We had the good fortune of connecting with Parker Heath and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Parker, why did you pursue a creative career?
I chose to pursue a career in the field of creativity because I was willing to accept the challenge of discovering a way to get other people to be as obsessed as I am about art. Art has changed my perspective about living life in so many positive ways, I knew that if I created a brand around the ideas that get me stoked about art, I could then have something that helped expand a reach to others, in hopes of returning the same inspiration I search for when in need of help.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I created my brand PAR KER made in 2021, with a mission to empower users of our products to embrace self expression, and bring excitement to their experience of using functional art. The art I create is a reflection of the influences and memories I’ve gained throughout my life. Having had opportunities to travel the world and compete professionally in Freestyle BMX, has allowed my love for travel to sink deep into my perspective of the landscapes I am surrounded by, when traveling and at home in San Diego. When designing my products I consider the initial excitement-type feelings I get when I see a new piece of artwork that gets me stoked. Harnessing the potential “viscerality” of shape, color, line, and space is a challenge I encounter when creating a well balanced, harmonious piece. The abstract patterns and striations from marbling the clay on my mugs, or the subtle nuances of irregular line and imperfect shapes from my minimalist-designed throw blankets, are just couple examples of what I am thinking about when creating my products. The trial and error I’ve experienced along the way in the creative field has taught me valuable lessons in ways like learning to not take yourself so seriously and remember that art is supposed to be fun!! Taking things with a grain of salt (in moderation) is a healthy practice.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love playing tourist myself, but getting to show a friend around one of the best cities in the world is even better! SD is full of so many cool little hidden gems.. I’ve always been a huge fan of the local craft coffee scene, so taking them to James Coffee in Little Italy would be first on the list, as it’s my favorite spot. I love their whole vibe & aesthetic, and the small co-op businesses inside is pretty unique too. Since I’ve grown up around the action sports industry here in San Diego, one of the most fun and exciting things that I think to do during the day is definitely checking out the long list of skateparks the city has to offer. Whether your riding BMX or skateboarding, heading over to the Clairemont YMCA Bike & Skatepark is one of my favorite places to visit. Catching a session with friends into the sunset overlooking mission bay… Doesn’t get better than that! And let’s say it’s a Wednesday, after the session we’d hop on over to Ocean Beach and walk the farmer’s market for some good local food/shopping… and people watching, haha. There’s always something exciting and unique going on in OB on wednesday nights, haha! You have to see for yourself! Heading back over into Little Italy to have a drink and experience local music is one of my favorite ways to spend time at night. You’re walking distance from the port of San Diego too which is always gorgeous to see at night.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There’s so many people that deserve a shoutout! But most importantly I couldn’t have done any of the things I’ve succeeded in without the tremendous support of my parents. All growing up, my parents have been right by my side in supporting anything I do. Theyve always believed in me and have allowed me to get where I am today. Within the art side of my life, another major shoutout goes to my professors and classmates I worked with in College. Some of the debates, discussions, projects, and critiques we had over the years are something that I hold value to, as without those opportunities to broaden my open-mindedness and sharpen my skills as a future designer, I don’t know where I would be today.
Matt Clayton – photographer Erica Joan – photographer