Brook Parker's artistic skills illustrate Hawaiian history

Brook Parker's artistic skills illustrate Hawaiian history

HONOLULU (HAWAIINEWSNOW) - Imagine the kinds of family stories you'd hear if you could trace your genealogy back to the chiefs of old Hawaii. That's the case for Hawaiian artist Brook Parker, who credits his father for exposing him to Hawaiian history and giving him the artistic skills to succeed.

"My dad used to do a lot of trading as far as different paintings for Hawaiian artifacts. So my house had a lot of neat things that use to come in: canoes, leioman, ki'i," said Parker.

Brook was surrounded by Hawaiian history and paintings because of his father David Paul Parker's love of these things.

"He tells the story about when I was small, about 3 or 4 years old. He used to paint all the time at home. He said I used to go in and get the paper bags, you know from the grocery, and my crayons and sit on the table and just copy what he was doing," said Parker.

Brook also picked up his father's love of reading about history

"My dad had a pretty good library, and so his library became my teachers too. And his books and a lot of his interests became my interests," said Parker.

His passion for Hawaiian history and artistic ambition got the attention of Kamehameha Publishing. They decided to do a complete overhaul and asked if I would be interested in providing 24 illustrations for the new Ruling Chiefs and it's like - I grew up reading Ruling Chiefs!

These will be the first illustrations to accompany Ruling Chiefs so accurate renderings of the people, places and stories is important.

"Always referring back to Kamakau's version, that's how we decided to go on with Ruling Chiefs. Some other things from my family that has been passed on, different tidbits you won't find in the books," said Parker.

All the while he continues the family tradition of telling history through art.