before he regained the magic, he'd lost it. for more years than i'd been alive, cartoons were not for my dad. he'd rather watch ANYTHING else than watch "kid stuff". as you can imagine, growing up wanting to be in animation, we were often at odds. he always wanted me to be in medicine, but i just wanted to draw cartoons. we could hardly even watch television together on the weekends. he wanted to watch boring, old, black & white cowboy stuff and i wanted to watch brightly colored, fast-paced cartoons with funny sound effects. after some time, i finally gave in to his well-intensioned wishes and steered my educational path toward psychology. this was acceptable to him. as excited as he was about my decision, there came a time where i thought it would break his heart to tell him that it's no longer his decision for me, but i needed to set my own career path and it was to be in animation. by that time though, he agreed that i was old enough to make my own informed decision. through college, he saw my childhood passion (ever so slowly) blossom into a fully-functioning set of artistic skills. he was amazed at what i could do. even though i knew i had miles and miles of drawing to go before i was career-ready, in his eyes i was there. he began to grow an interest in what could be done with an art career, so he started to ask questions and spark up conversations about the industry. he was often times way off in his observations about movies coming out or the latest trends in animation, but i was just happy that a stubborn old man could have such a change of heart and was actually making effort. then, imagine his face when i told him the day i was offered a job at my dream animation studio working on one of the biggest shows in existence. it was an expression i'll certainly never forget. one day, my mind was blown even more when he'd told me about the different cartoon shows he started watching. most of them were prime time shows, but still, he was watching and enjoying. he had rediscovered the magic that i had defended for so many years. i knew he'd remember the joys of animation that he loved as a kid if he'd taken the time to watch good stuff. it was just hard to get him to sit down and see how far along animation has come since The Flintstones and Top Cat. These were his two childhood favorites.
unfortunately, there was one thing in our conversations that we didn't get to discuss. i didn't get to tell him that a large part of the magic started for me when i was about four years old. somehow, he'd managed to find a drawing that he had done when he was a kid. he showed it to me and i was amazed. he was very into the bible when he was younger, and he'd drawn Moses. i thought he looked familiar, and later i came to realize he'd used the design of Fred Flintstone and altered it for the look he wanted, but as a kid i was thoroughly impressed. i never got to tell him that i wanted to draw as good as that drawing was to me, but the pride he grew to have in my abilities is a huge payoff.
some of you already know that i lost my dad a couple weeks ago. i really miss him. it's been pretty hard to draw anything, which is the explanation for my lack of posts lately. so, i thought for today in an attempt to regain some of the magic, i'd throw down a Fred Flintstone for my father. i'm sure he would've loved this drawing despite my design tweaks. here's to a great father!