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Meet Parker Winans of Scumchoir in Whittier

Today we’d like to introduce you to Parker Winans.

Parker, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I wanted to be an artist ever since I was a kid. I’ve always been painting or making videos or making music. I feel the best when I’ve created something out of nothing and someone else feels something because of it.

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?
There’s the typical “I don’t fit in anywhere” aspect I’ve always had. Always had friends but didn’t belong to a group. Now with my art, I’m like adjacent to different art scenes and that stuff but I’m not like definitively a representative of this style or that group. I like being there because I strive for originality. Even though complete originality probably doesn’t exist, it’s still the goal to me. But then the obstacle is that people don’t know how to classify me.

One life obstacle that was really the path to what I do now is a health scare I had a few years ago. I was at a low point in my life to begin with, depressed, not creating stuff, no real prospects for the future, fresh out of a bad break up, and one night I woke up at like 3 AM with just a really intense pain shooting through my leg. For the next two weeks, the pain just got more intense and spread to other parts of my body. My bloodwork came back negative for all the usual suspects, but they said it was some kind of autoimmune issue causing arthritis. During those weeks, my eyes were really opened to the fleeting nature of my existence, and I started painting a lot because it took my mind off the pain. I’ve been pursuing art ever since then.

Please tell us more about your art.
I’m an artist. I use watercolor, ink, gouache, oil, acrylic basically all the mediums I can get my hands on to create characters driven by emotions and ideas.

A lot of my work is about confronting darkness I guess. Fear, Pain, discomfort, anxiety. I see a lot of redemption in my work. But I also see a lot of humor in my work, and whenever I tell that its there they don’t see it. My art to me is more of a discovery process. I don’t really set out with a goal or a message or anything when I start a piece unless I’m doing a commission for something really specific. But even then, I just try to get in the mood of whatever that thing requires so that the painting can come out naturally. A lot of the time I just start with nothing in mind. A splatter or a haphazard slash of paint and then wait to see something in it. Sometimes I start with a theme, but the process to me is about exploring that theme. Not messaging. The news is for messaging. Advertising is for messaging. Propaganda. Art is for exploration and searching for beauty. Even in dark subjects, like a lot of what I paint.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I am of the philosophy that luck really is everything. I don’t believe in free will. The universe is cause and effect and deterministic and I don’t see human affairs as being somehow magically outside of those forces. Whenever I express this belief to people, it’s almost always rejected. People like to think that they are self-made and all that stuff. And they like to point to their decisions and the things they’ve had to overcome as evidence that you make your own luck or that mindset is everything or that ambition and will power can shape the world. But in my view, none of these characteristics were created by the person who has them. If someone is ambitious, they didn’t choose that for themself. Some people can overcome the most horrendous unthinkable trauma, and they didn’t create their capacity for that overcoming  anymore than they created the circumstances of the trauma itself.

So in my view, effort and will power and attitude matter. But it’s humbling and even freeing to accept that we don’t have ultimate control of reality. And more important, letting go of the illusion of control and free will just create compassion for those who are less fortunate than you because they didn’t create themselves either.

My belief in luck over freewill ties in with my art in that almost nothing I do starts with a plan. I just follow the flow of the paint and trust the process. I don’t do preliminary sketches or any of that. I just start, its about the moment.


  • $200 for a small watercolor commission
  • $100-500 original art pieces on my website
  • $20 archival prints available on my site

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photos by Parker Winans, Artwork by Parker Winans

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