Cbabi Bayoc update: Day 86 with 'Dad'
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 26, 2012 - One day and one canvas at a time, St. Louis painter Cbabi Bayoc is promoting black fatherhood and making money to help raise his own three children with his “365 Days with Dad” year-long project.
Monday March 26 marks Day 86 of the plan that Bayoc and his bakery/cafe-owner wife Reine came up with to salvage their family finances.
Since Jan 1, Bayoc has painted one father-child piece every day. The plan is a roaring success: Every one has been sold.
The paintings go for $215, far less than the typical $1,400 sales price for his 18-by-24-inch works. Bayoc also raised $9,000 in a Kickstarter campaign to make $20 prints of his dad-themed works, and posters to hand out for free to children.
Every day, after a full day of painting, there is shopping, homework, bedtime-stories and the thousands of other activities that make up the low-but-constant rhythm of child-rearing. With no day of rest figured into the format and despite the Feb. 29 leap day, Bayoc struggles to stay on schedule.
“I’m a day behind; I had a child with chicken pox, and other just stuff keeps happening,” Bayoc said.
But Bayoc vows to catch up. He even maintains his painting pace while traveling, recently working on two pieces in a Dallas hotel room. After having to throw away paint at the airport, he learned that leftovers often exceed the three-ounce carry-on limit.
Though tired, Bayoc has been surprised by his own endurance and looks forward to the daily grind.
“I don’t know what to expect; I just try to concentrate and do one piece at a time and let chips fall where they may,” Bayoc said.
After the 365 days are up, Bayoc looks forward to publishing a book about the project, painting and exhibiting larger works around fathers and spending more time talking to schoolchildren about art. In the meantime, he’s savoring a feeling of relief.
“It definitely feels great that we can pay the mortgage on time and get the kids what they need for school and not worry about it,” Bayoc said.
The demands on his time have increased as word of his project has spread. You can watch Bayoc paint in person at Saint Louis University's live session at the Busch Student Center, 20 N. Grand Blvd. from 12 noon to 3 p.m. March 26. The event is part of Atlas Week, sponsored by SLU's art history and African-American studies programs.