Today we have a special Father’s Day interview with one of our “designer dads” on Zazzle, Steve Thomas.
Zazzle: Tell us about you! How many kids do you have – and at what ages?
Steve: I have three kids: a girl who is 8, another girl who is 6 and a boy who is 3 and a half.
Zazzle: Has Zazzle helped you spend more time with your kids? How do you balance your creative career and your parenting?
Steve: I’m lucky enough that I’m able to work from home, so I’ve been spending my days with the kids since they were born. I’ve been able to do things like volunteer at their schools and spend time with them outdoors in the summer when they’re not in school. When my wife gets home from her job as an environmental toxicologist and we all have dinner together, that’s when I’ll start working. For the most part I spend my days as a dad and my evenings as a working artist. I’ve been pretty fortunate that way.
Zazzle: Do your kids ever ask you to create specific art for them?
Steve: They actually haven’t yet. They see me making things but never really request anything – they’re still pretty young. I have taken on some specific art projects like My Little Pony because I have two girls.
Zazzle: Do you find that you draw inspiration from your children?
Steve: Yes, I’ve done some things for Disney licensed art (which obviously is not sold on Zazzle). My plan is to do more artwork for kids specifically, kind of in the same style that I do for my travel posters. I have plenty of ideas like this that have come to me because I have kids, I just haven’t been able to quite get to them yet. I’d really like to make some things that would look good in kids’ bedrooms.
Zazzle: Are your kids also creative artists?
Steve: I think so! Some of the things that they come up with or draw I think are pretty amazing. It’s probably the same as with any other parent, though! Once in a while they’ll take their drawings and say they they’re posters. They’ve actually gone out to the front yard to try to sell their art. So I guess I’ve inspired them in that way. My oldest daughter, instead of making prints, actually just drew 10 of the same drawing in order to sell them. A few of the neighbors stopped by and of course bought a couple things. At first she set the price a little too high, but I think she went down to a reasonable price for the neighbors. She needed a little help with figuring out her royalty markup.
Zazzle: How would your children describe your profession?
Steve: I think they would say I draw pictures and sell posters for a living. That would probably sum it up.
Zazzle: Do you have a favorite/most heartwarming “dad moment” to share?
Steve: I know that one of my kids took their first steps when I was home, that was pretty great. I had to call my wife at work and of course I took a video of it.Just being able to be home with them is a big plus. There can also be down sides, such as when I have a big deadline. Especially when they were younger it was hard to get work done while also keeping an eye on them, but it’s worth it.Being the artist/designer in the family, it was also up to me to design all of the birth announcements!
Zazzle: What would you want as a Father’s Day gift from Zazzle?
Steve: I haven’t looked around Zazzle too much lately other than to create my posters, but I know there have been a lot of new products lately. I would probably say that the best gift would be something that I would use the most, like an iPhone case or a t-shirt. Maybe an iPhone case with one of my daughter’s posters on it.