Gary Parker: Sea Stoked

Globetrotter artist and WAVES for development 

By Alejandra Romo Marquez

Gary Parker, is a Graphic Designer and Australian Photographer. He grew up in the hills around Melbourne, Australia. Now he lives in Victoria, Canada, but he travels the world working on his online magazine “Sea Stoke”, surfing and volunteering for amazing causes.

I never met Gary in person, I started to talk with him last year when I submitted to Sea Stoke my California vision project. From the very first minute I knew he was a very nice and inspiring person. Surprisingly he was as well in Maderas beach, Nicaragua one year before me, so we have a lot of friends in common.

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Jared Aufrichtig teaching a local Lobitos child how to mix/make purple paint using red and blue paint during a creative development workshop where they paintd this mural, “Sol de los Ninos.”

I hope someday I can have the opportunity to meet this great character in person and be able to take his photograph.. I will be more than stoked! 

In the meanwhile I interviewed him for my blog, so here we go:

Gary, what is an Aussie like you doing in Canada?  What brought you there anyway?

I have been on the road with my girlfriend for nearly two years now. We kind of hopped around central America & Mexico for a while before buying a van in the states and driving north.  Canada was where we ended up for a while funnily enough. It is really beautiful here and has been nice to kind of plant the feet for a little while, save some money and plan the next adventure.

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When did you decide to be a photographer, and what kind of photography do you enjoy the most?

I don’t think I ever really decided to be a photographer, in fact I still am not sure what to call myself as I love all visual mediums.  However photography was always something I loved as a medium.  I love exploring the world around me with a camera in hand as well as creating worlds.

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Why did you create Sea Stoke magazine, and how did being a surfer help shape this?

As surfers we all have a pretty deep connection to the ocean.  For a number of years I worked for one of the bigger surf companies, creating artwork for apparel amongst other things.  At first it was my dream job, but over time i began to loose what it was that drew me to surfing in the first place.  I felt disconnected in a way from the ocean, something I felt hard to deal with.  Over a few beers with a friend one night we bounced around the idea of a platform to bring creative folk together who also shared this connection to the sea.  Not so much focused on material value, competitions or anything like that… just real stories and real issues.  Then it kind of began from then on. Sea Stoke was born.

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I hear you are in Peru doing some amazing volunteer work, can you tell us a little more about it?  Why did you decide to go there?  How can people help contribute to the cause?

The last month and a half I was working with WAVES for Development, a small organization that are based in the north of Peru, in a town called Lobitos.  The opportunity actually arose from an interview I did with Forest Woodward for our last issue.  Forest is an amazing photographer and he  was the one who suggested the idea that I should come down and get involved with an audio visual workshop they were running at WAVES.  A few emails back and forth between Dave the founder of WAVES and two weeks later I was down there.  It was truly an amazing experience, one that in fact has lead me to work on a film to help create a more sustainable community and bring awareness to some of the issues they have down there.  I would highly encourage anyone to volunteer their time with WAVES.  They can check out their website here:  http://www.wavesfordevelopment.org

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What are your plans for the rest of the year?

I am hanging out on Vancouver Island for a little longer and then I fly back to Peru in August to continue working on our film.  After that I have a blank canvas.

Be sure to visit his online magazine: http://seastoke.com/ and show some love by sharing the word about this great project.

Also, he started a raising campaign for the film he’s doing in Peru. Go to this link to donate

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