All Young Dudes Crop

When Your Child is Smarter than You and a Real Cool Cat or How to Design the World’s Best New Website

All the Young Dudes

This piece exudes the spirit and energy of youth in this biographical piece featuring the artist’s son and graphic designer, Rhys.

Coming from a family littered with self-taught artists on both sides of the family tree, it is really no surprise that my son turned out to be an artist. His tonsorial acumen and love of design was apparent at five years of age when he could not be dissuaded from wearing a three-piece suit and tie to school on his first day of kindergarten. My refrigerator served as the art gallery in our house and his artwork was proudly displayed there for many years. My bias as his mother not withstanding, it was clear to me that he had talent. Although the creative gene resides in many of his ancestors, Rhys (pronounced Reese) is the only one who followed his dream and obtained a formal art education, graduating The Ohio State University with a degree in product and graphic design, determined to make a living with his artistic ability. Unlike his mother, both sides of my son’s brain are in functioning order, he excels at math, is capable of both logical and intuitive thought and can grasp the big picture, not sacrificing form for function.

In contrast, I function almost solely on intuition alone. I usually have a fully formed idea for a project and enjoy the resulting journey of bringing it to fruition organically. However, when it comes to technology I have to admit I am often brought to tears with frustration. When it became clear that I had outgrown my website I had two choices: stick my head in the sand and hope the problem would just go away, or call in the big guns. My Mamma didn’t raise no fool so I called in a creative heavy hitter, my son Rhys. As a clinical social worker it is never permissible to treat a friend or family member, impending doom is usually right around the corner in these situations, so I wondered how this was going to unfold? Would we be on speaking terms or featured on Family Feud by the end of the process?

I am very happy to report two things: my son was able to get in a little childhood payback, forcing me to do my homework, and it was an amazing and wonderful experience. For a person who rarely balances a checkbook and throws all business related paperwork in a shoe box until tax time forces a reckoning, it was like watching Phoenix rise from the ashes to see the website develop with organization and a cohesive story that even I did not suspect among the chaos. What a wonderful surprise! At one point I remarked, “Shit, Rhys, you sure make your mother look good.” His patient response was, ” Jeez, Mom, that’s what I do.” No kidding, he sure does. This whole experience allowed me to see my son in a new light: his creative talent, customer service skills, patience and ability to work with even his mother (I personally think that one should go on his resume) came into focus for me. I am thrilled beyond words with my new and shiny website, I hope you will enjoy it too.