Atlanta based Actor Performance Artist Danielle Deadwyler image by © Bessie Akuba

Atlanta based Actor Performance Artist Danielle Deadwyler image by © Bessie Akuba

In my past life, before I became a mother, it was a time I pursued my art and work with what I thought was the ultimate freedom and control. As I remember, no where on my radar was the notion of being a wife or a mother. Because just the mere thought of being a mother and a wife made me cringe.

Why? I figured there would be no way for me to pursue a career in the arts and creative spaces as a maker and producer while still being being active in the labor of the work of motherhood. Because in both of those spaces, the work is on going. And there was no way I was willing to “alter my identity” for that.

I was truly naive before becoming a mother. I was constantly being shown examples of artist who are mothers, but figured they had nannies and aupairs who stepped in to help them with their children so they could be fully present in their work as artist. I assumed that one could not do both and the two-motherhood and artistry-did not go together.

I then became a mother.

And, stood corrected.

I began to befriend artist who were mothers and my artist friends started becoming mothers and we grew, learned, and walked fine line of artistry and motherhood together.

I while back, I paid my friend Dainelle Deadwyler a visit. Danielle, is what you would get if Andre 3000, Grace Jones, and Anna Deavere Smith and Viola Davis got together and had a baby. She is an artist, a creative force, and a mother. We chatted all things art, creativity, and motherhood. But the one thing she said that stuck with me the most is this…

“Motherhood is like that art mantra, where they say artist are supposed to make simple what is complex or make complex what is simple…mothering is the same task... “

Motherhood does not take over ones identity as an artist, a creative, or a maker; my belief is that it rather enhances it.

Motherhood is transformative. And rest your understanding on this..your work as an artist, creative, founder, producer is transformed for the better.

Happy Mother’s Day to all who are mothering, and have mothered.

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