As part of a new endeavor on Childhood Unplugged we are bringing you ways to unplug with your children – from DIY projects to adventures to classes and more. We are starting off by sharing with you a wonderful new class taught by Michelle Gardella at The DEFINE School. This class teaches you to include family in your creative process as a means for greater fulfillment. We are sharing with you a short interview with Michelle about this new gem!
Carolyn: What called you to create this new and totally unique class?
Michelle: When I teach it is because I have a burning question that I need to explore. I never teach because I have answers, it’s always from a place of curiosity and discovery. For Family Tapestry, I set out to see if there was an alternative way of being a Mother Artist, different from what I’ve already seen. I don’t want someone to tell me how to balance my schedule, or hire a new office manager. I wanted to go deeper and really see if it’s possible to include my loved ones in my creative life.
Carolyn: It sounds like you have felt divided at times in the past. Would you say this class helped with that?
Michelle: Oh, for sure. In the past there were times when I felt like I was compartmentalized. Mother. Wife. Daughter. Artist. Teacher. and on and on, all in these separate boxes. It was stressful and I honestly went to bed most nights feeling guilty for neglecting at least one of my roles. When I stepped back and started intentionally finding ways to blend and cross-pollinate my worlds, magic happened and I was super excited to share with others what I had experienced. Now, if I am taking a pottery class, I come home and teach my children and husband what I have learned. If my son is taking an art class at school, we all do the homework. And when it comes to photography, my children feel empowered to pick up one of our family cameras at any time and capture life as they see it.
Carolyn: One last thing. Can you give an example of a homework assignment?
Michelle: Sure! For one assignment, the youngest takes a photo of the oldest, undirected. In my case, my daughter photographed her Grandfather. What was fascinating, is she went right for his hands. She kept asking him to hold his hands still. I know I will treasure that image of my Dad’s hands forever, in ways that I cannot even find words for.
Registration opens on Monday February 9th at 12 PM EST at The DEFINE School.