What the thieves taught me about love & community



I married a good, good man.
Side note: This post is totally off topic – and yet, not really at all.  

Creativity takes teamwork.  Living life as an artist takes a lot of stamina and effort.  – If only it were as easy as it is in my imagination – gracefully pushing white paint around a canvas, always just right – but, it is rarely that easy.  And in fact, I don’t truly enjoy the process when it is easy.  Creating something of worth – something from within you – takes grit and passion.  And it takes back up.  A lot of back up.

This is why I am thankful I married a good man.  Dan has had his own career with it’s own ups and downs.  He is so very busy, and skilled, and has clients that make my head spin; and yet, my priorities are his first priority.

Sometimes I am convinced that Dan is more enthusiastic about my career as an artist than I am.  He is willing to make huge personal, emotional, and financial sacrifices and put my needs above his own.  He understands that creativity both fills my soul and wears me out.  He is my biggest champion and my greatest source of refreshment.

A few months ago, someone stole my big fat camera (which I loved with almost all of my heart).  They just took it right out of our car without thinking about the fact that maaaaaybe, just maybe, the person who invested in the camera REALLY needs it – and can’t really afford to replace it on a whim.
I was prepared to get creative, to find another way to photograph my work (I’m an artist after all – working around problems is what we do…).  But what do you suppose I was given by my husband out of serious sacrificial love?  Mmhmm…

And then, the same thing happened with my iphone.  Really people?! Really?
If you know me at all, you probably know that about 80% of my business (outside of painting) is wrapped up in my phone.  Emails, shop updates, twitter, blog posts, shipping notifications, instagram…  My phone is command central (life with kids doesn’t allow for much cozy time in front of the computer.)
The sickening thing about both of these things is the $$$.  It’s kind of crazy.  And yet, my partner, the man who is 100% on my side, places a priority in these things because they enable me.

I’m so grateful I have him on my team.


So, thieves, I hear you loud and clear, my man is incredibly supportive.  You can steal my valuables, but no matter what you do, you can’t take away the precious support & collaborative encouragement I feel from this man & from  a l l  the people on my team.  He – they – are my real treasures.  


While this post is a bit of a narrative, the moral of the story is that there is so much value in cultivating a healthy and caring support structure.   Creative people tend to be introverts, and we tend to be problem solvers and are incredibly “self sufficient” (in our minds at least).  But the reality is that you are doing a hard thing: your work takes extreme energy and requires so much support.  Talk to people close to you about your needs and priorities.  Tell them why certain things inspire and enable you – and why others wear you down.

 Honesty and transparency allow people to support you – to fill in your gaps.
It’s so beautiful and so necessary.

Emily Jeffords

Most days you can find me, in the studio with my little girls, speckled in oil paint (drinking too much coffee), creating artwork for collectors around the world and collaborating with select brands. Check out my artwork on EmilyJeffords.com


  • This is incredibly well said!! And all so true! It sometimes takes bad things to appreciate the good. We forget that. it’s also important to see that a camera is not a simple material possession. It’s lifeblood for an artist. It can’t always be easily replaced. A pox upon the thieves!!


  • A beautiful post, Emily. Thank you for sharing your positive perspective on a couple negative happenings. It is refreshing. I love your work by the way.


  • I want to believe that people are mostly good, but the bad people; the people with no boundaries; really just keep me close to the vest. My heart goes out to you and the beauty of the man who supports you. (she says, having one of those uber good men herself). 🙂


  • Wow, loved this post. I find it difficult to explain to people the process for being creative. Sometimes I get the old, “it looks like you are just looking for stuff on the computer, can I use it?” Uh, I’m working…. Luckily my husband and kids understand that my creative process happens when I’m doing laundry, dishes, carpooling, working out, sleeping, and finally working at my desk and computer. Trying to build a photography business and still find time to be creative is extremely exhausting and your blog hit the nail on the head. As for the thieves, well, Karma and all is the best to hope for I suppose but having your husband support and encourage you may, I say, may be the silver lining in the whole mess. 🙂 Good Luck.


    • Thank you so much for your kind words! It’s SO nice to know that I’m not alone in this creative struggle. We find time in the margins for the things that sustain us as humans. …and it’s so worth it! Xo


  • Two thumbs up for the man in your life. 🙂 I can somehow relate to this. I agree no matter how introvert anyone is, they need other people to support them. I tend to be a pessimist sometimes and my boyfriend reminds me that I’m awesome whenever I’m the least to believe in myself .


  • Hard to like, when it is about that sort of thing, I know it’s like a piece of you going, but great to hear you have positive support


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