Saturday, March 21, 2015

Painting Parent- David Cunningham

How many children do you have? What are their ages?
4- 10, 8,5,4

How did your artistic career begin?
I always loved to paint, draw and make things…I just never stopped. 

What is your Parenting/work/art situation?
I have my kids half of the time, so I do a lot of the work on the “off” weeks.  I am a professor too so during the summer and breaks is when I am most productive.

When do you make time to do your art and do you have a regular art routine?
Nights after bedtime, but usually on my off weeks or during the day over the summer

Do your children get involved with your art?
Not really.  They come to openings and like to see what I am working on, but other than that not really

Do they inspire aspects of your art?
Well, I do like to make work that they think is interesting.

How has having children changed your artwork?
I have had to let go of my perfectionism both in my work and in my work schedule.  I just do the best I can when I can…If I waited for the stars to all align to work and have to have everything “perfect” I would never work/finish anything.

How does making time for artwork influence other household tasks?

I have an amazing partner that works part time and does a majority of the housekeeping and cooking which frees me up to work.  She is a life saver.

Have different ages of your children been more difficult to make time for artwork and in which ways?
It seems that the older my kids get the easier it is to make work.  The baby years killed me in that none of my kids slept through the night so when I got a break all I wanted to do was get a quick nap in.

How do you encourage your children to be artistic? 
 I draw with them…we draw on a dry erase board together….and of course there are trips together to museums.
Do you feel extra pressure as an artist to raise your children to be artistic?
I battle this idea.  I want to encourage and equip them for their own dreams, but they do have abilities…secretly I would love for them to want to do the hard work needed to be really great but that hasn’t happened…yet J

Have you seen your children take inspiration from your artwork?
They have copied some of the doodles I do…other than that no.  They like doing their own thing.

 In what ways does being an artist make being a parent harder or easier?
I think that for me I have two jobs…teaching and as an artist.  I am really busy and sometimes I am pretty distracted.  

Do you think being a parent affects the way you are perceived as an artist?
Well, I do know that being a parent really has limited the amount that I am perceived.  I have to choose between time making work or promoting myself…making work wins most of the time.  I have also passed up a number of opportunities because of my responsibilities as a dad.

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