I read somewhere, at some point, that family happiness is the greatest enemy of art. It's true, I'm afraid. I'm currently enjoying the one-year paid maternity leave so generously provided in Scandinavia, and I have plenty of time to write and draw.
But would I rather be hard at work writing or drawing, or would I rather watch Georgia play the drums with her baby hands? Would I rather argue with an editor, or listen to Georgia as she shouts "Ing!" (She has deduced that "Ing!" is the passport to all things important in the English language, having repeatedly heard phrases like "Mommy is com-ing to pick you up" or "Mommy will be feed-ing you in a minute" or "Mommy is sleep-ing.") Would I rather work than play? Not really.
You're probably as bored by these kid stories as I used to bored by everyone else's kid stories (and still am bored by everyone else's cat stories.) But I'm the happiest I've ever been, feeding and diapering and napping and washing and making outings to Baby Music class, Baby Massage class, and Baby Swim. This is not a grand plan to turn Georgia into a super-baby - we're just having a good time. Georgia's nickname is "party parrot," a translation of selskabspapegøje, the Danish term for social butterfly. She's a confident, gregarious, happy baby.
One of the great reasons to create is to work out burning problems inside yourself, to work out distress and pain and in the process connect with others who feel the same. If you're feeling pretty good, you're a lot less driven.
And what other reason is there to make art? To be immortal? As George Balanchine, one of the people Georgia is named after, once said, "It won't be any good fifty years from now, what we do now. People will look different, they will move differently. You ask how to preserve for posterity. I say, preserve what? I don't want my ballets preserved as museum pieces for people to go and laugh at what used to be. I'm staging ballets for today. My work is NOW."
That said, this website will be ten years old later in 2005, and I do plan something to celebrate that anniversary. What will that be? Wait and see.