Creative Families: Art From the Start

Posted by Jen McNeely, August 25, 2016

What constitutes an artful family? Is it what hangs on the walls of their home? The creative projects they do together? How they spend their Saturdays? The questions they ask each other at the dining room table? The value placed on culture and a curious mind?

Like the way society responds to a piece of great art, this question of artfulness can be interpreted endlessly. But one thing is for certain: the way our children react to the arts, and how they choose to create, is as inspiring and mesmerizing as viewing a famous artist at work. From the way they first hold a crayon to how they express themselves as young adults, may we always take the time to pause, reflect, and learn from our kids.

With the back-to-school season mere days away, we decided to shine a light on local creative families that inspire us. From how they choose to dress to their outlook on parenthood, a bit of insight into their lives may spark some creativity in your own.

Here's to a school year full of colourful chaos, in the best possible way!

Aaron, Afiya, Felix and Des

Aaron is a successful writer in advertising and Afiya is the founder of The Style House: a beloved lifestyle site that embodies her elegance, grace, and bold sense of fashion. We've crossed paths with Afiya for years and were delighted to meet all the boys in her life.


"We spend as much time as we can outdoors; it inspires us to look at the world creatively, but at home it's a lot of Lego – I'm always amazed by the cool things and stories they create. We also chase farmers markets all over and chat with the farmers and vendors who are happy to talk and teach the boys."

Afiya Son

"They really are a lesson in presence.”

Misty and Violet

Misty is a makeup artist to the stars, an effervescent beauty, and a hardworking single mom whose wild imagination and love for eccentricities are inherently bestowed upon her daughter.


"We love to customize clothing and make accessories. We have loads of crafts; it gets us through the winter!"


"She teaches me the gifts in slowing down the pace and actually taking the time to look around at small things. Sometimes I forget to not be busy all of the time.”

Steve, Noam, Yarden and Aviv

Designers, explorers and soulful spirits Steve and Noam want each of their boys to grow up with an open-mind and a worldly perspective. Travelling afar to experience culture elsewhere is always a priority, and is as much a part of their creative life as the art they make at home.


"We love to make things our own, like our son's new schoolbag, which my dad, an Israeli artist, has painted a dinosaur on."


"Our boys teach us to be better people, and our five year old teaches us about science all the time."

Derrick, Sarah, Quinn and Keir

Before they launched Fort Kids, Derrick was a celebrated graffiti artist and illustrator while Sarah designed fashion in Barcelona. This is a family that truly respects how nature can challenge and grow our creative minds, be it a great adventure or what we stop and look at while bumbling through our neighbourhood, en route to playground or school. Find their gear at Drake General Store.

Derek and Sarah

"It seems like there are little art stations in every corner of the house these days. We are always rotating new art on our walls. The kids are prolific and have serious art game."

derek and Sarah 2

"The beauty isn’t always in the detail but in the super simple stuff."

Watch and listen to the kids; they know things that we've forgotten. Happy September to all of you. May you find creative inspiration each and every day.

Photography by Becca Lemire.

Posted in: People

Tags: Art  Back-To-School  Drake General Store  Family  The Drake Hotel