K2 – The Blog

Before They Were Rockstars – Paula Parrish

Posted in Before They Were Rockstars, Uncategorized by K2Creative on July 26, 2011

Paula Parrish is an artist, and her medium is photography – sort of.  Paula uses various experimental techniques (and very little retouching) to blur the lines of photo, painting, film, and the human form.  In laymen’s terms, her process is BONKERS.  We can’t give it all away – but the outcome is fantastical and sometimes gritty.  And somehow, always poignant.

We’re asked a lot what she shoots – and the answer is, everything.  Paula has been commissioned for beauty, fashion, still life,  portrait, and even landscape work, all in her unique and ever-evolving style.   Katie and I have always respected Paula’s hard work – and are thrilled at where it’s gotten her.  Fine art, commercial work, editorial – it’s all the same to her – she’s CREATING.  Many have taken notice – including Visionairs Gallery in Paris.  Her work has traveled to and sold at Art Basel, Shanghai, and even right here in NYC at the Chelsea Market.  Editorially, she’s shot with Oyster, Twill, No.ise, Planet, Crash, and Bleu (to name a few).  And on the commercial front (because we know ad agencies will want to know), she’s shot most recently for several hotels, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitter, Von Dutch, and Target.

And on a personal note – we’ve gotten to know Paula over the last few years.  She’s always been professional and wonderfully kind – and could honestly be an artist’s muse/fashion icon on her own right. She cares about the world around her, and actually began shooting still photo while  documenting women working in the “hostessing” industry in Tokyo. These days, she’s added amazing mother to her list of accomplishments.  In all aspects of her life  Paula does what she does because she loves what she does.   Without inspiration, she wouldn’t shoot.  Lucky for us (and for you!), she finds inspiration in everything…

And now, we present MS. PAULA PARRISH.

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Where are you from originally?
Wisconsin

What did you intend to do when you “grew up”?
Not that Wisconsin was that bad, but anything that would take me far away.

What were you like as a teen?
I was a cheerleader, shit that is embarrassing, please don’t judge me.

Do you see reflections of your teen self in your adult life?
Definitely. I wasn’t really afraid of much as a teen. Challenges and obstacles like not having money or a plan have or fears of the unknown never stopped me.  That being said, like when I was a teenager, I still don’t manage money or plan things well.

What was your first job ever?
I delivered newspapers. It was hardcore in the wintertime.

What is the biggest trouble you ever got yourself into?
I’ve been deported from the UK and Hong Kong, which  both seemed to suck at the time, but now it gets me out of jury duty.

What was your first job in the photo business?
Tendencias Magazine in Madrid.

How did you get into photography?  What is it that kept you here?
I was making a short documentary film and randomly began to take photos of the subjects that I was documenting. (western girls working in the hostessing industry in Tokyo).  I fell in love with it from the first roll of film that I shot and changed my life entirely. It’s a good thing because I was a terrible filmmaker.

What is your dream project in this business?
Portraits for NY Times Magazine.

If you could be doing anything else, what would it be?
Working for the Red Cross in Zimbabwe.

Anything about you we should know?
This is random but, one time I was in Thailand trying to make a film about Monkey’s in LopBuri and a friendly monkey jumped onto my shoulders and with a foot on each shoulder, started to give me a head massage. The camera guy had turned the camera on me when I said “oh look, I’m getting a massage”. The monkey kept moving my hair around and moving to rub different parts of my head, ears, and neck. When the camera guy (who knew what was up)  finally moved closer, the monkey was startled &  turned to face the camera and revealed a raging exposed hard-on.  The monkey was making love to my head.

I felt so violated.

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And now for some pictures of our lovely lady (including the violation, haha!).

Paula @ age 19 - we never imagined her with dreads!

Paula being violated by a monkey in Thailand (see above).

Paula today with her adorable son Milo.

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