The most successful stock images are those that embody iconic symbolism and authenticity. Buzzwords used by Art Buyers often include "candid", "trustworthy", "connection", "hero" and "real". These words can describe a wide variety of subjects, but one that comes to mind first and foremost is that of dear old dad.
In popular culture, the image of dad has largely been shaped by his portrayal in television programs. He has evolved through the decades, with his 10 most iconic personas being short-listed by radio.com:
1. Doing the Best He Can Dad: Louis CK (Louie)
This single dad works hard to make ends meet. He puts the needs of his children first, though his efforts are often under-appreciated. He is patient and kind, even when he's tired, and he boasts a dry, observational style of humor that makes us laugh instead of cry when the chips are down.
2. Blue Collar Dad: Burt Hummel (Glee)
This dad is a real "man's man". He likes football and fixing cars, but he is not a one-dimensional character. He loves and supports his children above all else, and he's not afraid to let them know it through an awkwardly heartfelt "dad talk".
3. Conspiracy Theory Dad: Ron Swanson (Parks and Recreation)
Conspiracy theory dad is a guy with strong opinions on government. He is classically masculine and plays his emotional cards close to the vest. He fits the hunter-gatherer archetype and washes it all down with a single-malt scotch. Despite his prickly exterior, this dad cares deeply about those around him, though he would never say it out loud.
4. Prince Charming Dad: he is literally Prince Charming (Once Upon a Time)
He's the stuff that fairy tales are made of. A handsome hero on horseback who rides in and saves the day.
5. Hard-Ass Dad: Red Foreman (That 70's Show)
Equal parts gruff and critical, he does not treat his children with equal consideration. One gets a free pass, while the other is subjected to daily performance coaching and empty threats. He berates because he cares, and somehow his love is understood in spite of this unfiltered dialogue. Against all odds, the bond he has with his children is a strong one. As it turns out, beneath his verbal armour, he's a big softy at heart and they know it.
6. Spooky Dad: Gomez Addams (The Addams family)
Don't be fooled by his ghoulish appearance and supernatural abilities. Spooky dad adores his wife and is a devoted father. He's a little quirky and loves Halloween, which means he's a lot of fun. Appearances can be deceiving, and that's one of the many life lessons Spooky Dad teaches his children. Encouraging them to follow their dreams, they don't concern themselves with keeping up with the Joneses. In fact, if you ask him, the Joneses are a little on the weird side.
7. Absentee Dad: Ned Stark (Game of Thrones)
This dad wasn't raised by a father of his own. He is a brave and noble man with an understated demeanour and a kindness that twinkles in his eye when he thinks of his wife and children. He is a trusted friend, advisor, and all around stand-up guy. Unfortunately, he is also a tragic figure. Nice guys tend to finish last and when this dad meets an early demise, complete and utter chaos ensues.
8. Best Intentions Dad: Walter White (Breaking Bad)
When faced with a life-threatening illness, even a meek and mild dad can transform into an outlaw in the interest of supporting his family's financial future after he's gone. But as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. In reality, there is no such thing as having nothing to lose.
9. Philosopher Dad: Danny Tanner (Full House)
Everyone knows one of those dorky dads who tries to be cool. His children are constantly rolling their eyes as he flips up his collar and attempts to channel his inner rockstar. In reality, he's a slightly neurotic clean-freak who uses household chores as opportunities to teach his children life lessons. As embarrassing as the kids find him at times, he is their moral compass. When push comes to shove, "what would dad say?" weighs very heavily in their decision making process.
10. Best or "Perfect" Dad: Philip Banks (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
He may not be the most patient man in the world, but he is a good father and a devoted husband. He is highly educated and accomplished, so he holds his children to a very high standard as well. He has no time for nonsense. What takes him from good to great on the dad scale is simple. He opens his home and his heart to a troubled teen nephew and gives him the same level of love and security (and much needed boundaries) that he provides to his biological children. In a contest of dads, it's Uncle Phil for the win!