Robbin Parcker is a graphic designer, painter and all around weirdo. Born and raised in a small farming town outside of Vancouver, she moved to Toronto after graduating from the graphic design program at VCAD four years ago. After trying to decorate her house on a budget she realized it was cheaper to paint on top of old thrift store and garage sale paintings instead of buying new art, and the Wild Things series was born.
1. Was creativity a part of your childhood?
Growing up I was surrounded by art and creative minds. Many of my family members paint and draw, including my Grandfather Michael Duncan. He taught me how to use three-point perspective when I was six and always encouraged me to express myself through art.
2. What is your typical day like?
My typical day usually starts with hitting the snooze button multiple times and drinking too many cups of coffee. I work full-time as a Senior Graphic Designer at a PR firm downtown during the day and spend my evenings walking my dog, cooking, and painting.
3. How do you balance your graphic design work with your personal projects?
Working as a graphic designer full time can be creativity draining but my personal projects are just as important to me. Though I am still trying to find the balance between work and play, I find picking up a paintbrush and a glass of wine the best way to relax after a long day.
4. What's the most memorable project you've worked on so far?
I recently illustrated iMessage stickers for Dare Candy that are now available on iTunes app store. I find it hilarious messaging friends with candy characters I created.
5. Monsters are a reoccurring theme in your art. Why monsters?
Growing up in BC I spent a lot of time adventuring through wilderness and lakes. Being in the middle of the nowhere is such an overwhelming feeling, a feeling of peace and tranquility paired with a fear of the unknown. The monsters in my paintings represent that energy.
6. Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by what others would call imperfections. Whether it’s the cracked architecture of an old building or the crooked smile of a stranger.
7. What is your dream art project?
First I need to learn how to use spray paint, which is on my list of to-dos, then my dream project would be to paint a large wall mural somewhere in the city.
8. What's the best art-related advice you've ever been given?
Paint with your heart.
9. Do you have any advice for aspiring artists or creative professionals?
Don’t give up and welcome critique. It can be discouraging not getting noticed in such a saturated market, but as long as you keep doing what you love and putting in the effort, your time will come. Stay true to your art but always accept critique and suggestions from others, don’t take it personally. Opportunities to grow come in many forms.
10. What's next for you?
I am working on creating pieces for a gallery show and building on my new series that includes plexiglass and paint pens. I’m excited to keep learning from the world around me and see where my art takes me.
Interview by Glodeane Brown
All photos provided by Robbin Parcker
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