Artist Gary Parks

An example of fine art by Gary Parks

Photo of Gary Parks


I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from the California College of Arts and Crafts (now California College of the Arts) in Oakland and San Francisco in 1987.  Prior to that, I studied at Cabrillo College in Aptos, majoring in Art History and minoring in English. 
My art education began almost at birth, as I saw my dad, Ed Parks, creating animation for the now-classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons, following his earlier career at Disney.  Meanwhile, my mom, Leah Parks, was producing illustration and signage for various non-profits, and both my folks were exhibiting oil and acrylic paintings in local galleries.  As I was growing up, my parents were my most frequent, but loving, art critics.  By the time I got to art school, I knew how to take critique.  Working with employers and clients in the architectural art glass industry and on my own as an illustrator and decorative painter further refined my collaborative skills.
Beyond that, my artistic education continues almost daily.  The rich heritage of architecture and design we have all around us never ceases to inspire me.  Trips to museums, galleries, and a personal library of books gathered over several decades provide added resources. 
My philosophy, if I had to name one, would be these words, which Renoir is supposed to have said, "There are enough ugly things in the world.  I will not add to them."  Beauty and ugliness can be in the eye of the beholder--and I don't expect everyone who sees my work to become a super-fan--but I aim to contribute to peoples' happiness.  If someone returns to an image I've made because it puts a smile on their face, I have done my job.

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