Creative Dads Share How Their Kids Inspire Them
We all know that becoming a parent is a life-changing event—one that turns into a full-time job. There are no breaks or vacations from parenting and life becomes a balancing act, forcing once-childless individuals to think differently, beyond themselves.
This idea of constant devotion led us to wonder how creative people—artists, photographers, and designers—who have children keep the creative juices flowing with so much on their minds. Certainly their kids must have some sort of impact on their work.
We decided to ask some of our favorite creative dads one simple question: How do your kids inspire you? Scroll down to read their insightful, heartwarming, and utterly uplifting responses.
Above image credit: MCarper/Shutterstock
John Wilhelm, photographer
“My kids inspire me a lot because they get so easily inspired themselves by the world around them. That’s resulting in some kind of upward spiral.”
Beau Coffron, blogger & writer
“My kids inspire me through their creativity. As adults, we sometimes get so used to being told, ‘this won’t work’ or ‘It has to be done this way’ that we never think outside the box to make things better. Kids don’t buy into that. My kids’ creativity is what helps me think of different ways to do things, and how to be a better dad to them!”
Alex Solis, designer and illustrator
“My kids are the base of my inspiration, not only are they the first to see or hear the ideas, but they also actually help me direct projects, make changes, pack and ship stuff (even though they usually get tired in about 5 minutes of packing stuff). Not only are they the inspiration to a lot of the things I do, which have been leaning towards more positive concepts lately, but I believe they will continue building and creating even bigger ideas.
I have been working and building my brand, and one of my goals is for my kids to take it forward and add their own ideas to it as well. I see it as an ongoing collaboration, where my kids and their kids and kid’s kids will continue to paint it. So not only are they my inspiration but they have become my reason behind all my goals and future. Also I have a good excuse to watch cartoons and play with toys once again!”
Wes Armson, photographer
“My kids remind me of what it’s like to be young again. They show me how to be carefree again and how to thrive on exploring and experiencing new things. They teach me to turn things upside down and look from new angles. They remind me to make something wonderful out of nothing at all. After spending a certain amount of time focusing on studies and career, they take me back to the basics of what life is really about.
“Lastly, they push me to new heights. I was recently reminded that nothing motivates someone like a person believing in them. A big part of being a parent is to believe in and support your children, and in a way it’s easy to be there for them because your heart is so full and proud of these little blessings. What I don’t remember anyone ever telling me is how much your kids would believe in you. To be someone’s hero, to be looked up to, for someone to actually think you can carry the world or to think that you can do anything, that really makes you want to do big things. I hope I can believe in my kids as much as they believe in me and that maybe I can reach some of the heights that they say I can. To have two little guys believing in me is pretty big.
“But my kids really do get me out of bed in the morning in terms of inspiration and just literally too.”
Mick Watson, designer & illustrator
“My daughter, Ella, inspires me in lots of ways. On a practical level, she is the genesis of my ongoing Graphic Dictionary of Interesting Words project due to her misusing ‘big’ words, which led me to try to come up with a way of visually describing weird and wonderful words. Contrarian was the first word I tackled because, well, she was being particularly contrary! She’s an opinionated but supportive art director who will gladly offer up her take on whatever I’m working on (whether I ask for it or not).
Ella is also developing her own style of illustration which, recently, has become a genuine source of inspiration and has helped me inject some naivety into some of my work. I’ve recently been working on a new sportswear label so she’s also been my model when I’ve had to take measurements for mock up designs. Her kids-eye view of the world still throws up beautiful misunderstandings which, conceptually, is good to be around as it always helps to view things in strange ways. It’s hard to quantify but I think my work, or at least my process, is much fuller – and much more enjoyable – for those experiences. She’s a great help!”
Dave Brosha, photographer
“I always thought that I couldn’t be inspired more in my photography than what the world around me and its many interesting characters have already offered me…but then I became a father. From the moment our first son, Luke, was born to our second child, Liam, to our third (and littlest) bundle of energy, Lily, these three children have changed my life and inspired me more than words can ever express.
For starters, I found my photography became more emotional. I became more attuned to capturing more than simple beauty in my work. That joy, sorrow, tears, laughter, and quiet moments can be just as important as beauty. Beyond emotions, however, they’ve also sparked my creativity. I find I’m looking for ways to include them as subjects in my creative projects that goes beyond traditional ‘family photos’ and makes them excited to be willing models. Whether it’s waking my oldest at 1AM to include him in a Milky Way composition or to make my six year-old the star of his own LEGO set, I find I’m growing, myself, through the inspiration they’ve given me.”
Chris Durso, graphic artist & creator of Foodiggity
“My kids inspire me with their eagerness to learn and to be creative. Kids’ creativity isn’t motivated by a need to impress anyone, or for a paycheck. They’re creative because it’s fun.”
Fred Giovannitti, tattoo artist & inventor
“Fatherhood has provided me with the unique opportunity to see the world through a my children’s eyes. With our artistic collaborations, my kids and I consistently rediscover the fun of combining different visions and styles of art. This has given our family many memories and brings us closer every day. And when it’s time to take my creativity to work, I find it comes natural to draw inspiration by recalling the joy, love, and imagination my children share with me during my time at home. I sincerely encourage all parents to collaborate with their children on artistic projects as often as possible.”
Martin Bruckner, artist & illustrator
“My 4 year old daughter, Harper, inspires me every single day, in every move I make. My life’s actions are to make this child happy, for her to have an amazing life and for her to get to live her happily ever after. I’m pretty sure that those are the thoughts of every parent and I’d like to say that I’m sick of all the cliches (and I was before I became a dad) but they are all so true.
“Harper and I share a special talent and a special bond. On a daily basis, she says and does really funny/silly/gross stuff, and I bring all of those words and actions to life through my art. I do this for me and my wife, to remember her in every stage of her life. I also do this for her, so that she has something to represent what she was like even before she had vivid memories. In talking with parents of all ages, these funny/silly/gross things never stop, so I hope we get to continue this adventure for years and years.
“As far as how she really inspires me? Every morning I get a call when I’m at work from a sad child, sad because I’m not with her and sad that my boss makes me do work. Every afternoon when I come home she’s there at the front door with a gigantic “DAD!! YOU CAME HOME!!!” and the biggest hug you’ve ever seen. Every night before bed I get the sweetest smile, a soft stroke of my cheek and an ‘I love you, Daddy’ before she closes her eyes and is off to sleep. That’s what inspires me and that’s why everything I do is for her and my family.”
David LaFerriere, designer & illustrator
“As parents we try, within our means, to expose our kids to the arts, sciences, math, games, museums, concerts and other things. We let them explore and find what interests them and we explore with them. I am grateful for being able to share a doodle on their sandwich bags that was inspired by the fun and exploring we’ve had and that those doodles have become the Kritzels characters.
“My kids inspired me to read more as they began to read more.
“They inspired me to learn to play a musical instrument as music became a part of what they do.
“They inspired a lot of the art on their sandwich bags and in my personal artwork.
“They inspire me to be a lifelong learner.
“I’ve listened to music that I probably wouldn’t have and actually liked a good amount. Watched crazy YouTube content and thought “why would anyone like this?” and filed it away for later inspiration.”
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