Our Senior Art Director, Mark Parker, is an interesting guy. When he’s not in the office, he collects and sculpts driftwood. When he’s in the office, he sketches everything from corporate logos to his coworkers’ prominent foreheads. He’s an artist, both commercial and fine, and he’s one of the driving forces in our creative department.
Recently, David West, SVP of Worldwide Marketing and Business Development for one of our clients, CommVault, saw Mark’s latest exhibit on display in our office. He asked Mark to install a similar exhibit in CommVault’s new corporate headquarters. Mark said yes, and now Brink is catching the eye over at 2 Crescent Place, in Oceanport, NJ. Here are some photos from the installation, and an interview with Mark about the project.
How did the idea for ‘Brink’ come about?
MP: I was going to do a project where I came up with illustrations for national parks. My first assignment was supposed to be for a national park in Puerto Rico. I was going to be drawing two species for them: the Coqui frog, and Leach’s Single-leaf Bat––which are both endangered. The project never materialized, but when I was coming up with the images, I started to like the style I was doing, and I decided to make the concept into a full exhibit.
How would you summarize the style of the drawings?
MP: I tried to capture each animal in as few lines as possible, which required a lot of drawing, re-drawing, and editing. Each line has to be descriptive, meaningful and graceful. Then once I got the lines down I could go crazy with color––but the foundation is always the drawing.
Can you talk more about your choice of color?
MP: When I paint, I usually go with complex colors. I don’t usually use really bright primary colors, because I don’t think they’re as mysterious, they’re too in-your-face. But with these, I kind of went away from my norm, and I think it helped because they’re so simple, and almost childlike. They’re almost icons of these animals, so they demanded a louder color. I also thought about where they were going to be hung. They’re in the hallway of a corporate building, so I wanted them to inject some brightness and life into what’s otherwise just a very functional space.
What did you use as models for the drawings?
MP: I used a lot of online reference. Ideally, you should draw from life, but unfortunately I’m not going to be drawing any Passenger Pigeons from life, because they’re all dead. The good thing is that today, with the internet, you can punch in whatever you want to see, and you’ll find pictures of the animal from pretty much every conceivable angle, which is really helpful. I also visited the academy of natural sciences, where they have some of the species, stuffed, on display.
What do you hope that people come away with after viewing the exhibit?
MP: I want them to learn that these animals exist (the ones that aren’t extinct, that is), and that they’re in danger. Some of these animals, people have never heard of; some of them aren’t the prettiest to look at. People always want to save the pretty things––the polar bears and koalas––but my goal is to bring these other lesser-known or lesser-appreciated animals to the forefront. To try to show that they are beautiful, through these illustrations.
For more information on endangered species, visit:
Mark Parker is an artist, and the senior art director for FVM Strategic Communications, in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. You can see more of his work at www.MarkParkerVisual.com.