Madres Make America Great Again by Yocelyn Riojas.
This year we’re taking extra time to appreciate all of the parent artists who contribute to CAN! We know from experience that raising children takes a lot of work, just like most things in this world that are truly worth the effort, and those of us who make art and save the world for a living are no exception. Starting with some of our CAN moms for Mother’s Day on May 12th, here's a little wisdom from 'those who know best' on how they juggle creativity and parenting. Some of these moms designed the gifts in our new Mother's Day 2019 Gift Guide, so check that out! And be sure to look for our Father’s Day feature next month featuring some of our CAN dads. Thanks for reading! ~Team CAN
Candy Medusa is an artist, marine biologist, ocean advocate and mum of two kids aged six and thirteen. "Beach cleans are a big part of what I do. I collect plastic pollution (and every other type of trash) from local beaches and upcycle it into art. The kids are a big help with this, and love to join me on the beach - I'm so proud of my little eco warriors.” Candy also notes that “The first thing I always get asked in interviews, before anything about my ethos or achievements or anything relevant, is how I juggle work and kids, because in a world dominated by the patriarchy, apparently that's the most interesting thing about a woman; it's somehow seen as incredible that a mother can hold down a job." Read more about Candy and see her ocean-saving designs for CAN here!
Andrea Floren was born and raised in the Great Plains of South Dakota, and hails from a pioneering, industrious family of self-starters, craftspeople, musicians, eccentrics, inventors and collectors. "Raising a family and working on my art is a challenge for sure. Some days it's total chaos and I'm struggling to do all the things and end up feeling defeated. But there are the days where I find a flow in my work during the day and flow with my kiddos in the afternoon. These are the days that keep me going. She adds, "My kids also provide endless inspiration to my work. We create together as often as possible, and I love seeing from their eyes, the choices they make and how fearless they are when they create. They keep me present, and I'm happiest when life feeds art and art feeds life." Here's more about what inspires Andrea, plus her Todos Juntos designs for CAN!
We love how Aditi Raychoudhury always keeps it real! She tells us, "As a geriatric mom, I knew from my mommy friends that you are always tired, always short on time, constantly dealing with "YOU DON"T KNOW" and hit smack in the face with another developmental milestone just when you think you are getting the hang of this parenting thing, and then you have to start all over again." She keeps it in perspective by quoting Buddhist nun Pema Chodron, saying "that that every moment is unique, unpredictable and those who push us to our edge are our greatest teachers. She is right." Aditi also tells us that every moment as a parent is unpredictable, challenging and often pushes me to her very edge. "Every day that I spend with my daughter, I have to push my edge a little further, to get up from fall after fall and practice patience." Here's more on Aditi, including her Unity in Diversity design that was featured in our What REALLY Makes America Great book!
You may know Annie Riker from our recent National Park Week campaign! She left her dream job —Creative Director for National Parks Conservation Association, after her son was born. "My first year of being a mom took some time to adjust. As much as I adored this new beautiful baby of mine, I felt a loss of identity. Over time, I began to set some new intentions with myself about what my purpose was, and it eventually became so clear: I'm deeply called to be a mom and I'm deeply called to make art. I could have both." She continues to say that balance is key. "Having morning time to myself to make art makes me a better mother. Having afternoon time to play with my son makes me a better artist. My son recently turned two, and I feel like I'm living the dream everyday." We've had a lot of fun collaborating with Annie this spring and we'll be launching National Park stickers with her soon! Read all about her and her work for CAN here.
Crystal Sacca is an author, creative director, designer, artist, activist, and mother of three daughters who splits her time between living in a blue state and a red state. She tells us, "Becoming a parent was one of the most creative transformations of my life – each day is filling a canvas to help young minds learn about the world in unique and powerful ways. My life is a constant juggle of finding time to create, managing the schedules and lives of three little humans, running a business with my husband, and working on projects to help save our democracy, fix our criminal injustice system, and heal our planet." The apple doesn’t fall too far in that Crystal's 7-year old daughter is also a Creative Action Network artist and created one of the bestselling “Vote” pins for the pivotal 2018 election! She also writes, "My children inspire my creativity–they are the prime example that we are all born as artists. Give a child tools and materials to make art and they will blow your mind. They aren't inhibited by what others think or the rational sides of their brain." Read more on Crystal and see all of her designs here! (Photo of Crystal & girls by Larissa Cleveland.)
We'd like to extend a special thanks to Aditi, Candy, Maggie, Andrea & Crystal who made time to share their stories with us for this Mother's Day! We've also put together a handy Mother's Day 2019 Gift Guide, chock full of great gifts including new accessory bags and compact mirrors, where you can support our artists and non-profit causes.
Our Green New Deal campaign premiered on March 14, 2019 in Washington D.C., at Bold V. Old, a daylong convening where speakers including Stacey Abrams, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris discussed bold ideas for our biggest problems, including the Green New Deal. On March 16 In Oakland, CA, Creative Action Network joined artists and activists at the Green New Deal Create-A-Thon, where youth artists from the Sunrise Movement and others worked on new designs for the collection. Youth activist Rio says that after seeing videos of Greta Thunberg leading student climate strikes in Europe, “me and my sister were empowered to make some sort of difference.” Rio and his sister Maddy recently rose to internet stardom when their student group confronted Senator Feinstein about the Green New Deal a few weeks ago. Maddy says she is now “trying to make my voice be more heard, go to marches, and more creative stuff, definitely!”