Modern Fatherhood: A Talk with Kindling Quarterly Creator David Michael Perez

Modern Fatherhood: A Talk with Kindling Quarterly Creator David Michael Perez

Dabney Frake
Mar 5, 2013

Have you seen Kindling Quarterly, the new publication devoted to the subject of fatherhood? Through essays, interviews, editorials, art, and photography, Kindling highlights men whose work and creative lives go hand in hand with parenting. The first issue features an interview with former Onion editor Joe Randazzo, and a host of other illustrators, designers, cooks and musicians.

Kindling was created by Brooklyn resident David Michael Perez and his publishing partner August Heffner (also Creative Director of Marketing at J. Crew). As new first-time dads, both saw a profound lack of honest portrayals of real fathers out there in pop culture and the media. By presenting real-life glimpses of men raising their kids, they hope to contribute to a new discourse about fatherhood. 

Apartment Therapy recently had a chance to chat with David and ask a few questions about the new project:

What was your relationship with your father like growing up, and how is it revisited through Kindling?

Good question -- I'm really fortunate to have a fantastic, supportive father.  Having said that, I think for a lot of men right now are entering fatherhood under very different circumstances than our dads did. Kindling is responding to that difference and the need for dialogue around it. Maybe you grew up with a loving father who was around a lot but now you work all the time (we all seem to be working more). Maybe you grew up affluent but are now raising a kid under very different financial circumstances, or vice versa. Perhaps most importantly, maybe your father was not emotive and you are trying to be more vulnerable with your children.

Whether your upbringing was good, bad, or all points in between, when you become a father you not only relive your upbringing (how you learned to take care of yourself) but also identify with your parents and how they took care of you. 

You found some pretty great individuals (we're big fans of Dan Funderburgh) to feature. Did you know these guys already, or how did you pick them, and then approach them to be a part of the inaugural issue? What was the pitch?

It was a mix. Dan is a friend of ours but we are fortunate enough to be surrounded by an incredible community of dads in Brooklyn. A few of the men featured were friends of friends and a few (Rohan Anderson, Shawn James Seymour) we didn't know at all. We just wrote to them, saying we love what they're doing and would love to talk to them.

Design-wise, I appreciated how pared down the first issue appears. Did you set out for simplicity? 

Well, that is probably a question better answered by the creative director (August Heffner) but, just broadly, simplicity is definitely a part of our mission. This relates again to being as honest and thoughtful as we can be.  

If Kindling is successful, what would that success look like to you? What are you hoping to get out the magazine?

Our primary focus now is making the best magazine we can for our community. I see success as creating a long term, honest dialogue about the joy and challenges of contemporary fatherhood. If we can do that, everything else should take care of itself.

For more on Kindling Quarterly, along with information on how to subscribe, visit their website.

Thanks David!

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