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  • Single Dad Draws the Sweetest and Craziest Moments With His Son

    This Taiwanese artist and single dad illustrates his parenting moments they are as warm as a hug!
    by Rachel Perez .
Single Dad Draws the Sweetest and Craziest Moments With His Son
PHOTO BY LTN.COM.TW/YouTube
  • There is truth to when parents of tweens or teenagers say that children are only little for such a short time. One minute you're changing diapers and the next, your kid is off to school. You wonder how time flew by so fast. But it's quite challenging to take pause and appreciate every minute of parenting when it feels like you're taming tantrums or making sure your child he eats everything on his plate regularly.

    That's why photographs and keepsakes mean a lot to parents, and they are often on the lookout for unique and more personal ways to preserve precious moments. Take, for instance, Lan Sheng-Jie, also known as the artist Blue, from Taichung, Taiwan. He knows all too well how kids grow up so fast, and it has inspired him document parenthood through illustrations. 

    The 15-year veteran artist has been raising his now 4-year-old son, Yun-Li, since the little tot turned 1. He had begun drawing their father-and-son moments when he and his son's mother divorced, and he started his life as a single dad. His ex-wife has their son during the weekends.

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    single dad and son illustrations
    What work looks like for Blue and his son.
    PHOTO BY Copyrights and courtesy of Mirror Fiction (Taiwan) & SPP (Taiwan)
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    We've all had scenes like this!
    PHOTO BY Copyrights and courtesy of Mirror Fiction (Taiwan) & SPP (Taiwan)
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    single dad and son illustrations
    Nothing will stop a toddler until he gets what he wants!
    PHOTO BY Copyrights and courtesy of Mirror Fiction (Taiwan) & SPP (Taiwan)
    single dad and son illustrations
    Toddlers put anything and everything in their mouth!
    PHOTO BY Copyrights and courtesy of Mirror Fiction (Taiwan) & SPP (Taiwan)
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    "When you have a kid, a lot of things happen unexpectedly. For me, they were all new experiences," Blue shares with SmartParenting.com.ph in an email interview. "All those crazy moments that make you want to scream or collapse like accidental juice spills and tantrums for instance."

    Blue would not have it any other way. "At the same time, this cute little monster has totally changed my way of life," the dad of one proudly says.

    single dad and son illustrations
    It's the oldest trick in a toddler's book!
    PHOTO BY Copyrights and courtesy of Mirror Fiction (Taiwan) & SPP (Taiwan)
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    single dad and son illustrations
    Tots are not afraid to fall, but the parents are!
    PHOTO BY Copyrights and courtesy of Mirror Fiction (Taiwan) & SPP (Taiwan)
    single dad and son illustrations
    Dads get so excited for the day when their little one gets a taste of his favorites. Hmm. 
    PHOTO BY Copyrights and courtesy of Mirror Fiction (Taiwan) & SPP (Taiwan)
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    As his drawings show, Blue doesn't sugarcoat parenting. It is exhausting with non-stop worrying, whether it's about his son's safety, health, and happiness. He writes in his email, "I worry about him becoming a hooligan or anything else that can go wrong along the way. That's why I always try to accompany him as he's growing up and help him when I can," Blue shares with Bored Panda.

    single dad and son illustrations
    Blue says of this drawing: "Making a castle with a carton is very environmentally friendly, pity it's been crushed." 
    PHOTO BY Copyrights and courtesy of Mirror Fiction (Taiwan) & SPP (Taiwan)
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    single dad and son illustrations
    "When he sleeps deeply, I always stare at his face, even though I am so busy. At the moment, everything is so peaceful to me." 
    PHOTO BY Copyrights and courtesy of Mirror Fiction (Taiwan) & SPP (Taiwan)
    single dad and son illustrations
    All parents of toddlers have picked up stuff from the floor many, many times!
    PHOTO BY Copyrights and courtesy of Mirror Fiction (Taiwan) & SPP (Taiwan)
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    "And yes, I am sorry that he is not growing up with a complete family, so I try my best to give him more," the single dad revealed, adding a part of him feels guilty that his illustrations get a huge positive response online. "What I've done is similar to many many single moms, but they won't receive such big compliments," he explained. Aww.

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    "Always looking for dad." 
    PHOTO BY Copyrights and courtesy of Mirror Fiction (Taiwan) & SPP (Taiwan)
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    Can't wait to be home.
    PHOTO BY Copyrights and courtesy of Mirror Fiction (Taiwan) & SPP (Taiwan)

    Blue's illustrations stand out because he chooses to give his audience a different perspective. "I spent lots of time to find the angle or the viewpoint that lets the reader see the scene. The angle is the message," Blue explains to Smart Parenting.

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    Yun-Li, who is now in kindergarten, is old enough to recognize himself in the drawings his dad makes, and he loves seeing the finished product. Blue works on his illustrations when Yun-Li is in school.

    single dad and son illustrations
    It's good to teach your son to draw something.
    PHOTO BY Copyrights and courtesy of Mirror Fiction (Taiwan) & SPP (Taiwan)
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    single dad and son illustrations
    "It requires his imagination to draw on a wall in our old house," Blue wrote on Facebook. "While watching me drawing, he said, 'Dad is amazing!'"
    PHOTO BY Copyrights and courtesy of Mirror Fiction (Taiwan) & SPP (Taiwan)

    His warm depictions of a father's love through illustrations was published as a collection in a book in 2016. He kept at it because he wanted to give Yun-Li a precious gift that no other child would have. The dad of one even jokingly told The Huffington Post that if Yun-Li annoys him as a teenager in the future, he'll send his son a copy of the book just to embarrass him.

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    Translations by Fei Fei CHUNG

    Blue and Yun-Li's new adventures is now a serial in the weekly news magazine, Mirror Media, and will be collated for his second book. Illustrations in this article were used with permission; copyrights courtesy of Mirror Fiction (Taiwan) & SPP (Taiwan). Check out the rest of Blue's works @mansoblue on Facebook.

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