We had the chance to interview Maggie Parr, the creative designer who caught our attention with her “Disney Work.”
Maggie Parr is an artist and designer in Los Angeles, CA for over thirty years. She started in the world of fine arts, majoring in Printmaking and working at Gemini Graphic Editions Limited. She later developed an interest in commercial design, luckily, she got the chance to become a Show Designer for Walt Disney Imagineering. Her work and resume were enough to allow her to work on artworks for theme parks. She later fell in love with oil painting and developed a studio practice which she hopes will last forever.
A passion for storytelling led her to get an MFA in Illustration/Graphic Novels and to develop TV scripts and pitch bibles with a writing partner. Parr currently writes and illustrates an ongoing webcomic.
Maggie describes herself as a “visual storyteller”, adding that her work is narrative. She aims at connecting with others through stories.
Style-wise, the work she does for Disney is usually classical, indirect (layer) painting. Although at times she has done modernist works in impressionism, pointillism, even abstract expressionism. Her personal work is expressive in nature, more spontaneous and intuitive. It’s also spiritual, in that it comes from a deep, intuitive place, and often includes sacred iconography.
Her love for working on Disney characters came from a job she had for Imagineering back in 2000. After which she was hired to design portraits of Disney characters in famous artworks, for the Hotel Miracosta in Tokyo Disney Seas. In 2005, she approached the Disney Gallery with the idea of doing Renaissance-style renderings of the characters. Disney was skeptical at first, but when all four of her paintings were quickly sold, they invited Maggie to be one of their signing artists.
As for her inspirations, Maggie tells us the drive to connect with the world around me is what inspires her the most. For example, she told us a story of her saving a fallen hummingbird and bringing her back to her mom.
Not surprisingly, Disney fans like her work, even if it’s not featuring the characters. There’s something about her sensibilities that appeal to that world. Maybe it’s the love of stories and fairy tales. But there’s another part of Maggie’s work, the more personal side, that appeals to those who see the world from a deeper place.
We are absolutely in awe of her art. Maggie’s approach to her artistic career and work embodies what an artist should be like, however, we can definitely see a personal touch to her work. She is quite innovative, and unique.