Portrait of Artist

Photo By Budweiser Papi

Name, Age, and where you’re from?

My name is Parker Bacall, 25, and I currently live in LA.

 I grew up in Maine just outside of Portland. I moved to Denver, Colorado for school and am now living in Los Angeles, California. I have really enjoyed living in different places, taking in the different kinds of people, and scenes that exist. Los Angeles is definitely the most diverse place I have lived, which has been really inspiring. I also love that the city has so much history. Which has been finding its way into my work. I will always have an appreciation for the peaceful and natural setting of Maine, but I am grateful to have experienced a number of different places because they have all influenced my art. 

The solutidude, natural beauty of Maine, the busy and industrial scene of Denver, and the vibrance and diversity of Los Angeles. All these places have challenged me to grow and change my perspective. It shows when I look back through my past work. 

How did you come up with the name Sentimental Skull?

I actually ripped the name for a Joyce Manor song. As they say, good artists copy, great artists steal. When I first heard the song, this lyric immediately stuck out to me and reminded me of my art. Especially the way I try to blend dark subject matter with heartfelt meaning that is relatable to the audience through our shared human experience. My hope is that people see my drawing of twisted figures, getting stabbed through the face and think, I’ve felt like that. Music is a huge inspiration for me and I like distilling a feeling down to a single line that millions can relate to.That is what I hope to do with art, but through the lines I draw, rather than words. It’s cool if I can take just a couple of lines from a song, and make a body of work that reflects what that means to me.

Being in LA and around so much creative energy, is there a favorite artist that inspired you?

Oh man there are so many great artists here and they are all really inspiring. My favorite part about being in the scene is meeting other artists, it really means a lot when they compliment your work, and you always have stuff in common. There is a famous artist from LA, Gary Baseman, who I have not met personally, although I did have a small interaction with him online. Shortly after I moved here I discovered he was from LA and I got more into his work and he has become a huge inspiration. His work is also visible around town. He’s really good at putting a place into his art and making it a part of his imagined world. I, of course, also have to give a shoutout to Angel (@angelhcrux). He’s one of the first connections I made out here. When I saw what he was doing I was super impressed, I wanted to get on his level. I can tell how much work he puts into his art. He’s always coming out with new stuff while managing and setting up awesome events for the art scene all the time. Another is Blair (@nitecrawlher_official) when I saw her work I was blown away. She's always really cool to talk to and does a lot for the community as well. There are so many great artists I run into here and I see similarities in our work and passion, it really lets me know that I am in the right place.

Did you find it hard to get into the fashion scene there, how has your following grown since starting?

I don’t know if I would say I’m in the fashion scene, I’m more just trying to merchandise my art. But it all bleeds into each other, right? Some pieces I’ve made have felt a little more “fashiony” (laughs). It was not too hard to get into the art scene. I definitely scoped out some art markets that I thought fit my style and made sure I showed up, talked, and connected with everyone. I had pretty much just seen some of the artists so many times that we became friends, and they naturally invited me to participate in upcoming events. It felt similar when I lived in Denver as well, I think artists are always down to help each other out.

Any upcoming projects you are working on?

Right now I’m working on a new design, before that I got into making some face masks. Next up I am hoping to drop some new custom pieces, hoodies, and experiment with more color. It’s always good to see what people react the most to. That's why I try to experiment in as many different mediums as possible.

I guess my ultimate goal is to create a character or image that is so recognizably me that people know it when they see it. Artists like Kaws, Kieth Haring, and Basqiuat are so recognizable. When you see something they did you know it's them and I want my art to become that way.

Where do you see the brand going and what steps are you taking to get there?

The only real goal is to be recognized, to keep expanding, and experimenting. It’s kind of weird and hard to pin down what the goal is with art. But I am sure most artists have goals. Sometimes it’s hard to say what they are, the goal is just to keep doing what you love, but you have to have a plan to continue or get to the point where that's all you have to do. People always told me my work had a style and they could recognize it. It's not something I tried to do, it just happened naturally, so I have to kind of follow my intuition and see where it takes me. All I know is I’ll keep experimenting, becoming a better artist, and getting inspired by the world around me.

Any advice for anyone starting their own brand?

I know I said great artists steal but be original! Ask yourself if someone else is already doing the thing you want to do. If that's the case, no need to do it. I don’t believe in following trends, the coolest thing you can do is doing what you want! Another piece of advice is to be genuine. When you are networking, never ask for handouts. I had someone give me the advice that you always get the opposite of what you ask for. Ask for a job, get advice, ask for advice, get a job offer, etc. So passing that along. I think people are attracted to people who are genuine with them and end up wanting to help out and be around those people more.

Contact info for Parker Bacall, creator of Sentimental Skull.

You can follow me on Instagram @sentimental.sku11 or my personal account @parkerbacall. 

Website: sentimentalskull.com