An Artistic Journey

One Sunday afternoon, my daughter, Nee, drew this portrait of me.


Mocha Dad (Media: Crayon & Paper) by Nee

It’s a striking resemblance isn’t it? We often sit at the kitchen table and draw pictures together. Sometimes we draw each other. Here is my drawing of her.

Nee (Media: Crayon, Sharpie, Paper) by Mocha Dad

Nee (Media: Crayon, Sharpie, Paper) by Mocha Dad

Other times, we draw fantastical scenes with fairies, dinosaurs, puppies and superheroes. If we can think it, we can draw it.

When I was her age, I loved art. Heck, I still love art, but back then there was so much wonder and amazement when I watched the picture in my head to come to life on a piece of paper.

After listening to my art teacher’s stories of Harlem Renaissance artists such as Henry Tanner, Jacob Lawrence, and Romare Bearden, my life’s goal was to be a famous artist. I honed my craft whenever I could. Art supply stores were like Toys ‘R’ Us to me. My artistic skills developed to the point that started entering contests. I won my fair share of first place ribbons until I met my nemesis – Tony Cool (yes, that is his real name). Not only did he have the best name ever, but he was also immensely talented. He brought my winning streak to an end. But I’m proud to say that this minor setback didn’t diminish my love for drawing. I still have scores of sketchpads that chronicle my artistic journey over the years.

I was so pleased when Nee expressed an interest in art. She loves her art class at school and is always eager to tell me about the new projects that they are working on. When my son, N, was born, I was looking forward to grooming another little artist. It turns out that he has absolutely no interest in art. Nil. Nada. He cannot stand the solitude of drawing. He would much rather do something more stimulating like jumping off the stairs or watching old episodes of Thundercats.

Thankfully, my one-year-old, X, has inherited my artistic trait. He likes to join Nee and me at the table and color pages from his Sesame Street coloring book.


Cookie Monster & Elmo (Media: Coloring book, crayon) by X

I’m proud to display the kids’ artwork on our refrigerator and through the house on walls and door. My wife, KayEm, has even started a scrapbook to preserve these precious memories.

Sharing this legacy of art has been rewarding in ways I cannot explain. Beating Tony Cool in an art contest couldn’t even compare to this feeling.

Stay Strong,

Question: What do you do with your child’s artwork?

About author

Frederick J. Goodall

Frederick J. Goodall is the founder of Mocha Dad - a parenting website focused on fatherhood. He is passionate about parenting and helping men to be great dads, husbands, and role models. You can contact him at or on Twitter at