When Emily Ratajkowski was around the age that her son, Sylvester (“Sly”), is now, she regularly found herself under the care of her father, the multidisciplinary artist John David Ratajkowski. While her mother, the English professor and writer Kathleen Balgley, pored over her work, Emily passed hours on the floor of her dad’s studio—steps from her childhood bedroom and attached to the family’s quaint San Diego home by translucent double doors—as he labored over his paintings and bronze sculptures. Today in New York, the actor and entrepreneur makes collages in her own time, a pursuit born from being a student in her father’s art class—which, for any other high schooler, would have been a nightmare. Between the coasts, the pair remain each other’s critic and confidante, sending their thoughts on one another’s work in place of texting pleasantries. On the eve of Sly’s second birthday, the father and daughter take an opportunity to reflect on the art of parenting, Emily’s foray into the art world, and how art became inseparable from their family life.
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