By Jo Pollitt and Lilly Blue of BIG Kids Magazine for Mamamia
When I woke up the day after giving birth to my first child I was surprised to find that, though I was holding a seismic shift literally in my arms, my passion, creative drive and self was still entirely intact. Amplified if anything. I think I imagined there would be a softening or transference of my creative drive into motherhood. What I learnt to be true over the next 11 years is that creativity and motherhood are deeply connected, and each fuel for the other.
In fact, with the arrival of each child came a distinct honing of ideas and accelerating of the desire to create new work. With my first child I was back performing, choreographing and feeding backstage during the interval. With my second, during a short stint of unexpected post-natal depression, I began writing long distance dance scripts and collaborating across countries. And with my third, in the middle of a night feed at about 9 months the seed of a creative kids magazine whispered insistently. There was serendipitous magazine whispering too on the other side of the country interrupting the nights of Lilly and her baby girl. Within days the whispers between Perth and Sydney became a roar of collaboration that began BIG Kids Magazine and provoked a creative conversation that enabled us to both continue and drive our work as artists in a new kind of virtual ‘studio’.
We created the first issue entirely without speaking or seeing each other –with 4 young children between us I think we instinctively knew there were already too many voices in the mix! Every creative and business decision was made first via Facebook messaging and then email. Our girls were 10months and 22 months when we began. They are now 4 and 5. We operated our work schedules according to the (mostly erratic) sleep cycles of little ones and school terms. My eldest son Luca was present in the role of ‘senior’ editor from the outset and all the children fast assumed a creative ownership of the magazine that allowed us to work both literally with and around them while staying at home. “But Mummy I already have my magazine that I made!” said Lilly’s daughter Twyla on receiving another children’s magazine in the mail.