Please explain what just happened.

You can smell that from over there? Sorry.

What is your earliest memory?

I had just turned two when my parents brought home a belated birthday gift for me: a little brother. I still remember them kneeling down in the hallway with their backs to the front door to show me his little sleeping face. I just stared at him, waiting for something cool to happen. He yawned and my parents asked me, “So what do you think of your baby brother?” After a few seconds of silence, I shared my deep insight with my parents and said, “Um, he don’t have any teeth.” For my third birthday, I got a Mets uniform and a plastic trumpet. After getting a little brother the year before, I figured I’d probably get a sister or, even better, a pony. I’m still recovering from the disappointment.

If you weren’t an artist, what other profession would you choose?

Well, I probably wouldn’t have cut my hair ten years ago and I’d still be playing in bands. Music has always been a big part of my life. Currently the majority of my illustrations and caricatures are of Classic Rock icons, so music is essentially the inspiration and backdrop for my art. My first instrument was the trumpet, which I stuck with for 14 years playing in the school orchestra and jazz band. In high school, my brother got a bass and I got an electric guitar. Two months later, our first band was born. As the music got louder, our hair got longer—and bigger. Although the days of smoke machines and Marshall stacks have ended, my love of “playing out” and writing songs has not. I recorded a CD a few years ago in my home studio, and every now and then, my brother and I will hit the local coffee houses and play some of my songs.

Please describe the current contents of your refrigerator.

Let’s see. There’s a sippy cup with milk and a sippy cup with juice. Yeah, I have two preschoolers. Oh and there’s some left over BBQ chicken and ribs from my last BBQ competition. Also, my wife’s amazing meatballs, beer, cheese, garlic, beer, and more beer. Um, I like beer. What?!?

Is there a time you wish you’d lied?

“Well, that dress doesn’t make you look fat, but it doesn’t make you look skinnier either.” For the record, that was said WAY before I met my wife.

What would you say to yourself if you could go back in time and have a conversation with yourself at age thirteen?

No, you won’t go blind from that.

If you could have only one album to get you through a breakup, what would it be?

“100% Fun” by Matthew Sweet.

What are three websites—other than your email—that you check on a daily basis?

IMDB, Facebook, and YouTube.

From what or whom do you derive your greatest inspiration?

My father. He is an amazing artist who rose through the ranks of Madison Avenue during the “Mad Men” era. I inherited his gift for caricature. Many years ago, my father had a one man show in Manhattan exhibiting his many caricatures. Al Hirschfeld came to the show and was so impressed that he sat down and asked my father to draw him! Over the years, he has tried to teach me everything that he knows artistically. Every new painting that he creates projects him to a higher level that I can only hope to one day achieve.

Name a book that changed your life.

I never looked at the ocean the same way after reading “Jaws.” I secretly read my Dad’s copy since my parents would not take me to see the movie in the theater.

If you could relive one moment over and over again, what would it be?

Do I have to pick just one? When both my daughters were born, my first date with my wife, and the first time I heard my band on the radio.

How are you six degrees from Kevin Bacon?

Kevin Bacon was in “Footloose” with Sarah Jessica Parker. Sarah Jessica Parker was in “Square Pegs” with Merritt Butrick. Merritt played Kirk’s son in “The Wrath of Khan” with Jimmy Doohan who played Scotty. I met Jimmy Doohan when he hit on my wife and her twin sister at a Trek convention.

What makes you feel most guilty?

Eating the last piece of chocolate cake. For breakfast.

What would you most like to have invented?

The iPad. Then I would have one.

What is the worst piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

“Dude, that is a great British accent! Now go hit on that girl over there.”

What is the best advice you’ve ever given to someone else?

“No, you won’t go blind from that!” (Yes, I’ve built a time machine.)

What do you consider the harshest kind of betrayal?

Trust. Don’t get me started. Why are you looking at me that way? Okay, I don’t trust you any more.

Of all the game shows that have graced our TV screens throughout history, which one would you want to be a contestant on and why?

Well, if I were a D-list celebrity, I would want to be on “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.” But I guess I’ll settle for “Family Feud” with Richard Dawson as the host.

What do you want to know?

Are you going to eat that?

What would you like your last words to be?

In the backyard, I buried a trunk filled with $100 million. It’s buried 15 feet from…

Please explain what will happen.

I will continue to create. More illustrations. More caricatures. More children’s books. More graphic novels. More loud music. More BBQ. Most of all, I will be happy doing the things that I love while spending my life with the people that I love even more.

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ANTHONY PARISI is an award-winning illustrator, caricaturist, art director, and self-proclaimed guitar junkie. Born and raised in New Rochelle, New York, Parisi is a graduate of Parsons School of Design where he received his BFA in Illustration. Parisi’s love of illustration, The Beatles, and historical musical instruments add to the authenticity of every music-oriented illustration he creates. In fact, several of Parisi’s Beatles caricatures were featured prominently in the book Beatle Art: Fantastic New Art of the Fab Four. Parisi also illustrated the children’s books Meet the Brittles and Monster for President.

Most recently, Parisi wrote and illustrated his first graphic novel, the semi-autobiographical Out of Tune: Eye of the Hurricane. The book, which pays homage to 80s music, guitars, and big hair, will include a CD featuring songs written and performed by Parisi. In addition, Parisi recently wrote and illustrated the children’s book, I Don’t Think I’m Such A Good Big Brother. Both books are currently being reviewed by publishers.

As a designer and an award-winning art director, Parisi has created numerous logos, web sites, identity pieces, direct mail, packaging, print ads, radio, and television commercials for countless clients in a variety of industries. When he is not illustrating or designing, Parisi can be found writing and recording original music in his home recording studio and drawing caricatures of unsuspecting people.

Parisi currently lives in West Deptford, New Jersey with his wife Mary, daughters Marisa and Melody, and his ever-growing collection of guitars.

4 responses to “21 Questions with Anthony Parisi”

  1. Cristina Cerone says:

    Anthony, I am your biggest fan and you are still (even more now really) the coolest person I know!

  2. Chris Bergin says:

    Rock on,man.I always knew that one or more of your talents would take you somewhere!

  3. Rev Greg says:

    And he didn’t he didn’t even tell you he’s a holy internet Reverend! Take this brother, may it serve you well! Keep rockin Rev A,

    Your pal in holy servitude
    Rev Greg

  4. Mary Parisi says:

    My friends once asked me (a very long time ago) what I was looking for in a man. I said,” I want someone who can make me laugh.” well… Jackpot! I love you Anthony Parisi.

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