The Daily Rambling Artist: Artistic Accountability - Setting a Good Example

The Daily Rambling Artist: Artistic Accountability - Setting a Good Example

I roamed this earth as a single man for many, many years, and during that time, I often heard something from other artists who had children. They would say things like, "Wait until you have children, then you won't make so much art." I have to admit, a part of me dreaded the reality they described. I wondered what it would be like to have kids and how it would affect my artistic pursuits.

Now, here I am, three kids deep into fatherhood (and very done!), and I no longer wonder. Surprisingly, having children had the opposite effect on me. Instead of hindering my creativity, they became and remain the biggest inspiration I've ever had. They ignited a fire within me, and to this day, I relentlessly work in my studio, even when I'm tired.

To elaborate, my studio time usually happens after a full day of being a father. I spend my days wrangling the kids, feeding them, transporting them, teaching them, playing with them, enforcing shower times, and finally reading bedtime stories. By that point, I should be exhausted and ready to drop dead—and I kind of am. But when I step into my studio, it's electric—I'm instantly revived and work deep into the night.

Mornings are not so electric, but it's all worth it for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that I've realized I've chosen a career that many people discourage others from pursuing, and I've experienced that firsthand. That comment about "wait until you have kids" is a fine example of such discouragement. I want to, however, set my own example for my children. I want them to know that if they have a passion or a dream, they should pursue it wholeheartedly, regardless of what others say.

I want my kids to understand that they should pursue what makes them happy. They need to see that even with the responsibilities of something like parenthood, it's still possible to find fulfillment in their passions. Moreover, they should be accountable to themselves and not blame external factors for not pursuing their happiness.

In the end, being a father has not dampened my artistic drive—it has only intensified it. My children are my greatest inspiration, and I want them to have the same drive to chase after their dreams. By demonstrating this in my own life, I hope to empower them to pursue what truly makes them happy, no matter the challenges they may face along the way.

-Sergio Santos