Parenting an Artist
By MarthaMerrill on October 07, 2012
While lying in bed between my girls last night I took the opportunity to read three pages of The Style Rookie, a blog created by sixteen year old Tavi Gevinson who has taken the fashion world by storm.
To say that I was blown away by her work is an understatement.
A collection of her thoughts (both typed and beautifully hand written), artistic imagery (collages, others and her own), music (others and her own) and photographs of her sweet bang trimmed self styled in real fashion (as opposed to labels), her voice is crystal clear.
Her current tilt seems to be toward a fifties and sixties aesthetic, but the photos with her friends are timeless. I love the freedom of expression; her cat lined eyes, her mix of print and pattern and form and silhouette and color.
What is there not to love, and with 50,000 hits a day to the blog (an incredible number not attained by people two, three, four times her age), it appears I am not the only one enamoured.
As I scanned the blog I got to wondering.
Clearly Tavi is an old soul; one of those people who functions outside of age. Watching her Ted presentation (below) you can see how bright she is yet the admittance that she still hasn't, "figured it all out," combined with her strong yet sensitive presentation, make her real as opposed to super-hero. What a great model for girls everywhere (teenager and not)!
What became more curious to me were my questions about her parents.
Who are the Gevinsons? Who are the people who created and are raising this bright and creative soul?
I was once a teenage girl who took fashion risks and cut baby bangs and wore my hair in Heidi braids crisscrossed over the top of my head, too. But beginning a fashion empire was just a dream for me. Tavi is doing it for real and her parents are allowing her to flourish and bloom.
In her adorable interview with Jimmy Kimmel she skimmed over his questions about her parents by saying something about them being "nice people," but I discovered later in her posted Vimeo video that her father is an English teacher and her mother is an artist who weaves tapestries. She goes on to mention that her parents encouraged her (and her sister) to be creative and to read.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing all I can to raise children who will develop into well-adjusted, secure and strong girls. It's not easy in this world of Barbie and princesses (whom my girls love) or as Tavi describes, "two-dimensional super-women...with one quality that's played up a lot."
I think Tavi's parents are the example of how to do it right (whether or not a child is meant to be a prodigy). Fostering creativity, encouraging reading and allowing freedom of expression is the key.
Now if only she'd interview them. Or maybe I should try. I bet they are equally as interesting as their delightfully dynamic daughter.
Had you ever heard of Tavi's blog or her magazine for teenage girls, Rookiemag.com? Are you as interested in learning about her parents as I am? Can you believe she's been blogging for four years? That's a lifetime in blogland!