Thanks to Our Fathers for their Creative Inspiration
Everyone is creative … but developing that creativity takes time, practice, practice, practice and lots of encouragement from those around us. This Father’s Day, we asked you on Instagram how your fathers had influenced your creative journey.
We on the Biscuit team have been helped and supported by our dads throughout our lives. And, we want to thank them here and share it with you.
Don Olin (Matt’s Dad)
From Matt: “My Dad is: strength, love, bravery, loyalty, hard work, family, mischievousness, calm, laughter, service, joy, leadership, adventure, fun, fairness, virtue, teacher, guide, friend, giver, volunteer, dependability, determination, care, generosity, humility, adaptability, protector, considerate, sincerity, enduring, champion, veteran, wise, forgiving, inspiring, positivity, acceptance, tolerant, selfless, resourceful, respect, kind, open-minded, helper, listener, husband, brother, uncle, son and father.
Thank you for everything, Dad. I love you.”
Dan Kuhn (Melissa’s Dad)
From Melissa: “I have been very lucky to have two parents who have always been really involved in my life…and oddly enough, it never has really bothered me. I kind of like it, actually.
They have been incredibly supportive in everything that I have done and even at 46 years old I still run all of my major decisions by my dad. Not that I can’t make decisions on my own, but I like his input.
A high school friend once told me that one of his memories from high school was of my dad (and the only dad there) wearing a business suit standing under an umbrella watching my brother’s baseball team practice in the rain. He’s like that. When my kids played soccer he’d come out rain or shine to watch them. Didn’t really matter if he got soaked. He just wanted to be there.
When my daughter got cast in her first musical at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, my parents went multiple nights. My dad said that he liked seeing her do what she loved. When my husband and I told him we were adopting from China not once, but twice, he was on board. He and my mom used to babysit all four of my kids when they still needed a sitter and would take them to dinner. I didn’t even like to take all four kids out to dinner when they were young!
He and my brother take my two boys on a “Boys Trip” every year. They are all a little bummed they can’t go this year, but also look forward to when my two nephews can be a part of their trips.
My dad taught me how to cook, taught me that you only live once, so live life to the fullest. Drink good wine when you can and broaden your palate, there’s more to eat than burgers and pizza. But most of all, he taught me how to love, how to be open-minded, to always be kind and to fight for what you believe in.
Thank you Dad, I love you. Happy Father’s Day!”
Rob Metzler and Billy Reid (Porter’s Dad and Step-Dad)
From Porter: “Creativity comes from not putting limitations on yourself. To allow your mind to go wherever it needs to go, to think what it needs to think, to dream what it needs to dream. That is when your creative spirit will grow. But sometimes it’s others who put those limitations on you. They try to tell you how to be, how to think, and how to lower your expectations for yourself.
When others place those limitations on you, you start to believe them. You start to turn off the creative part of your brain.
But what happens when that creativity is supported? It flourishes.
I am fortunate to have a wide net of friends and family who support me, my passions, and my creative endeavors — especially two men I call dad. My father Rob Metzler and my stepdad Billy Reid have always encouraged me to pursue the things that make me happy, the things that make me excited.
In different ways, they’ve both inspired me to tap into my creativity. They’ve helped me develop my love of storytelling. They’ve challenged me to look at things in different ways.
Whether it was weekends with my dad, Rob, recounting the stories I had read at school that week subtly fostering the ways that I’d weave stories of my own. Or trips to the movies with my stepdad, Billy, where I met an endless cast of characters that would influence my own work later in life.
There are countless examples of the ways both of them shaped me into the person I am today. Rather than list them, I want to take a moment to reflect on how lucky I am to have not only one but two supportive families. Two supportive fathers. Two supportive friends.
Thank you for everything you both have done for me. I know it wasn’t always easy and I know I wasn’t always easy. Without your love, encouragement, and nourishment to my creative spirit, I would not be where I am today.
Ken Miner (Tim’s Dad)
From Tim: My father has a standard unit of measure for the universe. It involves getting poked in the eye with a sharp stick.
Confused? Okay. It goes something like this …
- ME (Complaining about something stupid as a child … or, let’s be honest, as an adult):
Ugh! They didn’t have ice cream flavor I wanted!
- DAD: Well, it’s better than a sharp stick in the eye.
Yeah. That’s one of my dad’s many sayings and eccentricities and that drove me nuts as a kid. And, it’s one the the things I appreciate most about him as an adult.
What I didn’t understand then is that how you appreciate life is controlled by your attitude and your perspective. And, if you can agree that getting poked in the eye by a sharp stick is pretty awful, everything else isn’t so bad by comparison.
And, that’s just the start. My dad spent my childhood widening my perspective creatively. While we threw the ball in the backyard and he cheered me on at my baseball games, he happily built props for plays I wanted to be. The smell of sawdust from my dad’s shop and fresh cookies from my mom in the kitchen are essential to my childhood.
Our house was filled with books on art and drawing and cartooning. Dad dumped a giant box of vintage comics from his brother in my lap one morning and drove me to the comic book shop 1,000 times. We went to the Cartoonist Hall of Fame (twice in two different cities). He introduced me to science fiction books he thoughts I should read or silent films he thought I should know about. I’m sure there were other kids growing up in the 80s who’d read “A Canticle for Lebowitz” and idolized Buster Keaton and the Marx Brothers, but I didn’t know any.
While he didn’t get my fascination with either, he dealt with my love for Doctor Who and drove me across the state to see The Cure in concert.
He bought me a TI-99 personal computer. It came with a giant book with codes. You’d have to type 100 lines of code to make the screen change color and I loved it.
He showed me that the end goal of action doesn’t have to be financial reward … that more often the purpose of making things is for the joy it creates in ourselves or in others.
He modeled for me that learning something new every day is a goal … that when school stops, the real learning begins. He’s still that way. You learn things because they’re interesting.
My dad taught me to be a “mental MaGuyver” … you stuff your brain with facts and information because someday, you might need them, even to have a random conversation with a stranger.
Dad did — and does — me the greatest favor and honor a creative can receive: He gives constructive criticism.
That’s an important trick. Iron sharpens iron. I would not be me and there would not be my half of Charlotte Is Creative if they’d said “That’s nice, Tim” and left it at that.
They challenged me to critique myself, learn more, try harder and do better next time. He still does. She still does. They still do. And, that has made all the difference.
Thanks for being my dad. It’s better than a sharp stick in the eye.
(P.S. I make a point to use that phrase every day. And, my kids hate it.)