school in September. It seemed like the right time to write our manifesto with this in mind, but also with everything that’s going on with Covid 19 too. It is a very surreal situation isn’t it? We are social distancing now, and it has actually been really good to think about what should be on our manifesto as we’re going to be spending much more time at home! It might be something that you can do with your family too as a positive activity to complete together. It doesn’t have to be framed if you don’t want to – even just jotting down your list of statements is a good place to start.
I used my personal manifesto as a starting point, as there were a few things that I thought would be good for our family manifesto. There were others I wanted to add to encourage things for our children and for ourselves. This is the list that I wrote, which contains 14 statements:
- Stay curious
- Go outisde
- Make a mess – tidy up later
- Try again
- Learn from your mistakes
- Notice the little things
- Create together
- Make music
- Collect things
- Read every day
- Always be kind
- Love your community
This list covers things that we want for all of us as a family – things we want to encourage, and the ways in which we try to live our lives. I don’t see creativity as a separate ‘thing’ that we do, it’s in everything that we do. At the moment, Little One frequently says that she can’t do things, so we’re always encouraging her to try again. We try to create things together when we can, whether that’s music, craft or something else. We read every day, and we emphasise the importance of being kind.
I wondered about changing the phrase ‘collect things’ as it reminded me of the phrase ‘collect moments, not things’. In the end, I decided that this is actually what I want it to say! Collections are great – leaves, stamps, feathers, colour charts – all of these things can inspire us in so many ways. It isn’t so much about having physical things for me, it’s about how we take inspiration from them. So I left that bit in!
Making your own creative family manifesto: materials
To make a family manifesto to be displayed like ours, you’ll need a few basic materials:
A big sheet of good quality card (we used an A1 size piece of card that I bought from our local art shop)
A set of watercolour paints and brushes
Some coloured paper
Stamps and an ink pad
Double-sided sticky tape or glue
A frame to display it in
Take your large piece of card and set up the watercolours. Then get each member of your family to paint something on it! We went abstract and painted whatever popped into our heads. Littlest One even joined in too, and you can see where he painted with his hands in the corner. I think he was just 10 months when we did this, so it’s something that all ages can join in with. Leave it to dry completely.
Now take your stamps and ink pad, and stamp out each of the creative statements onto coloured paper. I used a different colour for each statement, and chose 7 colours of paper for the 14 statements. When the ink has dried, carefully cut around each one in a rectangular shape.
Remove the packaging from your frame. Take out the mount, but don’t discard it as you’ll need to use it in the next step!
Once the watercolours have dried, place the mount on top and draw around it with a pencil. Then carefully cut it out, so that you have the right size to fit in your frame. If you prefer, you can use the mount to display – just do whatever works for you and adjust the size of the painted card accordingly.
Position the creative statements on top of the painted card and work out where you’d like them to be. Stick them in place with double-sided sticky tape or some glue.
The last thing to do is to put it in your frame, secure the back and then display. We have hung ours in the hallway, as we wanted to be able to see it frequently. Little One asks about it every time she goes up or down the stairs, which is great!
The beautiful pennant hanging above our manifesto is by HouseofHooray on Etsy*. The Pride of the North hoop is designed and stitched by me as an exclusive for For the Love of the North, an amazing shop which supports creatives from the North East of England. You can purchase one here! The pink pineapple embroidery was stitched by me, and you can read about that on my blog here.
Share your manifesto!
I would really love to see your manifesto if you make one – let me know in the comments below, or tag me on social media @hellohoorayblog. I hope this project brings you joy, especially during this really tough period. Stay safe, and wash your hands!
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