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July 12, 2007

{     Interview : Parskid     }    


Parskid might be a man of few words but his work speaks loudly. From the Pacific Northwest, Parskid brings beauty to the damned and all their friends. With many products under his belt, shows always in the works and collaborations continuing, I am suprised he has any time left to "vandalise" the city. I am always pleased to see Parskids work in a gallery or on a street in my local hood. I am sure he will leave a strong impression on you as well. I am not sure if you are a man of very little words or what but I had a very hard time finding information on you. So I thought we could start at the beginning. Can you tell the readers of C12 a little bit about your life up until now?

Parskid: I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve had a love for drawing and creating ever since I was youngster and had a lot of artistic people around me growing up. I went to a little bit of art school and worked as a designer for a bit but realized that wasn’t really for me. Meanwhile, I got into graffiti in my late teens/early twenties and it had a pretty big influence on my art and way of life. From there I pretty much have just been focusing on creating and distributing my ideas everywhere I can. And I’ve always been a man of few words.

Do you think growing up in the Pacific Northwest, where it is often pretty dark and dismal, has influenced your art?

I think the climate here has definitely influenced my art quite a bit. Not only has the overcast weather been an influence but the landscape as well. And not in a negative way at all… the dark clouds, the rain, the rivers and lakes, the hills, the forests and trees, all inspire me immensely.


The themes of your work often seem to portray subjects such as death, life and rebirth with a certain element of light that makes each piece less menacing and more serene. Can you talk about your process?

My process in coming up with my ideas is very free-form I think, in the sense where I just start working and see what comes out. Usually very little pre-planning is done. I just try to explore my subconscious thoughts and places that I wouldn’t normally think about in day to day life. There are definitely moments of darkness there, as well as moments of serenity.

Do you believe in ghosts or spirits?

I think I do, whether as just an idea in a story or something physical that can be seen by the living. I think it’s just the belief that there is more to our lives than just the period between birth and death, and that there is more to us than our physical selves.

As one of your favorite past times is still vandalism, how do you feel about the occasional bad wrap that graffiti artists receive?

Graffiti will always receive a bad wrap and I don’t necessarily disagree with that. That’s part of the appeal of doing it. It’s illegal and will affect most everyone who sees it, either in a positive or negative way. I think graffiti is best when it’s intrusive and not pretty to look at. If I was making everyone happy, I would really question whether I should be doing anything at all.


You do a lot of collaborations with galleries, other artists, etc. Do you have any favorite projects that you would like to do more of?

I love making products. It’s great to see the project from start to finish and see the final product in quantities and then distribute those to people. I also like doing installations and working with other artists on shows. I have a couple shows where I’m collaborating with another artist coming up next year that I’m really looking forward to.

I am a huge fan of your plush work as well, especially the ‘Under the Alley, Over the Cloud’ installation you did at COCA. I believe you have said that your girlfriend does the sewing. What part do you play in the plush makin’ process and how do you transcribe your ideas into plush form?

I was really happy with how those installations came out too. My girlfriend has helped me sew a lot of the plush, so has my Mom and other family members. They are definitely more skilled at sewing than me and offered to help so I got them working on projects with me and I feel really lucky and gracious for their help. I have done some of the sewing myself throughout the years too but I’m just not as skilled as I would like to be. I do all the pattern making and cutting out of pieces and all the art for the faces. Lately I have been mocking up designs on the computer for dolls that I make and that’s been how I start the process. Either that or I sketch something out that I follow. With making the dolls, I really get into it sometimes and sometimes I don’t feel like creating in the plush medium at all. I find that the market for them can be really strange sometimes and people definitely view them more as products rather than a piece of art a lot of the time. Lately I haven’t been making that many plush dolls at all but I have a few new ideas I want to explore so we’ll see what happens.


I thought it was awesome that you were the first solo show at the new My Plastic Heart shop in NYC. How was that for you?

That was a great opportunity for me. I had already been working on the MyBlackHeart doll with them and they asked me to be a part of their shop opening and also release the doll then too. It was great working with them and I’m really looking forward to the show Krista Huot and I are going to have at MyPlasticHeart next year.

Tell us about the day in the life in Parsworld?

Well, let’s see... I usually sleep in a little unless I have a good reason to wake up early. Hang out with my dog for awhile. Answer some emails and work on the computer. Go to the studio and work on some paintings. That’s if it’s a productive kind of day. Go hang out with my girlfriend and some friends in the evening. Maybe drink a little (too much). Go write on stuff. Maybe party some more, maybe go to sleep. It varies from day to day but that’s the basics.

Any exciting news you would like to share with C12 readers?

I’ve released a few new products and prints at that are worth checking out I think. I’m working on a bunch of different projects and new work for shows coming up this year and next, so keep a look out on my site for details.


Interview conducted by Kristen Rask of Schmancy Toys in Seattle.

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