Woman Crush Wednesday: Parker Day
Interview by: Erik Nielsen
What sparked your inspiration and where did you come up with the name for "Brand Partner"?
I was noticing how insidious advertising is becoming on social media, especially Instagram. Brands will slyly partner with influencers who peddle their product in the context of their lifestyle. Like, an influencer will post photos of them casually sipping a Red Bull or what-have-you and the caption will be all "mmm Red Bull" #redbull #ad #sponsoredpost etc. Being on the older end of millenials myself, I remember a time in the '90s when it was gross to sell out. Selling out was cause for disgust amongst your peers. Now it's weirdly celebrated? Maybe because it's such a challenge to get paid as a creative we're just happy to see our peers getting checks cut. But damn, I still think it's at least distasteful to change yourself to shill a product. But maybe our culture has shifted toward acceptance of shifting identities, where there is no singular true identity. But I digress... I chose the name Brand Partner because I like the intimate context of the name "partner."
What are the challenges you faced during the photoshoot?
The shoots are easy breezy, it's posting the Brand Partner images that's presented a surprising challenge. People have been thinking they're real ads! I thought to choose low brow consumer products like Raid and making what I thought would clearly be an ad they would never in a million years green light, would clearly read as satire of our commodification of self in partnering with brands. But no, I even got a text from my oldest friend saying "omg I can't believe Raid hired you! Congrats!" I think people's reactions on Instagram are part of the art itself. It's like a feedback loop or an infinity mirror. Some of my faux ads seem to inspire consumer action: someone commented on my Gushers one, "I love Gushers! I need to get some now." If a fake ad inspires a real purchase, is it a real ad afterall?
Why do you choose to shoot on film?
The texture, the color... It has a quality I enjoy. I also like trusting the process and not looking at the back of a camera in the middle of a shoot.
Are you a socialist?
Nope! Can't say that I am.
Describe your creative process in one word.
If you could teach a one-hour class on anything, what would it be?
Predictability: Studio Lighting
What is the last book you read or film you saw that inspired you?
I'm almost done with Eckhart Tolle's New Earth which is wonderful. It's all about recognizing the ego for what it is and bringing your attention away from the ego and towards to the infinite, eternal awareness within you. I haven't watched too many movies lately because I'm obsessed with the Japanese reality TV show Terrace House, partly because I'm studying Japanese.
What is the most played song in your music library?
At the moment, I can't stop listening to Godstar by Psychic TV. Of all time though probably something by Leonard Cohen.
How do you take your coffee?
Not at all! I'm quitting caffeine so I'm easing off with green tea.
You can view more of Parker's work here.