Whatever you do, don’t say “parent” / by Claudia Savage

Once we were hip. Really, really hip. We wore ironic sweaters and tight jeans and got our hair cut for fashion rather than function.

OK, we were never that hip. But, once, we tried.

(John was a radical musician who lived in an illegal loft in Brooklyn. His living space was often used as a film set. Claudia recited poems on sunbaked rocks in Colorado, in art galleries, at house concerts. She edited books. Once she was also a professional cook--so she loves feeding people.)

We met at an artist residency and promptly left our partners for each other. Our love story, while not original, was definitely hot. We made love. We made music. We wrote poetry. We drank bad wine and ate chocolate at 3am to fuel yet another “collaboration” session.

Then things changed.

We had a beautiful, challenging, wonderful daughter. She took away our sleep, our carousing, our ability to eat dinner without indigestion.

Yet, somehow, in the time since we’ve had her, we’ve been more productive and creative than ever. John’s made so many albums and played with so many people, we’ve lost track. Claudia has written two books, become an essayist and interviewer, and found another passion in teaching. Our duo, Thick in the Throat, Honey, instead of just being a side project that provided relief from incessant discussions about our kid, has become a space of deep play and the fuel that ignites our separate creative practices. As a bonus, when we perform, it reminds us of why we first fell for each other. 

Making art is not just a vocation for us. Just like raising our daughter, it is our lives.

Through weekly posts you’ll get a glimpse of how we, and other artists we know and admire, make art and keep inspired while raising children. We’ll reveal our challenges and attempted solutions. We’ll talk about our art-making practice. We’ll commiserate and inspire each other. Because making art is not just about sitting alone in a room pouring over a piece of paper, it is about what happens when you hang out with other people attempting to sit in a room and pour over a piece of paper. 

And even if you don’t have children and are struggling to make art in between your other obligations, we hope some of our ideas will allow you to live the kind of fulfilling life you deserve. Because we all deserve the chance to be creative and thrive.