Prenatal Depression & Creating During Pregnancy

While your body is busy creating a child and your hormones are driving you extremely insane it can be difficult to show up to your creative practice. The harsh reality and looming responsibility of having to create a future for you and your child can be paralyzing. Especially if you are self-employed or already working in the creative arts field.

The energy it takes to pursue my own work came to a complete dead end and I was fortunate enough that I wasn’t in the middle of a huge design project at work as I had no motivation to create anything. Projects that I excitedly began in the New Year fizzled out quicker than I could breathe life into them.

This was the only thing I had finished despite the fact that I had intentions in turning each image into a lino block.

Between the emotional spells I was also trying to navigate my trauma. Which who knew, things they don’t tell you about pregnancy, is that your past trauma can leave you knee deep in shit you thought: you forgot about, made peace with or just assumed you were over with. But that mess crept back in like a leak in a roof. Spreading mold and despair and sending me into a decent bout of prenatal depression.

Post Partum Depression is talked about a lot but Prenatal Depression seems to get you the stank eye as if you’re not grateful for the miracle taking place within you while others struggle to even get pregnant or have suffered a loss. Here I was navigating: all my past trauma, a relationship with the father (it’s complicated but we love each other), becoming a mother, letting go of my very independent single life, and honestly the relationship with my creativity.

While everyone was telling me how excited they were and are for me I was internally dreading all of it and questioning what the hell I was doing. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted this, I’m 36 and not getting any younger and the timing seemed more than perfect though my circumstances weren’t. But as all these feelings came bubbling to the surface I found my self questioning everything and relying on therapy to help me come to terms and validate what I had been through and feeling.

A few things that helped:

  1. Therapy! I can’t stress enough the importance of therapy. Luckily I had already had someone but please find someone you can speak too. It can be a lot of help to you to just have your feelings, concerns, & worries be acknowledged and validated. It takes the edge off as you come to grips with whatever you’re dealing with. And you can tell them things you may not tell your loved ones for fear of rejection or being further misunderstood.
  2. A trip: Now this may seem crazy and ridiculous especially if you’re already struggling and trying to save but I turned 36 while pregnant and I was going to cancel my birthday plans to take an overnight beach trip. In all honesty that tripped saved my life. Even if you can’t afford an overnight trip, a day trip to the beach or anywhere where nature can comfort your soul can be so nourishing.
    • At the time of this trip I was on the edge. I won’t explain why or what got me there but taking a solo trip to play in the ocean, journal, visit an art gallery and commune with the sun was exactly what I needed. I felt like myself again.
  3. Now things weren’t perfect when I got back as I still had a lot of work to do emotionally and spiritually but I had a therapist tell me to ground myself when things get hard or emotionally unstable.

Ground yourself through creativity.

Ground myself? I literally rolled my eyes. Like how the hell do I do that. What is this therapy garbage you are spitting at me and if it’s more foo foo self love bs I’m going to have another tantrum before we even hang up from this session.

Well duh, with creativity baby! ūüôĄ It seems so logical and self explanatory but my Dr. had a point. I mean creativity had always been a source of comfort for me throughout my life; I even say it’s saved my life. And here it was to do it all over again by grounding me.

And it had already been working. Though I wasn’t creating what I consider my main body of work, I found myself creating stuff for my baby. I made his name sign to hang over his crib, crocheted a blanket and several toys, made a sweater, and still working on completing my first quilt.

The sewing machine I had left sitting to collect dust ended up being a beacon of light as well as a new love for crocheting. I never expected crocheting to be my new hobby this year but the simplicity of repeating a stitch was comforting. I could mindlessly, to an extent, crochet and watch TV and processe emotions while I fervently single crocheted.

My artistic plans for the year definitely didn’t come to fruition but something else was born and will be born this month! Insert smiles. A whole new world of creativity opened its doors to me and I was able to explore a new hobby and even become inspired by crazy talented fiber artist.

I think as artist we’ve been told too often that we should stick to one trade, one form of art while the job industry expects the exact opposite (let’s not go there). But it was diving deep into crocheting which I had no monetary or career goal associated with it that got me out of my creative rut and gave me a new appreciation for it.

So pick up a camera, print your pictures, water color, collage, journal, paint your nails with copious amounts of glitter, do something new, crochet, knit, follow a recipe, doodle, buy the expensive markers and tons of glue sticks… just create and soon you’ll remember why you fell in love with it. Let it ground you as you navigate the new role of becoming a mother. Don’t give yourself crazy deadlines and project goals, create because you enjoy it and it’s comforting to your soul.

With much love, BEautifullyODD

My Imperfect 2020 Bullet Journal

So the one thing I’m sure we can all agree on is how hellacious this year has been. From political debates with friends and family, to Covid f’n everything up; Any goals I may have set for 2020 were definitely abruptly halted as our lives in the quarantine commenced.

Though I have been fortunate to work from home, achievements started to warp into basic task like brushing my teeth and going for walks.

I had originally started Bullet Journaling back in 2018 as a way to organize my projects and keep track of my habits, goals and progress. And let’s be honest when I first started journaling it was not pretty and honestly it still looks quite disorganized and kind of chaotic. But once I found a monthly layout that worked for me, I started to experiment with color and adding images from magazines or from pictures I had taken or created. So when 2020 started I was adamant I would be sure to start this year’s journaling with flare, color and an extra dose of creative freedom.

And nothing is ever perfect! THAT’S Lesson #1. Of course I wanted my habit tracker to be perfectly filled and I wanted it to look all neat and clean. I mean we’ve seen the perfect bullet journals and I think that’s why I was afraid to experiment in the beginning. And it’s why Lesson #2 is to make sure you have a layout that works for you and you alone. I only wanted to share my monthly layout as the musings of my inner mind are among my other pages; but your layout should be tailored to how you want to break down your month, weeks or days.

For example I prefer a simple monthly layout where I take notes of important dates and summarize my monthly goal/s. I then break down my month by weeks where I re-list important dates and define weekly goals or projects I should be working on. My daily section however has a freer flowing layout. Some days aren’t as hectic as others and it’s where I apply the original method of Bullet Journaling by creating simple to-do lists and track my progress.

Turning 35 in the middle of Covid added an extra dose of symbolic challenges that left me in a constant state of self reflection and in need of self love. Though this year has been rough and I may not have achieved all of my original goals, I’ve had many amazing moments to be grateful for. And with an exciting adventure / new beginning awaiting me next year I only hope to continue to devote my time to my inner peace and artistic passions.

In all, I hope you are inspired to continue to follow your goals and inner musings no matter how imperfect they may look.

BEautifullyODD by Olisa Rachele

If You’re Complaing, You’re Not Doing

If you’re complaining, you’re not doing. I see glimpses of my dreams, hopes and desires like a mirage far off in the desert; It’s haze shimmering between time and responsibilities. I fear and hope more than I do. Constantly wishing, praying for my deepest desire to come to fruition. Trying to find courage instead of fear. Taking one step at a time in spite of the swarm of anxiety humming beneath my breast-plate. Just keep going I say, Just stay focused I say, Just never give up I say. Whispering into the light of the moon so the sun may know my heart when tomorrow begins again.¬†

BEautifullyODD

Love,

Olisa Rachele

 

BEautifullyODD

I am so excited to be reintroducing my blog, BEautifullyODD! It has been a VERRRYYY long time since my last post… years. In short, I had decided to go back to school and am pleased to report that it was a successful endeavor. As much as I wanted the art school experience, I felt that community college was in my best interest. I just wanted the opportunity to learn the basic skills and philosophy of design and run off with it. And now, that time is here.

Eeeee!!! Like wtf am I doing!?!?!?! I ask myself this every day, ten times a day, and by golly I’m tired of all the self doubt. I’m sure everyone who’s blogging about art or about the process of it, can’t stop referencing, Elizabeth Gilbert’s, “BiG MaGic”. BUT I too am blessed for the wisdom she poured forth. She reminded me that this artistic journey we so choose to follow is suppose¬† to be a fun and exhilarating process. That spark you feel when you get an idea‚Ķ it’s like a breath of fresh air. I live for that. And I know that regardless of what I do‚Ķ art will always find a way to manifest it’s self back in to my life; as it has been a constant solace, a beacon of light.

I’m not promising any frills. What I‚Äôm promising is authenticity. I don’t have an up and running store, hell, I don’t even have¬†product. I don’t even have designs. Shit, do I have the skills? I do have a tiny bit of skills. And tons of fairy dust. I think that’s a perfect combination. It’s just enough to begin. We all begin somewhere and this is a documentation of that. And to¬†be clear there is no time table; I’m invested in the long term. Rome wasn’t built over night, right? Pursuing art¬†is my passion and what is most important to me is that I enjoy myself, grow and possibly encourage a few others to do the same.

Come BEautifullyODD with me!!!

Olisa Rachele

a continued but new begining


It’s been a long time… These past few months have taken me for a spin. But I have realized much change in myself and my world. That was the point of this whole experiment; To not be afraid to show my artistic self to you and the world around me.

I have vaguely researched other artist and their reasons for creativity. The main thing I have learned is that they all do it because they love it. Some do it for the success, money, and recognition, but most of them do it cause they wouldn’t be who they are with out it. That, is my main lesson. Granted life / God has shown me a few things about myself that I still need to work on. But in the end through my own trials and tribulations I have to be true to myself.

My original goal for this blog was to not only fine myself but to prepare myself for art school. And art school doesn’t seem plausible at the moment. But it doesn’t change my reason in finding my artistic self.

So with that said… I’m gladly re-embracing this blog-full journey. I do not know what the future holds. But my camera, pastels, journal, and oddness are along for the ride.

Love, me… Olisa Rachele thanX