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Profiles of creative and engaged fathers

Interviews with creative and engaged Fathers by

Brad Eastman is an Artist

Lach Ryan

There is something about the detail and order in Beastman’s work that appeals to the inner control freak within me. It is both creative and structured. You may have seen his works on walls across the southern hemisphere, in galleries, murals and on the streets.

Brad was kind enough to come grab a coffee with me when I was in Bali recently and we chatted about his life over there, as well as creativity and fatherhood. He comes across as a considered dude with a relaxed outlook and wise head. He and his wife Kel, along with their two kids Eamon and Evander, seem to be living the life in Canngu, Bali.
He is an Artist, Creative and Father.

Meet Brad.
— Lach

Your first reaction when you found out you were going to be a Father?

I was excited, happy, scared, nervous and had a head full of questions and potential scenarios playing out in my mind, both good and bad.

 What do you remember from that experience of the first birth?

You definitely get that sense of overwhelming emotion when you see this new human you made, it’s awesome! Leading up to the birth is just a rollercoaster and full of wonder, you just don’t know how your life is going to be after the baby is born. I also gained a huge amount of respect for my wife and all mothers out there; having a child takes such a huge toll on their entire body and mind.

What do you think Fatherhood has taught you?

How amazing and absolutely insane human life is. I have also learnt almost too much about baby products.

What is the most challenging part of being a Father so far?

Those kids chew up so much of your time and energy, it’s really hard to maintain anything at the same level you did it before you had kids. Also a 2 year old can be the biggest test of your patience that you will ever have in your life.

What is the most rewarding part of becoming a Father?

Just knowing you created a human with the woman you love is so rewarding. Seeing them learn new things everyday is just the best. And hugs from your kids are the best.

What was your life like before you were a Father?

Much more slow paced and more stress-free I guess. My wife and I had so much more time to spend together; our life was more about enjoying each other and sharing our experiences. Since having kids our life has somewhat automatically become about the kids more than us. We are trying to change that from now into the future. Also before the kids we were much more spontaneous and able to go do anything anytime, now we tend to revolve our life around their schedule because it just makes things go smoother.

 You have two kids now, how has having the second child differed from the first time around?

Two kids is more than double the work, it just makes doing things so much harder. Looking after two kids alone is really hard work. Also I think we have been much more relaxed as parents with the second child, we just felt really confident in the parenting and sorting out of a baby,because we had already done it once before.

What elements and memories from your childhood do you look to replicate for your kids?

I want my kids to be well travelled and remember good places, good people and good times. Those memories from my childhood are so strong. Otherwise I don’t think I’m looking to relive my childhood through my kids or anything. I’m positive their childhood will be way different to mine, and hopefully a lot better too!

Tell us about how you came to be an internationally known artist splitting time between Sydney and Bali – this wouldn’t have been an overnight thing?

I have no idea how I ended up where I am now in terms of my art career, I just kept making my art over many, many years and now I am in this place where I can support my family doing what I love. It’s awesome! Moving the family over to Bali has been such a good decision, we love the lifestyle and location here in Canggu. Being here, my wife and I have lots more time to spend with each other and on our creative projects.

Your aesthetic is quite recognisable and vibrant- where do you draw your influence from outside other artists?

Growing up I was influenced a lot by skateboarding culture, I loved all the artists and designers behind all the branding and board graphics of the 90s. Then I studied graphic design when I finished high school, after that I have always been influenced by design aesthetics, geometry and colour theories. I never stopped drawing pictures and eventually just developed my own style which is a reflection of everything I am interested in really. The work has just developed and progressed forward for the last 15 years. At the moment I am influenced by patterns in nature, aerial landscapes, Balinese handicraft and ideas of the future.

How do you balance running East Editions (your business with your wife), creative pursuits and family?

Really badly, I am quite hopeless and balancing my time effectively. My head is always full of all the things that I need to get done, and I never seem to get ahead and get them all done. My wife is always cursing my time management! Hopefully I can find a good balance with it all soon, at the moment I pretty much just constantly work my arse off and hope everything gets done and I don’t forget to do something important.

Do you see raising children as a creative endeavour?

Yeah for sure I do - my wife and I created two humans together, it blows my mind!

What would be the dream project to work on?

I have no idea... but hopefully it lands in my email inbox soon.

What are your strongest memories of your Dad?

My parents owned and ran an awesome retail store while I was growing up, the store was really unique and full of gifts, games and novelties. My dad worked almost every day there at the store my whole childhood, so I always have these great memories of my dad at the shop and we used to always be in the shop too and playing around the shopping centre it was in. He loved that store. My dad also plays the piano really well, so I always remember him on the piano too.

Do you think he did a good job?

Yeah I think so! He worked his arse off to provide me and my three brothers an awesome upbringing in a big house with bikes, skateboards, music, computers, clothes, games etc - all the stuff you want to try and learn as a kid. He was always really encouraging of all my creative experiments growing up, and I think he managed to ensure I had good manners and was kind to others.

What was the best thing he ever taught you?

He taught me to be patient and that learning new things takes lots of time and dedication.

As a Father, what do you see your biggest challenge ahead?

Every day is a challenge, I have no idea what the biggest challenge will be. But that’s why it’s so awesome having kids, it’s like the ultimate life challenge. You just never know how it’s all going to pan out. I love not knowing, it makes my life exciting and it has more purpose and meaning.

What are the key things you want or hope for, for your kids?

I hope they can be confident in who they are as a unique person and just pursue all the things they love in the world with confidence. I really think they will have an awesome life if they can do that. I will also encourage them to be risk takers.

What do you think of Fathers today?

Meh... It’s a retail industry cash grab.

What do you think is the most important thing every Father should aim to achieve?

A solid friendship with your child.

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