In this installment of our Hip Daddy Spotlight, we had the pleasure of talking with a Amsterdam based Hip Daddy, Mark Chalmers. From Father to Executive Creative Director at Vice to Founder of the Creative Social to running The Garage, Mark is a creative mind who wears many hats.
Tell us about your kids. What’s it like being a Dad?
I have a daughter called Lola. She’s 10, a wise little soul, half Dutch, half English and it’s an honour to be her dad. Loom Bands and Minecraft are currently high on her agenda. I’m rubbish at both.
Talk to us about your parenting style.
I think we take the learnings from our own experiences as kids. Personally I try and be steady. I’m a big fan of good manners, simple things which have value in life wherever you are, whoever you’re with. And food, Lola’s pretty fearless with food. We started early going to the markets, buying food such as whole fish to cook at home. What that means is we’re adventurous now, we go out specifically to try interesting things.
What’s the one thing you cannot life without as a Dad?
Beyond family, convenience. There’s a lot of quality convenience in Amsterdam. Walking, cycling, local shops. It’s a healthy human scale.
Every Hip Daddy knows Vice. What’s new and how are you liking it? Any exciting things on the horizon?
There’s a coming of age at Vice, it’s going great guns. Just get stuck into some of the films. I’m running international business from our new HQ in Amsterdam…5 floors of energy and edit suites. We’re creating and publishing content through every media possible and next year we’ll have our own TV channel. Vice News is one to watch. Finally some relevant news reporting for millennials. As Shane Smith our co founder and CEO says ‘There’s a changing of the guard for every generation in media, and we are the changing of the guard for Gen Y’.
We’ve heard you have a secret art gallery in your garage? wtf?
It’s not a secret now is it? haha.
Yep – it’s a 16th century carriage house which gives it a bit of a spin. It was derelict and it’s grown over the years. I’ve worked with art and artists all my life, this is a place we could do things and I could support artists with. Come, paint, hit the city and then open the doors, sell work, fund the trip. It’s become a breeding ground, and a passage for some of the great names of today including friends such as Faile, Roa, Eine, Ludo, Parra. We’ve had a few road block openings. We keep things discreet and focus on quality, buying for collectors and working with museums.
How do you handle being the Executive CD at Vice with the responsibilities at home?
Culture is pretty much my life and passion so work and play are seamless. The Vice team are talented, networked, fluid. The Garage works, and let’s not forget Creative Social- the global creative network I co-founded with Daniele Fiandaca. Our latest book ‘Hacker, Maker, Teacher, Thief’ sums it up.
What’s it like raising kids in Amsterdam?
It’s a good spot. Refreshingly down to earth and often a rude awakening just to keep one in check. I’ve always thought it’s like a Tim Burton set with wi-fi. Wonky houses fully wired up, mecca of electric cars and scooters. As I said it’s human scale and the Dutch value everyday life, perfect to raise a family.
The Dutch have a saying which translates to ‘Do normal, that’s crazy enough’, just depends where your normal is doesn’t it?
photo credit: Daniel Pinheiro