Finding Room for Your Creative Pursuits

By Molly Daudlin on October 5th, 2015 / Comments

The motivation to create comes to me when I’m still, while I’m sitting in front of a computer, or on the freeway stuck in traffic. It keeps me up at night and wakes me up in the morning. This itch, this passion, this desire to make something is where my story and my work begin.

I remember being ten or eleven, in the changing room with all the other girls five minutes before ballet class started. I was wearing a hot pink, oversized Minnie Mouse t-shirt over my black leotard and peach tights. All the other girls were sans oversized t-shirt, putting on their shoes and tightening their ballerina buns, and I was daydreaming about the artwork that belonged on the walls of the dressing room. “I would make something crazy! Like draw a pirate ship made out of Cheez-itsÒ!”[1]

Also around the same age, I signed myself up for softball. During my coach’s speech at the sports banquet, he summed up the season by saying “I had nine ball players, and one ballerina.” My face flushed red. In my coach’s eyes, I spent the entire season in the outfield doing pirouettes and jetés across the field, but he failed to mention my doodles! Yes, I danced. Yes, I twirled. But I also drew my teammates’ faces with my cleat in the outfield dirt. Sometimes I would add a little more detail if I could find a sharp pebble. A twirl or a flying leap could be mistaken for an overzealous girl that has all sorts of athletic talents. But a girl in a pristine red and white uniform, crouched over in the outfield sketching in the dirt with a rock, there is punch line that you were looking for, Coach.

Fast-forward past the portly ballerina/star athlete. Turns out, she did just fine.  I ended up getting into the corporate world of e-commerce right out of college and quickly made my way into web content marketing. However, that same urge that I felt back in the dance studio made me realize that although I truly did love my job and the people that I worked with, I had an itch to scratch. And I would have to do it while I wasn’t on the clock, my boss said.

Molly Alone started as a blog that weaved in aspects of fashion, art, and design. I was obsessed and would beat myself if I didn’t post once a day. So after about two very productive years, I wore myself out by having to create content at such a feverish pace.  So I went back to the drawing board and turned my focus back to painting. Just painting.

Since I started Molly Alone, I’ve easily created upwards of a hundred commissioned paintings. They hang in homes from California to the New York Island. I’ve done paintings of cats, dogs, children, cityscapes, more cats, abstract swirly colors, flowers, wedding bouquets – you name it, I’ve probably painted it! And I’ve had a blast over the last five years, but I’m excited to say that I’m taking my work to the next level.

I made a decision to slowly but surely move away from doing commissioned work, since all of this inspiration I had been gathering since I was a kid rarely got to see the light of day.

Last week, I completed my first collection of art that was inspired by all those daydreams, all those car rides, all of the moments of stillness. It’s a collection of work that has been edited down and fine-tuned to the minimalist yet organic style that I’ve come to know and love. Over the past few months, I couldn’t get home from work fast enough. I would march straight upstairs to my temporary studio, put my hair up, take my socks off and start going for it. Yes, I was exhausted and uninspired at times, but when you have that annoyingly motivating itch, you have no choice but to scratch it.

My advice to anyone that has that ache to create somewhere in their body: Find the time, find the energy, find the inspiration wherever and whenever you can because the work that you are creating, the things that you are making are changing the world into a more beautiful place, one scratch at a time.

[1] I was a portly ballerina. Cheez-ItsÒ is where my mind naturally went.

See Molly’s first collection on display now at Coffee and (____) off of Jefferson on the east side of Detroit, or view it online on Etsy

About the Author

Molly Daudlin

Molly Daudlin

Molly Daudlin is a Detroit-based artist and owner of Molly Alone. When she's not painting, she's hanging out with her husband, her family and friends, or thinking of something to overly complicated to make for dinner. She also enjoys reading, running, Manhattans, thin-crust pizza, and not doing laundry.