A Dialogue with Nessi Benarroch

“Be kind to themselves and everyone around them, because life is so much better that way. Focusing on the people that bring them true joy and cultivate those relationships. Stay true to themselves, and never be afraid of other people’s judgments.”

Your visual storytelling is amazing, and you make the most beautiful scenes of childhood. What is your source of inspiration?

Music. I get most creative when I listen to music. Maybe playing the piano has something to do with it, I was always really close to music since I was little, but the truth is music relaxes me like nothing else, and then my mind follows with creativity. I can say that music sets my mood and my mood sets my creativity.

Whenever I feel like I don’t have any idea to throw out, I put on my favorite playlist and start creating. I have to force myself sometimes to start, and then I try to focus on how the music makes me feel. Sometimes I have to switch between songs, until I find “the one” for that particular moment I am on, and it’s when I start to relax and enjoy the process then really cool things happen! This is especially helpful to me when I need to write something or edit a film.

Mum and Daughter

Your favourite holiday destination. How do you create lasting memories with your family? 

Oh! I love to travel, the most. Normally when people have kids they stop traveling, right? We are a little different in this aspect. We love to travel with our daughters more than we love to travel alone. It can be exhausting for sure, but the amount of information and growth they receive from a trip, it’s priceless. And we love to experience this with them.

My favorite holiday destination would be the one where we can learn from a new culture (the richer and intense the better) but also I love, love, love quiet and small places, I am a huge fan of little islands and I have a special place in my heart for La Graciosa Island, a tiny piece of sand and little volcanoes near Lanzarote, Canary Island, where I spent most of my childhood and seeing now my kids there, it’s so crazy amazing to me.

Since I had Olivia, my first daughter, I switched my DSLR to video mode, and film all the trips we do as a family. When we come back home I edit them and put together a 4-5 minute film. This is my way to preserve our memories together. I love to take photos, but I found that photos didn’t show all the emotions I want to remember from a trip as much as a film does.

I remember why I started to do that: 4 years ago, I saw a travel film on Vimeo made by a mother (Sílvia Pogoda), and I was hooked. I remember watching her films over and over again and thinking: “What a gift her son will have! Priceless!” And I start to become obsessed with those time capsule films and learn as much as I could in order to improve my skills.

And of course, I started to share them so maybe someone else would get inspired the same way I did thanks to Silvia’s work. Now I also make them with my phone and teach how to do it, just for the pleasure of it, for free, on my website. (In Spanish only for now)

Filmed using an iPhone

What is your philosophy on raising imaginative and creative children?

The less toys they are surrounded by, the more they will use their imagination. I remember when Olivia was little (2 years old), she used to play at restaurants with the salt and pepper as if they were Ana and Elsa from Frozen. She still does that, but she has upgraded the game: ketchup and mustard.

Sisterhood

Together with Olivia and Elia

Do you have any favourite book (children’s book)? 

Oh yes I have! Thousands of them (and I have a little confession: Some I bought way before becoming a mum ) But to keep it short, I found Oliver Jeffers books to be fascinating! I love everything he does, and his books are pure and full of deep stories worth reading. “Here we are”, is one of my favorites!

Another author that I love love love is Andrea Beaty. “Ada Magnífica Científica” in Spanish. What a book!

Do you read with your children? What does it mean to you?

I will answer this question with a big YES! At night, sometimes several books if we manage to be in bed early. I love it! I have to say that since I had my second baby, my husband does the reading most of the nights and I truly miss that part of the day!

It’s a cozy, warm, and calming moment for us, and I usually immerse myself in the present moment… then we turn the light off and listen to an audio book as well while falling asleep; most of the time, I fall asleep too, before them.

We used to read books also during the day, on the weekends when we stay at home. And to encourage that, I always have a basket full of books in the living room as well as in the kitchen so they always have books near them. 

Painting

Olivia’s painting.

I love to frame Olivia’s painting from time to time. The first time I did it, the joy in her face was incredible, so I decided to do it often and she gets super excited when friends and family visit us. She can show her art and be really proud of herself at the same time.

How do you encourage your children’s creativity?

I like to surround my oldest with tons of crayons, paper, glue, wool, pieces of wood, clay, and all sorts of “children’s material” to experiment with, and playing together with all of that. Its super messy all the time, but it’s so much fun!

I also love to ask her how she will use things like empty bottles, for example, before throwing them away for recycling. We end up keeping the recycle bin way too long before throwing it away, but… we have fun with the outcome most of the time.

Values you live by?

I am a really sensitive person, so I guess I live by that. 

Values you wish your children to grow up with?

Cultivate a positive mind! Trying to always (as much as possible) to see the bright side of life, and enjoy the little things as much as they can.

Being kind to themselves and everyone around them, because life is so much better that way! Focusing on the people that bring them true joy and cultivate those relationships. I also find it important that they stay true to themselves, and never be afraid of other people’s judgments.

Also, curiosity is a big one. Life is incredible! Never get bored to ask why, and to dive deeper into what they truly love. Oh.. and so many other Values…  Honesty, Responsibility and so on…

Motherhood is… 

the most beautiful, fulfilling, deep, surprising and extremely exhausting journey I have ever taken. I’m still trying to figure things out, each day, but even the days when I feel everything goes wrong, I look at my daughters, laughing, hugging and kissing each other, and I forget every exhausting part of my body and feel refueled again!

Childhood is…

the most magical gift we could experience, that I wish it lasts longer than it does!

Visit her Instagram, Website, Vimeo

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