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The Distinctive Art and Illustrations of Ed Parker

For more than forty years I have been painting images and capturing the likenesses of people in the Martial Arts community.


It all started with my dad.


I'm sure most successful parents want their children to follow in their footsteps and my dad was no different; he wanted me to be his sequel. 


I love my father deeply and I wanted his approval while he was here but I always wanted my own identity. I didn’t want to be the Ed Parker Sr. clone or the bad sequel to his legacy. 


My dad had a following of millions and was credited as being one of the leading Martial Artists globally during his time on earth.


The low hanging fruit of the Martial Arts industry was the obvious choice to go to in order to create my own niche market as an artist. 


In 2010 I was the honored recipient of the Martial Arts History Museum Hall of Fame’s elite Funakoshi Award and I was named as "the most influential artist over the face of the martial arts internationally for over 30 years."


In 1979 I drew a portrait of my dad. I learned at the beginning of my art career to never draw exactly what a person looks like. 


I have always had the instinct to draw people with a unique artistic touch and interpretation. In portrait artwork it’s imperative to flatter the subject and take creative license by making the eyes brighter and with sparkle and shine.  


It goes without saying that removing wrinkles or lines, trimming down the overall look of the person is essential. Sometimes there is a need to add fullness to the hair or a dramatic look. I never just copy the reference photos as… what would be the point?!


We all have heroes in our given field of interest. 


My heroes in the illustration industry are Drew Struzan, Paul Calle, Robert Peak, Boris Vallejo, and Frank Frazetta to name a few. They are/were motion picture poster artists, book and album cover artists and one did the artwork on postage stamps. 


I would gaze at their works for days on end hoping that one day I would be a tenth as good as they are. I found my own style in time and have since painted over 2,000 portraits of martial artists all over the world. 


Some of the people I have captured with my portrait artwork are considered icons in the martial arts industry. 


Please feel free to roam this gallery to see if you wish to attain a copy of some of these legends that I have recreated using my distinctive style of illustration.

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