Brand designer ClayVon on the importance of Black fathers
Entrepreneur and designer ClayVon Lowe celebrates the importance of fatherhood by sharing insight on the beautiful relationship between him and his daughter. Check out what he had to say below.
As a creative father, how does your child inspire your creativity?
My daughter inspires my creativity through her youthfulness and vivid imagination. As we age, we set limits on ourselves. Some call it getting set in our ways. In her eyes, I can do anything.
What experience do you work to create in your relationship with your child that they will grow into a skill?
I try to expose my daughter to lots of different types of experiences to ensure that she’s well rounded. Experience is the best teacher.
On travel – Traveling forces you to adapt and be flexible. You stay places you’ve never stayed, you meet new people, and survive in situations out of your normal comfort zone.
On late nights in the studio – Most nights I’m in my studio late, my daughter falls asleep in the chair behind me, in the chair with me, or even sitting on my shoulders. I want her to experience the sacrifice. The long nights that afford our family to do all of the fun things. I want her to know that nothing good comes easy, and hard work pays off. You have to be dedicated to your dreams.
Failures and successes – I think it’s good for her to see failure every now and then. You can learn a lot from failures. Don’t consider it a loss, consider it a lesson. In contrary, I want her to experience success and praise for her accomplishments.
Performing experiences – From gymnastics to photo shoots to music videos, these experiences build confidence, which plays a big role in being an effective leader.
Why is attending activities like swimming practice important for your relationship with your child?
It’s important for my daughter to know that I’m there to support her, and it’s also an opportunity for me to provide praise and feedback on her work, and learn her personality as well. For example, at one point, she was afraid to swim in 15ft deep water. She would always float on her back across the deep end of the pool. After observing this, I took the time to explain to her, that it didn’t matter if the water was 6ft deep or 15ft deep, she knew how to swim. The next swim class, she jumped right in and swam across no problem. After that, we went to Sweet Frogs for yogurt. That’s the reward for going above and beyond in swim class. If I miss the first part of a class and come in late, she immediately goes above and beyond when she realizes I’m watching. It makes a difference.
What four skills are most important for your children that will support them their entire life?
Interpersonal Skills (Social, sense of humor.)
What characteristics like kindness and other personality characteristics are most important for you to exhibit and share insight their meaning with your child?
Confidence – I want her to believe in herself and know that she can achieve anything you wishes. She had all of the confidence in the world in me, she thinks I can do anything. In return, I push her to believe that she can do the same. Kindness – She should treat others as she would wish to be treated. I treat people with respect
Resilience – Life can get tough. You have to be able to bounce back from tough situations.
Finish the sentence
I am present in my child’s life because … she’s my responsibility. I want to leave a legacy with my kids. We are all in this thing together, and hopefully the legacy I leave will make the world a better place. We live on through the lives we touch.
Now that I am a father I … am more grateful for my parents, because I understand now. I understand unconditional love. I thought they had parenting down, and now I realize they were learning all along, too.
A father’s love is … his greatest gift.