Today we’d like to introduce you to Parker Graffham.
Parker, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I make ecological art under the name OrganicSnakeOil. I first became interested in ecology midway through high school when I took a marine biology class and learned my first bit of knowledge on environmental degradation. I’m now pursuing an education in ecology and biodiversity here in SoCal and will continue my studies at UC Davis. I was also raised in a house full of artists, with both my parents centering their lives around the art world. This introduced me to a variety of personalities and practices. I’ve noticed that both science and art often tackle very similar subjects and both have had large impacts on my life. The pieces I create are an attempt to link both areas of interest.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The main struggle has been mostly mental thus far. Trying to balance school with my creative pursuits often overwhelms me, but thankfully I have a group of beautiful people to keep me afloat. Some individuals have resisted my message but in every instance, I learn something new about my presentation of ecological concepts through art and media. Phrasing the information in a digestible way is often another one of the main struggles I face, but is also extremely beneficial to work through.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
My Instagram serves as my main platform to spread my environmentalist message. I share a lot of information regarding sustainability and post about some of the personal changes I’m making to reduce my contribution to climate change. I also sell products from time to time in limited drops. Local artist Drew Villanueva and I recently had an art show called “Citizen Science”, which presented some changes that we can make to keep our planet thriving. It featured bio-art, photographs, upcycled clothing that we created AND lemonade on tap.
In the future, I plan to host more events and create more art that promotes environmental consciousness. I’d also like to try and tackle more societal issues like food desserts and food scarcity. The real fun comes from trying to take my education in ecology and formulating it into a piece that is accessible and engaging.
What were you like growing up?
I was very social in my early years and became more introverted during high school. During this time, I started to recognize the power of education whether it be institutional or self-taught. Nowadays, I’m back out of my shell and eager to collaborate for a brighter future!
- Email: Graffhamparker@gmail.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/organicsnakeoil/
Drew Villanueva, Natalie Malins