With Father's Day around the corner, it's time to celebrate our CAN artists who are also dads! All these talented, dynamic folks contributed designs to our new Father's Day Collection which includes new jigsaw puzzles (and of course, new neckties) that we've already fallen in love with. Without further ado, here are some of our artist dads, their families and their stories! Thanks for reading and be sure to check out our 2019 Father's Day Gift Guide! ~Team CAN (feature photo: Roberlan Borges and family)
Born in Ethiopia, Yadesa Bojia emigrated to the United States in 1995. He contributed an immigration-themed design to our What Really Makes America Great book, and tells us, "For me, juggling art and family comes naturally. I am blessed to have a family that enjoys my artwork and my wife and I raise our kids in a household that celebrates and enjoys creating art. Art is not considered an extra task but a part of life to be enjoyed and cherished." Yaddi's contributions to CAN include Barack Obama, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., immigration reform and other designs, and you can see all of his work here. He adds, "My kids used to give me feedback that was untempered and unbiased since most of the lenses we grownups look at art is affected by social norms, stereotypes and already known art history. As much as i think the world without art is a tasteless world, I feel the same about my family and their presence. I am the lucky one to enjoy both in life."
Chris Williams is a graphic designer based in Durham, North Carolina and has produced over 600 posters in under a decade. "I've been making posters and prints for 15 years now. My son (Seamus) was born about four years into that, so he's grown up around it. It's not always the easiest thing, balancing work and art and being a dad; sometimes it feels like there are way less hours in the day than others. I've tried to give my son an appreciation for art, and an understanding that, through hard work and devotion to the craft, you can really do some amazing things." Chris continues, "Very recently, Seamus and I have had the chance to work together on a cartoon book based on one of his creations. I taught him how to screen print starting in preschool, and he's ended up making his own Valentine's cards ever since. I try to include him as much as I can in what I do. I'm very driven, and very committed to my work, but Seamus always comes first.” Read more about Chris and his work for CAN here!
Don Henderson and his son Shane Henderson are the duo behind Henderson Graphic Design and Illustration, a father-son design shop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. About parenting, Don tells us, "It isn’t always easy, but I can’t think of anything I would rather be. Five years ago, my son Shane and I formed our own business, and it has been a dream come true to me. From the time he was old enough to walk, Shane had a desk to color and draw at in my studio. As the graphic design world started to change in the 1980s from analog to digital, things at home changed too. I was learning the graphics software at work, and then I'd come home and teach him how to use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop." Don says his parents were always encouraging his art growing up, and he's tried to do the same: "I have a daughter Brigid who is less interested in art, but more interested in photography and I have encouraged her with that as well.” Be sure to check out all of Don's and Shane's work at CAN!
Roberlan Borges is a digital artist and illustrator from Brazil, living with his wife and three daughters in a sunny and warm city called Vitoria. He likes old movies, good music and coffee. "Art for me was always a way of sending a message, communicate an idea or ideal. You as an artist create a visual message and send it to the world, to make it a better place to live in. Almost the same thing as being a parent, you create your kids to be good people and to make the world a better place.” Roberlan has worked on lots of campaigns with CAN, including What REALLY Makes America Great, Recovering the Classics, Design for Obama and See America. See all of Roberlan's work here at CAN!
Michael Czerniawski is an educator who lives just outside of Chicago. "I am extremely lucky because I have a wonderful family that gives me the space and encouragement to create illustrations and designs. That said, parenting and art-ing ain’t easy! It’s hard to make the time for art when you’re trying to be the world’s best dad. I have to squeeze it in after making dinner, taking care of the house, driving kids to soccer, and making sure piano and homework are done (and, oh yeah, I have a full-time job, too)." Integrating family, art and work is a priority for Michael, who continues to say, "I try to combine my love for my family and my love for art. I focus almost entirely on socially conscious art. I want to show my children the right path with what I do, show them that we should care for others and our planet." He also connects his art with family life by creating art for the PTO, t-shirts for the kids’ school, logos for their sports teams and even designs for his wife's office." And let's not forget his designs for CAN!
Jon Cain is a dad who works full-time as Group Creative Director. He tells us that his job enables him to be creative every day, which helps him feed his hunger for creativity. He goes on to say, "I also have a couple side hustles that keep me busy, a small apparel business inspired by my community and freelance as well (both creative in nature). But family comes first. When the kids are awake or if it's the weekend, we explore, we craft and have mini-adventures. My kids are awesome and through parenting, Sherie (my wife) and I get to rediscover life over and over again." You'll recognize Jon's work from the cover of our See America book, plus the rest of his work at CAN.
Our deepest appreciation to Yaddi, Michael, Roberlan, Don, Shane, Chris and Jon for sharing in our feature! We'd love to do this every year so we're always on the lookout for new dads (and moms) in our community. And if you're still looking for a Father's Day gift, our handy Father's Day 2019 Gift Guide has everything your dad needs to feel appreciated, including the aforementioned new puzzles and ties. As always, thanks for supporting artists and great causes! ~Team CAN
Our Green New Deal campaign premiered on March 14, 2019 in Washington D.C., at Bold V. Old, a daylong convening where speakers including Stacey Abrams, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris discussed bold ideas for our biggest problems, including the Green New Deal. On March 16 In Oakland, CA, Creative Action Network joined artists and activists at the Green New Deal Create-A-Thon, where youth artists from the Sunrise Movement and others worked on new designs for the collection. Youth activist Rio says that after seeing videos of Greta Thunberg leading student climate strikes in Europe, “me and my sister were empowered to make some sort of difference.” Rio and his sister Maddy recently rose to internet stardom when their student group confronted Senator Feinstein about the Green New Deal a few weeks ago. Maddy says she is now “trying to make my voice be more heard, go to marches, and more creative stuff, definitely!”