Mike Parillo :: Cover Artist Interview

Interview done free format style via a Skype chat in November 2010.

By: Todd Heath

  Hola give me 5 and i’ll be able to sit down properly.

BOMB SNOW: word.

MP: okay,  its always crazy when TR is in town.

BS: busy day? Travis seems like a down to earth guy.

MP: he’s a very idea oriented guy, keeps me on my toes, totally down to earth, best guy ever. I owe him more than I can express.

BS: nice what are you guys planning at the moment?

MP:  Next moves with Asymbol, shows, new works etc…

BS: So, does most of your work get done at the studio space? Does Asymbol have a space to ork or is it mostly production?

MP: Yea we have a 2500 sqft Print Lab / Art Studio / Office her in Jackson.

BS: Nice! I wasn’t sure if it was just an online hing. So are you guys open 9-5 or how does that work?

MP: I’m not really good at that type of scheduling, I pretty much just work on Asymbol stuff combined with my own work non-stop, i do 100 hour work weeks on a regular basis.

BS: I heard you guys use plexi glass to mount the prints and it ads a really cool effect.

MP: yes but all the orders are placed online and I do the leg work to fulfill them.

BS: Is that what Curator means? Kinda like chief motivator?

MP: Okay so I lied a bit, the high end photo stuff we do is done in SanDiego, they do our lightjet stuff which is a true photograhic darkroom process prints and they also do the “Facemounting” for us.

BS: are you mostly working on commisioned client peices during those 100 hour weeks?

MP: heres the dictoinary def A person who is responsible for collection building, care, research, exhibition, and writing. Curators often work with community members to determine interests and needs, which will be reflected in special exibitions, and result in the meeting educational goals. My work flow is always different depending on the time of the year, my personal endeavors bounce between commercial work and building new bodies.

BS: what’s your newest piece/pieces you are working on as of now?

MP: And by the way all this is new to me in the last 18 months. I just got back from CA where i had an opening so my summer was dedicated to a whole new body of work, now that i have done the show, sold them all and i’m back home, i am starting over from scratch. new story containg 24 new works.

BS: so are you stationed in Wilson for the remainder of the winter? How do you divide u=your time between work and riding? Do you have time to ride the Jhole on a daily basis, or are you so focused on work at the moment.

MP: The sky is the limit.

BS: Nice 24 works!! can you tell us about one of your favorite works you’ve recently created? What should we expect?

MP: Work can’t happen with out play so i balance it all, i tend to ride like a spoiled kid, saving as much time to dedicate for the best conditions. If it’s good and i don’t get out, Trav will be bummed. Basically as long as i’m not slippen, i can do as i like. The only time i feel like he’s dissapointed with me is when i’m not getting out, getting exercise and riding hard.

MP: On the art…

BS: Yeah that’s good. All work no play is bad. Were these 24 works all non commisioned pieces?

MP: The favorite of the last run is the one i sent you for the cover, Titled “lightness”, it pretty much has everything i love about painting all in one, beauty, narrative, emotion. As far as the new stuff goes, i am just building the canvases, so only time will tell. All the new work is solely for me, just dedication to the craft and love of doing art for art sake. If you read that Milan Kundera passage i sent you, the painting comes into light.

BS: Nice- Sounds like you’ve taken the time to focus solely on art for arts sake. Do you ussually have full creative freedom when it comes to board graphics?

MP: It’s also part of the life long pursuit of balance, it seems the biggest challenge in my adult life is purely time managment.

BS: That’s my problem too!

MP: when it comes to graphics, i usually do have a good amount of freedom, at least with Travis i do, with snowboards there is always shape / composition constraints, color constraints and subject constraints, but LIB TECH lets me get away with a lot. However if you see the originals that i do for the boards you will see how they get ripped apart and look nothing like intended. For the most part, but thats not to say i dont like what they do with the work.

BS: Yeah I would love to see some originals and then the final outcome.

MP: night and day.

BS: how many board graphics have you pulled off for this season?

MP: Trav’s whole collection (all 4) including the 2011-12 piece are in my show at AR4T in LAguna right now. Just his. Actually thats not true. I did Mark Carters board for Weekend as well.

BS: yeah I saw the newest T-rice board with the DNA/Space aged theme with the planes. unreal man. Does the idea come to you as a dream? It looks futuristic.

MP: Thanks, Travs is pretty involved, i really enjoy giving it my best effort, i just love seeing how stoked he gets, plus they look great in his house. The idea always comes from a very simple approach. Do you want me to explain how thats worked since i started doing his boards?

BS: Yes please explain!!

MP: okay.  In 06/07 he gave me the “balance and conflict” theme, the painting Blessings and Confrontations spawned from that, it is also our first project we collaborated on. 08/09 he told me Hydrocycle and mans influence on it, Thats the piece i did during the T.I.T.A. filming.

BS: what do you mean by Hydrocylce?

MP: 10/11 was the effect of mass media on our youth and the piece i did is on boards now in stores, Titled “triangulate what you see.” The Hydrological Cycle,  rain, snow, melt, evaporate, back to the ocean, lake or river and repeat again

BS: Got it.  Any thoughts on mass media?

MP: It’s Fucked for the most part. I like Kenny Powers though.

BS: For sure. The lone rider in an untamed land?

MP: Humor is good, Very important, PBS is important.

BS: Yes Public radio too.

MP: investigative jounalism, education, culture and art programs,

BS: how do you give back in those ways? Other than your art?

MP: people in this country, for the most part, could care less, if they did, there would be alot more value out there and a lot less shit, dumbing people down. Doing my thing is the only way i know how to contribute other than the way i conduct myself ona personal level. Lead by Example holds a lot of weight with me.

BS: I noticed you did a piece for the roadtrip show? That seems like a positive television program.

MP: Yea those kids were great, coincidentally i am good friends with the creator of the show.

BS: It’s good to see some REAL journalism still stands on some levels. No way, how do you know the creator?

MP: when i lived in LA and wasn’t all that stoked on my direction that show gave me some inspiration, then a few years later when i turned it around and moved back to Jackson from Prague i met up with him and was blown away that he had created the whole thing. We were friends through Volcom and the early days when i lived in LAguna.

BS: Nice so are you a surfer too? Did Prague set the stage for you as an artist?

MP: Can’t really claim that anymore, when i lived there i got in the water as much as possible, i was never any good but i really loved it. I hope to have the time to practice it again someday soon.

BS: cool me too. I have yet to surf. Was Prague the experience you hoped for?

MP: Prague set the stage for a more open mind, a bigger picture and for alcoholism.

BS: haha.

MP: life and the people around gave me the fuel for creativity.

BS: self control is tough especially when you have your own schedule. What are some favorite places for you to travel and get inspired?

MP: No doubt, As i get older i feel like i have come along way, but i am kinda proud that i have always been very good about deadlines and discipline.

BS: I can tell, deadlines are a key motivation for sure!

MP: These days i get stoked on almost everything, i pride myself in finding beauty in almost every situation.

BS: do you keep a sketchbook?

MP: I love being in the city, harnessing all the energy it has, and bringing it back to the solitude of Jackson and focusing with zero distraction.

BS: perfect, so the solitude of Wilson keeps you grounded?

MP: It used to be a religion, my ideas are so conceptual now that i just end up writing notes.

BS: that’s awesome.

MP: I do draw, just not like before, i am self taught so i never had an education in anything classic, i sketch like a 3 year old. But i think like… wel i think like me.

BS: How bout books or magazines? anything you’d recomend?

MP: There is so much, i just try and absorb it all.

BS: As a self taught artist, do you teach at all now?

MP: So hard to say because my interests change and vary wildly.

Todd Heath: For sure.

MP: Just how to cheat and make it easier to a few friends, It’s kinda popular with the ladies, just kidding, I would teach, I feel like I do sometimes, I like to provide ideas and concept and see what people make of it for there self. Artistry ability ins’t something I believe can be taught. Sure technique i guess, It’s all about discovering the creative process and how feeling and idea intermingle.

BS: So it’s about just doing it? making it happen and let others decipher.

MP: For sure, one thing leads to the next, one foot after the other. No such thing as sidestepping if your really about the discovery and being able to define what the word ART is for yourself.

BS: Nice man, well I can’t wait to meet up with you and Travis.

MP: Travis is super ambitious, and usually at the cost of my sanity. Great typing with you. Let me know if you need anything else.

BS: For sure Mikey, I really appreciate your time and efforts. And art.

MP: Thank you, my pleasure. All the Best. MP.

BS: see you on the flipside.

MP: cheers.




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