What’s A-Parent is a series highlighting those who get real about the hardships that come with raising kids. These often untold stories help show parents they are not alone in their struggle, and are doing an amazing job.
“Normally I have one million projects at the same time,” Gerhardsen tells A Plus in an email. This can include exhibitions, murals, and beyond. “But when it was about time to do the paternity leave-disco with my second child, I put all my other projects down for four months. Put everything on hold, just focusing on my son. I knew that [raising my son] was lots of work, so I wanted to go all in. But, as every parent knows, there are so many weird, funny and cool situations raising a child. And I found myself just needing to vent a bit.”
So Gerhardsen began illustrating his experiences on paternity leave every so often and uploaded them to Instagram. Forty-something illustrations later, he had enough to turn them all into a book called Pappaperm.
And it became a family project, too.
“We were already a close crew of four,” he says, counting for his wife and two children. “My daughter helped me color in the illustrations, and my wife did the proofreading. The youngest was the main inspiration for the situations. So the book is kind of a family product.”
Gerhardsen’s illustrations depict everything in his life from bathing his kid, to cleaning up, throwing a dance party, and even “playing hide-and-seek [just] to get some alone time on the toilet.” The artist tells A Plus his kids love the results, and each morning, he puts a drawing in their lunch.
“Drawing is a big part of our life. My youngest is now 3 years old and loves to comment on the illustrations in the book.”
You can check out more of Gerhardsen’s work on his website and Instagram pages, as well as in the photos below: