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Studio Visit: Parra
Written by Nate Hooper   
Tuesday, 04 September 2007 04:22
Recently Nate Hooper had the pleasure of visiting the Amsterdam studio of Dutch graphic designer, illustrator, artist, art director, clothing company owner Parra.

Recently my friend Lili and I had the pleasure of visiting the Amsterdam studio of Dutch graphic designer, illustrator, artist, art director, clothing company owner Parra. For a guy as mellow as he is, he definitely gets a lot done. He is currently art directing for several companies such as Colorblind Skateboards and Ben G as well as his own cut and sew clothing brand Rockwell Clothing. His client list for illustration and design work includes companies like Nike, Etnies, Zoo York and Heineken. In the last few months he has had a sold out show at the Reed Space in New York and another at HVW8 in Los Angeles. He also plays in a couple of bands (the names of which I have forgotten). Oh, and he used to skate for Think and Venture in the '90s. Not bad for a guy who wakes up at noon everyday.

Parra After spending a bit of time in Amsterdam, you start to notice that this guy's work is everywhere. On any given day, you'll see kids wearing his shirts or shoes, ads and fliers he's graced and his paintings/prints hanging at shops all over the place. Its pretty rad to see how much support he gets out there.

We did an interview that turned into more of a loose conversation about commercial illustration that had far too many "likes" and "ums" and "dudes" in it to really do anyone justice, so instead of posting the entire thing, I'll just put up a few of the better sections from it. -Nate

Also, make sure to check out his website for many, many more photos of his work... http://www.rockwellclothing.com/parra/

N – So it seems like you've done tons of product stuff. I had no idea. So how long have you been at it?
P – Oh wow. Like quite a while. Umm I'm 31 now and think I started working in Amsterdam like 10 years ago.
N – Oh, you're not from Amsterdam. Where're you from?
P – I'm from the south.
N – Dirty.
P – Haha. Deep deep south. I was born there but never lived there. It was Nijmegen I think I lived last.
N – Awe dude. I went to Nijmegen.
P – Neimeg is really a place I hardly ever visit now.
N – There were tons of thugs there with huge gelled mullets. Next level mullets.
P – That's crazy. Yeah. Ha ha...

L – So did you go to Art school here in the Netherlands or did you just start designing and stuff?
P – Ah no. Well of course I wanted to go to art school, 'cause my father's a painter and I wanted to follow in his footsteps, but then I was too young. I wanted to enroll when I was like 17, not the Rietveld, but in Arnhem, and they said well you're too young, come back next year, your works not good enough... which it wasn't. So I was like really pissed off. I was like fuck you. I'll do it myself. But then I had to learn quickly. I had to figure a way 'cause I had to do something. Cause if your 17 you can't really work.
N - Oh that's right. In Holland there's weird laws.
P – Yeah the only thing you can do is like work in a grocery store or something.
L – Weird.
P – Yeah so then umm what'd I do? I went to some stupid school where they taught drawing to be a teacher. Drawing teacher. Did that for like one year and then switched the course to free art, and then basically did nothing for 2 years. I just skated. I never visited the place. And then they said well you have to intern now, well cool, so I called a lot of people from skateboarding and eventually got work at a web place in the center of Amsterdam.

L – Nice.
P – Early internet stages. And then they let me intern there for 3 months and then they kept me there and I never went back.
N – Really? Where was this?
P – It was an internet company. But an ex-skater, an older guy who worked there. It was funny. He brought me there and I couldn't even switch on a computer.
N – Yeah.
P – I was like uh oh. But the guy taught me Illustrator and I kind of went from there.
N – Yeah, that's the story that goes down a lot...
P – Yeah, you have to kind of do it yourself man.
----------------------------
N– Is this is an Illustration for the New Yorker?
P – No that's not the New Yorker. It's a crap magazine I think. 'Cause in the end there are all these ads to buy condos for 6 million. If I knew this... It's my agent you know. He's like oh yeah it's a good magazine and I'm like OK. It's like some crappy free thing.

Colorblind boards

I'm sure this photo will soon be all over the internet.

New board graphics for Rockwell, Patta and Ben G.

N – So you have like an agent that like gets you jobs and everything?
P – Yeah, without that I'd be... I wouldn't have this house. Nothing. He saved my, basically my life. I didn't know what to do and then he like, he made me an Illustrator. I thought I was a graphic designer and he said "Oh you're and Illustrator" and I said "OK cool". We shook hands and then a week later I arrived home and he's got my first client and it just went on and on and never stopped for two years. They're called Big Active. They're in London. They print big. This guy is with them as well. Jody Barton. I bought that peice from him.
N – Penis god meets scrotum.
P – It's called Cock versus Balls.
N – Haha
L – So does he have mostly Illustrator and designers?
P – Just Illustrators and he's pretty high end because he only has 11 Illustrators and they usually have like a bunch.
N – Does he take like a ridiculous fee?
P – No. Not really. No. 25% and I called around and that's pretty usual.
L – Well if your at a gallery they take like 50.
P – Yeah. This is the Big Active site. I'll show you this 'cause it's basically what I live off of. It kind of boosted me into the commercial illustration culture.
L – So did he come to you or...?
P – Yeah he came to me. That's the dope part. He found out. I had a solo show in London, my first ever. I had cheap prints. They were like 2 bucks to make and I sold them for 20 pounds and the whole city had a laugh about it. You serious? 20 pounds? Ok I'll take 5. But it sold out because it was so cheap. He heard about this idea prior and he wanted to have a private view the day before.
N – So did he buy tons of stuff too?

The collabo logo for the three brands.

P – Yeah. He was like "Wow. How long does it take because you hand paint all this stuff?" I'm like "No Dude." He's quick. His eyes lit up because he was like "Damn he can work fast too". He's got a lot of people and they all have like different styles. I was really honoured to be a part of that 'cause it's like a family. So every artist he has is like a complete different style. So he has no doubles.
L – Yeah.
P – So that really helps the work. In a week I'd say 50% is on commercial work, nice stuff like book covers and stuff.
N – That's awesome.
P - And the other 50% is just making drawings.
L – So do you have like a set schedule like you wake up and treat it like a regular job?
P – Yeah I try too. Yeah. Definitely. The day's a bit shit for me... I cannot get up that early. I do not function you know. So I said Ok I'll go to sleep late and I'll work late. That's the whole deal. But usually I work at 12 and I stop at 6. I do half days!
N – Ha!! ha!!

P – Because I had a bit of a pain in my wrist from drawing all day...
N – Well even sitting in front of the computer all day is like...
P – It's horrible man.
-------------
P –My father is a really big inspiration to me in the beginning but like now he's copying me.
N – Oh yeah?
L – This is your dad's work? It's awesome!
P – Yeah this is my dads stuff. He sends me things in the mail. He makes copies and "Look, I draw them" Its sick like a morph. This one I did a version of. He sent me this and I made this. So that's like, really nice. I call him every week to see what he's doing and tell him what I'm doing.

N – That's cool you work off one another...
P – Well he's really productive. You know I'm productive but he's like insane. He can draw a whole book in a day. He'll fill it up, one of those dummies. These are copies from that. Basically what I want, what I made for the Jeff Staple show, is a little movie where you see me actually hand drawing something. But they didn't use it.
N – Oh really?
P – 'Cause I think a lot of people think I just draw it straight on the computer, which is impossible.

Rockwell sheets.

Some of his dad's drawings.

Dad's paintings! What the?

Check out this giant leather pillow he made!

make sure to check out his website for much much more photos of his work... http://www.rockwellclothing.com/parra/ {moscomment}

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contact FF

"Arrangement" by Michelle Fleck
Friday, 18 April 2014 10:23

This morning we take a closer look at this beautiful painting by San Francisco based Michelle Fleck now showing at FFDG.

Arrangement measures 24"x30", acrylic and aerosol on panel - inquires: info(at)ffdg.net

Michelle Fleck is a painter living in San Francisco. Her work focuses on the relationship between man and the landscape, and the marks we leave on it. Influenced by everyday life in the city, her paintings serve as snapshots of an ongoing intersection of the natural and man-made world. She strives to make work that has a sense of relevancy in a culture driven by a need for change and newness.

 

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Wednesday, 16 June 2010 16:39


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GET THE SHOW DETAILS --- a bunch of NYCHOS

 

///
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 10:56

 

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I love you, dear.... Huh? Wut?

 

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Check photos from his last San Francisco solo show in 2012, and mark your calendar for August as his next solo show opens at FFDG.

Beering with Fish at his favorite watering hole, Zeitgeist

 

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This Sunday's Open House runs 12-5pm - FREE & DETAILS

 

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Some galleries have been forced to close due to 300% rent hikes. Many artists have fled to Oakland, LA and NYC in search of affordable housing and a more vibrant art scene... But we wanna know what you think of how it's going here in San Francisco. How are you making it work? What's your take on the art scene or lack there of? Do you think things are on the up and up or down and out here in San Francisco? Are artists a bunch of complainers and every thing looks great or is it curtains for San Francisco's artistic community? Thoughts

The Rena Bransten Gallery is packing up their 77 Geary space to make way for tech company MuleSoft

 

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Wednesday, 25 August 2010 11:50


+SF

+NYC

+LA

FULL CALENDARS: BAY AREA | NYC | LA

 


 

 

 

//////// INSTAGRAM ----- FECAL_FACE

 

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Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

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Sun Milk in Vienna

With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding


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I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle


Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

Some great work from San Francisco based Tyler Bewley.


Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

While walking our way across San Francisco on Saturday we swung through the opening receptions for Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in the Mission.


Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.


The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.


The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.


Flavio Samelo's Downtown Sao Paulo Murals

Our buddy Flavio Samelo down there in Brazil does all kinds of great work including this recent mural project in downtown Sao Paulo in front of one of the most important modern buildings of Oscar Niemeyer from the 60's, THE COPAN.


John Trippe, FFDG and Fecalface.com Founder, Stepping Down From Daily Operations

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High 5s - Get Your Feet Wet

I purchased one of the first digital cameras when Fecal Face went online in 2000. It was a massive Kodak with 2 mega pixels


"Touching Base" by Schuyler Beecroft

San Francisco based Schuyler Beecroft emailed over the great new series of paintings he's completed entitled "Touching Base", 16x20in on mounted wood panel. Like them.


Flume - Space Cadet (ft. Ghostface Killah & Autre Ne Veut)

Buddies Jay Howell & Jim Dirschberger did this great video produced by Forest City Rockers.


Fire Shelter for Papay Gyro Nights 2014

Last year we posted photos from another one of Simon Hjermind Jensen's Fire Shelters he's made in Copenhagen. This time around the Copenhagen based artist/ designer created one for the Papay Gyro Nights 2014 way up in on the Orkney Islands in Northern Scotland.


"Portrait of a Slugger 19" by Hiro Kurata

Beautiful painting by NYC based Hiro Kurata now on display at SF's FFDG through April 19th as part of the group show "Salt the Skies".


"Veins of Octulen" by Curiot at FFDG

"Salt the Skies" opened on the 21st at FFDG and features this great piece by Mexico City based Curiot (Favio Martinez) whose sold out 2013 show Age of Omuktlans ran at FFDG. His forthcoming solo show is slated for March 2015.


Rome's Alice Pasquini ~Mural+

Rome based multimedia artist Alice Pasquini emailed over a recent mural completed in the historic working class neighborhood of Rome called Tufello.


Project M/3 in Berlin curated by NUART

BERLIN --- Project M is a temporary art project with the objective to improve the neighborhood, to push creativity and to connect people. At regular intervals Urban Nation with director Yasha Young invites a group of internationally reclaimed contemporary urban artists to re-design the facade and shop windows of a prominent residential building in Berlin, while it is being reconstructed.


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