City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Going All In

Brendan Parker shares how art serves as more than just decor

Article by Savannah Vasquez

Photography by Shanna Magnuson & John McCain

Originally published in Destin City Lifestyle

Brendan Parker has made quite a name for himself in the 30A area with his large abstract resin paintings. His work has been commissioned and hung in high-profile hotels and businesses such as Hotel Effie, Grand Dunes Towers, Alys Beach, and some of the most prestigious real estate properties in the 30A area. However, until recently, Brendan was not sure he would make it as an artist living solely off the sales from his work. 

“A huge catalyst for me was a mindset shift as a business owner,” Brendan said. “I always had my real estate license in my back pocket, just in case, but then one of my coaches said my backup plan was stealing energy from my art and keeping it from taking off. I finally let my license lapse and went all in with my art and that really changed my trajectory.”  

In 2020, during the height of the pandemic, Brendan was surprised to find there was a market for high-profile luxury art. His work became in high-demand due to an influx of people moving to the 30A area.  

“The pandemic really changed my business forever,” Brendan said. “At first, I was terrified that it would be the last thing people bought because it is a luxury item, but as people began working remotely, and were not able to rent their homes, they came to stay in their properties for the first time. Most of them decided they wanted to work on improving their homes and that set off the trend of interior design, especially in this area. The more blank walls created, the more art was needed to fill that void.” 

Speaking of blank slates, Brendan said when it comes to choosing art for a space, he recommends first finding art that truly resonates with you before buying anything else for your home.  

“An excellent work of art can truly transform a space, but it is typically the last element to be addressed on a project,” Brendan said. “Art should instead, be the first thing chosen for a space, given the impact it can have. Great art creates a vibe that you can feel when you walk into a room, creating both atmosphere and connection. This is truly where an original work of art’s value proposition lies, in its ability to evoke and create emotional connection.” 

Brendan said that clients often see his work in local spaces first and then reach out to him for a custom piece. Once he has established a relationship with the interested buyer, he then gets to work finding out their color preferences, the space they plan to display the work in and vibe they hope will come across.  

“When people come to me, they already like my work, and I usually say, ‘Why don’t I make something special for you, tailored for your space?’” Brendan said. “I’ve never really tried to make it a sales pitch. Art sales are all about creating an emotional connection. If you can get the prospective buyer emotionally involved; that is what brings sales.” 

Creating an emotional connection to art is Brendan’s main draw to his craft, as he explained art is where he finds his greatest mental release and freedom from his worries and problems. Brendan said when he paints, he often listens to music and even dances, as he lets the creative brain take over.  

“I love what I do, it’s my therapy, it’s where I get the most release,” he said. “Painting is how I decompress; it allows me to get out of my head and get more in my body. It’s extremely therapeutic because I can turn my mind off.” 

One of Brendan’s goals that he is most passionate about is sharing the healing power of art. He explained that creativity through art is an amazing way to process thoughts and emotions without having to find the words to speak.  

"Art is a great tool for therapy, it’s a very special outlet to be able to let yourself feel. Especially abstract art because there is no right and wrong,” he said. 

Reflecting the heart of his art, Brendan said he likes to give back to the community as often as he can. Several times a year, Brendan donates his talent and even his artwork to causes such as the Destin Charity Wine Auction and Children’s Volunteer Health Network. In the near future, Brendan plans to host art workshops for those struggling with mental illness, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, addiction, and anxiety. 

"I really feel like there is a need for that sort of thing, especially here locally with the military community," Brendan said. "I want art to help release trauma and help people tap into and process their feelings via paint. It is the best medicine I have found. And I want to share it with others." 

"Great art creates a vibe that you can feel when you walk into a room, creating both atmosphere and connection," Brendan said. "This is truly where an original work of art’s value proposition lies, in its ability to evoke and create emotional connection.”