Introducing Bailey Elder, the artist based out of Durango, Colorado behind some of the new designs on our Zion collection. With a passion for creating work centered around the natural world, much of the Zion collection was inspired by the nature and the rock forms of Zion, as well as the energy they hold.
How does being a mother impact your work?
Being the new mom of a 3 month old, I have a lot less time to focus on art. For the first 2 1/2 months he would not want to be put down, not even for naps! I would wear him in a baby wrap and bounce on an exercise ball while drawing, that was the only way I could get any work done. Now he is napping on his own and I am able to have some alone time to work here and there. I am really excited to start painting again soon, and I think my work will naturally evolve into something else now that I have taken a break and birthed a baby.
What have your experiences exploring nature as a mother/with kin looked like?
Whenever we hike or explore with Remi it’s very unpredictable. With babies, it’s hard to plan anything, they are kind of your boss. You can try your best to be prepared and have them completely satisfied, napped and fed, but sometimes they just aren’t having it and other times they will be completely laid back or asleep. We took Remi on his first camping trip to Valley of The Gods and Comb Ridge in Southeast, Utah. He did so well, and we really loved having him outside and in such a special place. I am so happy to be raising him in the Southwest, he’s already so much cooler than I am, being a Colorado native. We live very close to the four corners, kind of where the desert meets the high alpine mountains. There is so much nature that is easily accessible in any direction and trails right outside our front door. We took him on his first hike like 10 days after he was born, to Sand Canyon and he was totally chill. Naturally we plan to go camping and backpacking with him whenever we can, he is a lucky boy.
Why are parks important for children?
I think it’s important for babies and children to be outside so they can experience earth's true essence and our parks preserve that! It’s essential to be rooted and observe natural rhythms of plants and wildlife, and parks help to facilitate that. Nature is very calming and I think it is great for kid's imagination. I wouldn’t want to raise Remi any other way, I want him to be outside and in the dirt as much as possible.
Why is Zion such a special place?
Zion or also known as Mukuntuweap has been a special and sacred place for humans for thousands of years. It’s important for me to continue to learn about the ancestors that are native to the lands I encounter and that I live on, they hold all of the knowledge. There are so many ruins and artifacts left behind in Utah, from the Ancestral Pueblo and other native tribes from different parts of history. I acknowledge and pay respect to the Southern Paiutes when I go to Zion and try to be gentle to their land and leave a minimal / no trace impact. I wish more people visiting parks would hold this same mindset, it's really the first thing that I think about.
What’s the best part of motherhood?
I feel like I am starting a journey that is essential to my existence on earth and since starting the journey, I am understanding more about the human experience. Being a mother you lose your ego, life is not all about me anymore and I am now responsible for this little creature. It's a total 180, I am now a nurturer first and foremost, and an artist second. It has been so instinctual and primal, I never thought I would want a baby and I was never the type of person that was drawn to motherhood. It has been the best thing for me though! I think I needed to slow down, it has been so heart opening and expanding for me. Raising a baby thus far has been very meditative and a beautiful reminder that I am living for someone else, and to practice more selflessness in all aspects of my life, to care for Remi, to care for strangers, and to care for earth. Bring love into all parts of the equation, while loving yourself. I think the best part is going to be watching him grow and learn things, it’s such an honor to be his mom and to show him the way.
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