It's hard to believe it's been 17 years since the passing of my father, David Lee Angstead Sr. (1951 – 1997)
He passed away surrounded by his best friends and family, including his sister, my aunt who also passed away in early 2003 (love you too Deanna.)
He was only 46 years old, and had so much more to live for, unfortunately that was not in his cards. He would now be 63 and a grandpa. Hard to imagine. This time of year, including on his birthday I would get a little sentimental, but being that I am now a father myself I felt this one particularly hard today. Although we only had 12 years together, everything I can recall from those times was significant enough for me to pave the way towards a life of creating and sharing my art.
I remember leaving school on a rainy august morning in 93' to go and pick up Earthbound on release day. He told the school it was a "family emergency" and we had lunch at the mall and sat at the bus stop in the pouring rain thumbing through the 'scratch and sniff' player's guide and talking about how exciting it will be to play this amazing game together.
We shared a love of Video games, in which he introduced me to Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Legend of Zelda, Chrono Trigger – basically all of Nintendo and it's franchise.
He would either play these games with me or I would watch him play them, drawing endless grid maps and detailed 'player's guides' before they were even commonplace.
He introduced me to Magic the Gathering, Comic Books (Comix as well as Marvel and DC) & of course Disney cartoons.
We stayed up late to watch "Snick" where I was exposed to Ren & Stimpy and the world of John K. and the world of weirdo comedy and cartoons.
We loved movies, Monty Python, Nightmare before Christmas & Toy Story.
He also shared with me his bizarre music taste – Frank Zappa & Dr. Demento were regularly played in our home.
Barnes & Barnes' "Roly Poly Fishheads' was a song I knew the lyrics to before any nursery rhyme.
He was an artist, specifically an illustrator and window painter.
And at times, also a designer.
His last piece was a Birthday card he drew me on my 12th birthday.
In the last decade of his life, he was a landscaper, creating & maintaining beautiful gardens and parks for the city of Sacramento.
A few years after his death I did find out that one time whilst living in the Bay area and attending school at the Art Institute, he applied and was accepted into the Disney Imagineers project when he was in his mid 20's. He ended up not going due to what I can only assume was his political & cultural stance at the time. (Hippie in the mid 60's early 70's in SF.)
I miss him everyday, and I believe I do what I do today because my father showed me what creativity and imagination could do. His last conversation with me ended with " I was only here to have you as my son. You'll make the name proud i'll be watching."
My overt sentimentalism in my work and my brand is due to this connection I had with my Dad. I literally would not be the person I am today if I didn't know him as my father, even though it was so brief.
Today marks the anniversay of the saddest day of my life, but everytime I try and make it a day of inspiration and love and a reminder to not take advantage of my time here and with the ones I love.
Love you dad, miss you – wherever you are I hope you are getting a kick out of it!