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Parents Who Make Art to Make Happy

We all have our ways to unwind. For me, it's making art. I find it incredibly therapeutic to use my hands to play with paint. I also dabble in unskilled macrame wall hangings and dream catchers so ugly they may bring on nightmares. It's something for me. Even if I end up giving the art away or selling it, it's my time.

As a visual artist, my cyber infatuations run deep for moms who have found creativity as a way to de-stress from the trials of new motherhood.

RELATED: When Dinner Is a Work of Art

I have fallen deep and hard for Erin Williams. Erin's blog, Goosecamp | Internet Mom, is chock full of visual and written goodies. Erin is new mom to 4-month-old Lucy. She is neither a writer by profession nor artist. Not yet at least. She is blindingly talented at both and it's only a matter of time before the rest of the Internet finds out. I found my way to Erin by first drooling over the meta-brilliant Vines made her husband, Kyle M.F. Williams or "Keelayjams." I spent a year devouring his multi-media works that range from film, sculpture, video, installation to full on music videos. Like all good Internet stalkers, I befriended him. I set on a quest to introduce his rich trove of treasures to my Vassar crony, art critic extraordinaire Shana Nys Dambrot. And it worked. She smelled genius, too. From there, I was deep into Kyle's Instagram life, met his wife Erin and the rest is history. We were "liking" and hearting each other in no time.

Above: Custom Shia LaBeouf Vehicle Wrap and Hitting the Slopes by Keelay Jams

In Erin's pre-mom life she was financial analyst. She went back to school to receive a postbaccalaureate in science and took a grueling but amazing job with 15-hour days, running clinical cancer trials for bone marrow research. Erin made a decision to put this all on hold.

Now she is home with Lucy in upstate New York. During Lucy's naps she is churning out whimsical, thoughtful arts and crafts, everything from paintings to home goods and baby clothes. She has tutorials on how to make ridiculously cute things like this DIY: Easy Stitch Art (below).

But most importantly the art making is therapy. It is release, relaxation and rejuvination. It is making her happy.

Above: Jay Z by Erin Williams

Above: Vishnu (in stickers) by Erin Williams

Above: Kim and Kanye by Erin Williams

Erin introduced me to Polly Robins Handmade, another underground artist and mom. She makes amazing animal-human-object hybrid pieces that I just love. Part drawing, painting and collage, her works come together in a way that is both cheerful and a tad creepy (my favorite combination).

Above: By Polly Robins Handmade

Above: Tail Hair by Polly Robins Handmade

Shane Edelman, father of two, is an artist and designer. When he is not designing websites and whipping up nifty branding solutions for Same Dream as You, he is making paintings, driftwood sculptures and dabbling in wood working. His burled wood chopping blocks are sensual beauties, and carving them is the perfect antidote to parental stress.

Above: Carob Wood Chopping Block by Shane Edelman

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Why not try your hand at some art making yourself? The important thing is not to get in your head about it. You don't need much to get going, just raid your kid's craft supplies. Start simple, play with crayons and go from there.

Messing with watercolors is also a fantastic way to unwind. Explore blending colors, feeling the texture the brush on paper and let go of results. Making a mess with no pressure is what it's about. Playing with color and texture and exploring the unknown without caring about the result will quickly get your mind of diaper changes. Don't feel pressured by all the amazing work above. Just use it as inspiration and see what happens!

Image via Twenty20/heartpoppy

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