Good vibes and good times. The art of Jay Alders is one that will resonate with with your soul. With a heavy influence of surf culture, his distinct style and imaginative artwork speaks for itself and each piece has a story to tell. Jay is a really thoughtful and open guy with great intention behind everything he does. HIs love for his life, his family and his work are the backbone of the person he is. Jay is the kind of guy that you feel like you have known forever with his warm smile and generous spirit. With a 16 month old and twins on the way, Jay is a perfect example of a Modern Day Dad.
1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?
My name is Jay Alders, I’m a professional fine artist and entrepreneur.
At the time of this interview, my beautiful daughter Summer Emerson is 16 months old and my gorgeous wife, business partner and best friend Chelsea is pregnant with our identical twins that are due within weeks.
Most of my professional focus is on my fine art painting career which is literally my childhood dream job. I sell artwork and artistic merchandise around the world. My wife and I also co-own an international special events company called Sun Dreams Productions. We manage over 500 events throughout the USA and Canada for some major corporations and great families. I am a minority owner in The Karate Dojo with my brother and father which is my brother’s childhood dream and lastly we are opening an Art Gallery called Sea Zen Art Gallery in Belmar, NJ in spring 2015.
I feel very fortunate that Chelsea and I have designed our lifestyles and careers to allow us to work from home and share parenting duties and celebrations throughout each day.
I get to spend a lot of time with my family and they’re my top priority. I work a lot but it’s often weird hours early in the morning or late at night which helps me balance work and the creative time I need as an artist along with being an outstanding father.
2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?
I think being a modern-day dad means not confining myself within any preconceived roles that society brainwashes us to believe are the only way. I know I’m a great father because I put my everything into my family. I don’t personally choose to leave the parenting or emotional needs of my child (and soon to be children) to my wife. Kid’s need supportive and fun parents and I take my role as a Da Da as my greatest source of pride and love.
I think also that balancing my personal interests and goals with my family life and staying true to myself and not getting lost in my many roles is vital. We’re responsible for our own happiness and I maintain my health and energy levels in order to be a good dad and excel at my other passions.
This often means scheduling “playtime” for me too, whether it’s surfing, skateboarding, yoga, rock climbing or any of the other hobbies that make my personal life challenging and fun.
It’s also about staying with the times by sharing my love of learning, evolving and finding joy and fulfillment in being in the present moment.
3.How did becoming a father change your life?
When my daughter was born I felt like the meaning of life revealed itself to me. I’ve never known the meaning of how intense pure love could be before her.
I’ve been around the world. I’ve had some career opportunities that might be deemed rather impressive. I’ve met famous people that I admire. But spending time with my family is more fun and fulfilling to me than any of those things. My wife and I often say that one of the biggest things that changes when becoming a parent is your idea of fun.
4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?
Getting to experience the joy, innocence and love of childhood again. Raising children in a healthy, loving and kind manner, breaking any negative patterns that I may have previously had. Hearing my daughter’s full belly laughter. Hugs. Being able to help my daughter when she needs emotional support. Putting my children before me and knowing that I’m doing my best. Parenting is like the ultimate do-over in life.
5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?
The first thing that pops into my head is when I picked up my daughter over my head when she was an infant and she proceeded to puke in my mouth. I actually laughed pretty hard after spitting it out.
6. What advice can you give any new father out there?
Be there. Really be there. Be present, be grateful for every moment. When your changing their diapers or feeding them or playing with your children, know that is the most important thing at that moment. Remember that your little ones don’t have fully developed brain structures yet and aren’t capable of logic, be patient. Emotionally support them through the cries. Be playful and silly. And lastly, make decisions and act in ways that are good for your family and make you proud.
As for more practical advice, I highly recommend reading “Peaceful Parent: Happy Kids” and “Whole Brain Child”.
Thanks so much Jay, it was an absolute pleasure getting to know you. Keep up all the great work and thanks for your contribution to art and being a rad dad!
Learn more about Jay from on of his websites:
Instagram & twitter: @jayalders