Neal Purchase Jnr.

Father Of Three & Master Of His Craft.

Because it’s Father’s Day here in Australia, we’re running a segment that celebrates parenthood. This year, we are leaning on the tried and tested words of wisdom from an expert in the field, the man himself Neal Purchase Jnr. Father of three free-spirited, talented women who constantly inspire the community around them.

Photographs by Thomas Lodin

Do you remember the moment you found out you were becoming a father?

Yes, I do actually. It was obviously a confronting and exciting moment. I had been with my then-girlfriend Beau for around 7 years and we were really close, so the thought of a family wasn’t foreign to us. It was definitely exciting, and a bit scary haha.

I’ve always enjoyed your multi-disciplinary approach to creativity, do you find shifting between mediums allows everything to continue being fresh and exciting?

The short answer is yes. Practising in so many different mediums allows me to keep my creative momentum pretty stable, without dropping in and out of creative bursts too much. It’s nice to jump from the computer to more hands on practise, then out in the field too. Its nice that each medium has found ways to bounce off each other and usually as I bring new ideas into one medium it will bleed into some of other practises too. In saying that it, does keep me very busy and I continuously have to check myself to not burn out.


Tell us, how has it been living in a household made up predominantly of women for the last 30 or so years?

I wouldn’t have it any other way, and I couldn’t imagine it actually. It was kind of nice being the only man in the house, being the big guy haha. There was the odd bit of squabbling between the girls every now and then, but generally, we were all on the same page and they were kind of tom-boys anyway.

All of your daughters have grown up to be creative and free-spirited humans. As their father, do you feel you had a hand in this, or would you say it was more of a natural progression?
Absolutely, I believe both Beau and I rubbed off on the girls as we included them in all of our activities. As parents, we definitely gave them boundaries and morals etc. but focused more on love and nurture. I remember we’d always have paints, crayons and musical instruments lying around in the lounge room for the girls to play with. And yeah, seeing as we were so close, I guess they just joined in on what we were doing with our friends whether it was quiet times drawing or having friends over for parties.
Our very own Jacob Byrne has recently become a father of two, just over two years apart. If you could pass on any words of wisdom to parents in those prickly early stages, what would it be?
I notice a lot of parents these days would prefer things to be a certain way — having a certain amount of money in the bank, a bigger house, etc. This can cause a lot of anxiety. I believe you should have goals, but remember to make the most of what you have and enjoy the moments with your children as they grow. Memories are priceless and time disappears into the past so quickly! So being a parent I believe you need to be flexible and don’t expect too much of yourself as when they are young it’s basically about just coping and staying calm… and getting sleep!
What do you love most about being a father?
I believe being a father or a parent is the most important job you can have on this planet. It definitely makes you a better person in the way that you become more selfless and less selfish. You learn to love in a new way. Having children is the most beautiful, creative thing I’ve ever done.