Mark Marderosian is an old artist friend of mine. We met way back in 1998 when I began working for a small toy company in Framingham MA. Mark is an amazingly talented artist and one of the kindest guys I’ve ever met. Our paths have crossed many times in the years since then and I’m always glad when they do. I had a chance to catch up with Mark a few weeks ago and asked if he wouldn’t mind doing an interview with me for Drawn by Success.
1) Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself and what you do.
Great! Thanks for the opportunity to chat. I’ve been freelancing in illustration and cartooning for about twenty years now, doing work for clients at companies large and small, all of them equally important. I also do traditional animation with characters that have appeal.
2) How did you get started and what made you decide to become an artist?
I’ve always liked to draw. I noticed the other day when drawing, it literally brings my blood pressure down. I’ve been drawing since I saw Pinocchio on re-release on the big screen. The colors are beautiful. And everything in that movie is hand-drawn.
3) Who or what has influenced your art the most?
The comic strip artists such as Al Capp and Charles Schultz and just about every artist I’ve ever looked at. I think we all do that : pick bits and pieces here and there. I don’t draw like Dave Stevens of Rocketeer fame, but his inking style sure influenced me.
4) What kind of marketing do you do to help promote your business?
Nothing beats direct contact whether in-person contact or a personal mailer sent directly to a specific someone.
Email blasts randomly to people I don’t know doesn’t seem to work. Cold emailing seems to be total waste of time.
5) You’ve been a successful artist for quite a while how are some of the ways you’ve adapted to the changing demands over the years?
Like many of us, by learning the software necessary to communicate to clients and give them artwork in the formats they want. Some programs have stood me well like Final Cut Pro. Others like Indesign just slow me up.
6) You now have a show on TV that teaches drawing. Can you talk a little bit about how that came about?
I’ve been teaching through school appearances, private tutoring and college courses for years to all ages groups, literally 6 to 86, including at senior centers as well. The TV show was a natural outgrowth of putting those experiences onto film in an entertaining way.
7) How did you find your audience?
Slowly but surely. Our show is on roughly 150 cable access stations, reaching 10 million households and has been on the air for about year and half.
It’s always amazing to me how long it takes to penetrate people’s consciousness. Repeated viewings and constant exposure seem to be the only way. As a side example, I’ve been doing a weekly editorial cartoon for local paper for five years now. It took three years before people began to make it part of their weekly routine, neighbors to realize it was me drawing it, (despite the fact that I sign it) and generally makes an impression. It’s only over period of time that people can get a sense of the message.
8 ) Do you have any tips for younger up and starting artists?
Keep drawing and don’t rush to the computer right away. I’ve seen it in the college courses I’ve taught. The assumption that you’re not accomplishing anything unless you’re sitting in front of a computer. Sketching, doodling and conceptualizing is important. It’s the first thing one should do and not rush through that part of process.
9) What would you like to accomplish next with your art?
Continue to get better and nailing the exact pose I want in the first try of sketching and continue building an audience for my work.
10 ) Where can people find you/ your art?
It’s always great to chat – we’re over at www.AngelsfromtheAttic.com.