Rad Dad Podcast by Kirill Zubovsky

Michael Parenteau

Should you follow your passion in life?

Should you follow your passion in life?
October 16, 2018
Portland, OR
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Episode Summary

What would you like your kid to be: an actor, a doctor, a lawyer, maybe an engineer? Do you want her to be inspired, to be thrilled and motivated to learn? What foundation would enable our kids to make the most out of the limited time available to them?

Michael is not your typical parent. Instead of going on a "obviously profitable" path, he stuck to his craft and perseveared as an artist, and in the process he learned how to approach life creatively.

Learning to achieve the impossible

Michael’s daughter came to her dad once and asked to climb a mountain. They started looking at guide books, trail logs, mountain details … learning about the gear, the terrain, the timing, passes and permits, …etc. It turned into a group lesson.

At the end of the day, they went. The climb was hard, really hard, plenty of people told them to go back, but once they saw the top, little steps at a time, they powered through and they got all the way. 

This is how Michale and his daughter learned that nothign is impossible, as long as you can put your mind to it, put in the hours to prepare, and push through when the going gets tough.

What if your child is bored?

As an adult, there are a lot of things you have to do , like doing work to pay the bills. But as a child, what motivation do you have to do anything? To enable creativity and to reduce boredom, Michael has created a space that enables that. At home his daughter feels safe to do whatever she wants: self-expression, discussion, feelings and emotions, are all acceptable. Life is complex and being able to have a conversation is important to them.

It is, by the way, suggested that kids do a lot better at paying attention when they are self-motivated to do it. Parents need to be supportive and help guide the kids in the right direction, but the kids ought to find their own way.

Michael Parenteau Bicycle Doodles

Is it okay for growing adults to have no idea what they want to do?

Michael is a digital designer who became awesome at his work before he has gained the ability to process information and ask the right questions. Going to school for fine arts allowed him to learn how to collaborate with people and to come up with a way of working with other people. He learned compassion and ability to explore.

He also learned that when you paint, you may have an idea of what you want to do, but at the end it does not end up the way you imagine. It can be frustrating, or it can morphe into something awesome. It is the process of play and experimentation that leads to something unique and wonderful.

It’s okay to be where you are, and it’s okay to move somewhere else. Both paths are totally okay, you pick what is best for you right now. Make something, try it out, if you like it, try it again. Whatever you learn and acquire along the way will make you a better person, a better creative.

Advice for the starving artists with kids

Don’t stop making art, man. It’s hard, sure, but by making art you will retain your skill and it will be there to help you along the way. Having a kid is a ridiculously motivating. Believing in yourself and your skill of making art is another.  Surround yourself with people who will encourage you. Also, go outside and get some fresh air.

Episode Notes

Links from this episodes

Michael Parenteau - The starving artist. Michele Russo — The other starving artist :) A famous Portland artist who got extremely motivated to turn art into money when he had a child. Mount St. Helens - An active volcano which Michael and his daughter summited, when she was 10. It was all her idea.

About Rad Dad

Rad Dad is a podcast about the lives, decisions and view of successful, intelligent, and peculiar parents. Fun stories, insights, and of course, occasional parenting advice.

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Rad Dad Podcast is created and hosted by Kirill Zubovsky