“I’ve become known as The Heart Man. There’s even a heart tattooed right here on the center of my neck,” says the Florida-based painter, gallery owner and tattoo artist Parker Beaudoin cheerfully.
As an artist with over 20 years of business experience in the tattoo industry, his newest fine art gallery venture touting the altruistic name and mission “Spread Love With Art, Inc.” indeed expresses a lot of heart. “I just want to change someone’s bad day, put a smile on their face and give them something positive through my art. I’m here to make peoples’ lives better,” he emphasizes.
Parker’s self-described “Neo-Popism” artwork takes bold cues from Keith Haring and Peter Max, bursting with the kind of energy and color his art heroes are known for. You’ll often find his work baring bright hearts or vibrant everyday items that Parker feels can symbolize and inspire love, happiness and positivity.
Even with the best intentions to spread love with art, plenty of business acumen and a few years of painting under his belt, Parker was having trouble with the art world. “One of the first galleries I started showing with didn’t sell any of my work for six months or more,” he explained.
In an effort to fix that, Parker noticed some advertisements for The Working Artist Masterclass on Facebook. After extensively researching it, he decided to take a chance on the program.
Crista’s Working Artist teachings emphasized how Parker could highlight and honor his unique background. Parker adamantly stresses, “The Working Artist helped me improve my artist statement, bio and CV—150%. Before I took the class, I didn’t realize that I was going about them the wrong way. For example, I was purposely leaving out all of my tattooing experience on my fine art CV. I didn’t realize I could put those parts of my life in there too! Crista helped me see that I should be including the 70+ publications I’ve been featured in, the book I wrote about tattooing, the entrepreneurial tattoo shop I’ve created and that I’ve received 33+ awards including the 2009 World Record for the smallest tattoo.”
“Essentially, The Working Artist helps you get professionally organized. You gain a priceless confidence that comes from understanding the foundation you need to navigate the art world,” Parker explained.
After refining his artist materials based on insight from The Working Artist, Parker has been selling his artwork and getting featured more regularly by the media. “The exposure just from area newspapers alone has generated opportunities for local shows and public commissions at libraries and cultural centers,” he said. ‘This has allowed the community to see my work and that has truly opened up all paths.”
Parker has also noticed that when he regularly updates his materials to strategically showcase his professional tattoo and art trajectory, it has helped him align with better gallery matches; galleries that aptly ‘get’ his personality and genre that can more accurately promote Parker and his mission.
But Parker hasn’t stopped there. Though he enjoys working with outside galleries, he’s found it advantageous to have one-on-one interaction with people, much like at his tattoo shop. “In my experience, it’s your own artistic story that sells the artwork. Directly connecting between the art and a person creates a very unique bond,” he explained.
Since Parker’s tattoo clientele didn’t want him to quit and his art career was taking off, he decided to combine the two under one roof. He credits having this solid support group, whether it’s family as business partners, or through loyal tattoo and art clientele, as being the essential ingredient for success. So, Parker, along with his father and fiancé, opened up their own dedicated art gallery in February 2019 with a separate, closed-off tattoo shop in back.
“I’m striving to make a space that’s not just a tattoo shop with art on the walls. By placing the art center stage, I’m creating something different that’s bright, unintimidating and has a positive vibe that feels like home,” Parker described.
When you consider that Parker is now selling two-to-three paintings per week, he’s definitely onto something. But no self-proclaimed Heart Man can rest when there’s so many more hearts to reach across the world. To meet that goal, Parker is hoping for more solo shows, an exclusive with a global gallery, inclusion at Miami Basel and to open more Spread Love With Art gallery shops.
And that doesn’t even include Parker’s Red People Project, an international pay-it-forward movement that he’s initiated centered on acts of kindness.
Parker Beaudoin’s advice to artists after taking The Working Artist Course? “Be true to yourself and find your niche.” No wonder Parker’s niche became such a universal symbol of the heart. His work reminds us that each artist embodies a bit of the bodhisattva’s quest—to share in the power of Meaning through compassionate hearts.
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