Redditor Tatsputin, or Fred Giovannitti in real life, wowed us all with his superior dad skills by simply colouring in his kids’ artworks to kill the time on his business trips. The Internet picked up the story and the rest, as they say, is history. We spoke to the Super Dad about how it all started and what he’s been doing since [read our original post about Tatsputin here and here’s a Facebook Q&A our readers did with him]
What was the reaction of your kids when they first saw the coloured-in drawings?
The first of the drawings to be coloured was my daughter, Sofia’s, the girl with the peace signs on her shirt. She was in kindergarden at the time or just about to enter, and she was thrilled. She gave it back to me to put in my studio.
Where did the inspiration for the idea come from?
I used to keep a sketchbook for my flights and that kept me busy during my trips. One trip, I forgot my sketchbook but remembered my coloured pencils and, since my kids would always draw me something for my trips, I had a couple pictures handy. I just thought it would be neat to colour one using my own personal techniques.
You told us you’ve been working on new stuff with the kids, can you fill us in on the details?
Well, there’s been a lot of attention with the pictures going viral like they did. Out of it all came a book project and a children’s card game proposal for a Kickstarter campaign. So now that the kids and I have been commissioned to do some more collaborations, we’ve been working on those.
I’ve also been putting together a workshop geared towards parents and teaching children about artistic collaboration at an early age.
How’d you find the overwhelming response from Reddit and the rest of the internet? Any memorable moments?
I like the fact that the response was primarily positive, with only a couple trolls trying to interject their unique brand of self-deprecation (“No way a kid drew that”, “Way to make your kids feel inferior, Dad” etc…) I was pretty impressed though.
It seems the blogosphere took the story all around the world. My favorite memorable moment – this happened twice – is when the story came up in casual conversation from someone I’d be talking to and the reaction to them finding out that it was me all along who was the “dad who coloured his kids’ pictures” would be priceless.
You just did a TED talk a couple months back: what did you talk about and how was the experience?
I chose to do my TED talk on how I work with my projects by seeing them as children themselves and applying the love and nurturing that I would my own children. How that affects the outcome of the project and ultimately how love can save the world.
The TED talk was my first experience in sharing my message with the world on such an exclusive stage. I was a bit nervous, of course, but I feel I was more excited to share my ideas with the world. I hope everyone that sees it gets inspired to do something themselves for the betterment of our environment, our society, and our world.