Hi! I'm Mark and I like to draw things like little monsters, teapots and clouds. That's all of the things a person can draw.
I was born in 1980 in Leeds, England. Growing up I wanted to be either an artist or a Ghostbuster. Sadly the perils of carrying an nuclear accelerator scared me off, so I just doodled away.
I carried on drawing all my life with no real direction or intent, however after starting my own little Etsy shop I stumbled into the amazing world of illustration. After putting some doodles on twitter, I lucked out and got picked up by the lovely folks at Advocate Art. I'm still trying to get my head round that. At present I'm knee deep in trying to get a proper portfolio sorted. I'd hesitate to call myself an illustrator at present, but I'll hopefully feel deserving of that job title soon!
I live in a small village with my wife, Sarah, who is a jewellery maker, and Totoro who is a small, hyperactive bundle of fluff masquerading as a dog. I can usually be found obsessing about pop music, eating cherry bakewells and espousing the glories of cocktails
Question 1 : Summer or Winter?
I feel like I should say winter, because my shop name is Winter Smoke, but I love summer so much. It's just wonderful - it's when the world kind of melts, time feels like it slows down a bit and everything skews. Summer feels like an emotional chameleon; It can be wonderful mix of joy and sadness and, in comparison, for me winter feels a little bit one note. Summer's are the wild energy of 'City Grrrl' by CSS, the lush sadness of Lana Del Rey's 'Video Games', the highs of PJ Harvey's 'Good Fortune', the aloofness of La Roux's 'Uptight Downtown', the calm of Gershwin's 'Summertime', the joy of Charli XCX's 'Superlove', the manic delusion of Demi Lovato's 'Heart Attack' or the sheer unbridled enthusiasm of Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off'. In comparison winters feel very still and I'll listen to a lot of albums by people like Agnes Obel. A lot of the best pop music is released in summer and it's obviously the best season for drinking cocktails. With that said, I do love winter, especially for all the traditions. And my favourite Moomins novels are set in winter, which is as good a reason as any to love it.
Question 2 : Digital or Traditional?
For myself, I mainly work digitally (as I hate working without an undo function), having previously worked with mainly gouache. Outside of how I work I'll take either - I love traditional animation (and especially stop motion), digitally produced music, illustration in any form. So whatever works best for it's creator!
Question 3 : Curry or Chinese?
Chinese, hands down.
Question 4 : Scooby Doo or The Flintstones?
Ooh, this is difficult... I prefer the art style for the Flintstones, but Scooby Doo has monsters and ghosts (even if they are mainly fake). So Scooby Doo has to win out. I really hope one day someone has the good sense to give the amazing comic writer/artist Noelle Stevenson a shot at a Scooby Doo comic. Her redesigns of the characters are wonderful!
Question 5 : Late night or early morning?
I've found drinking mojitos early in the morning is generally frowned on, so it's got to be late night. I had a few years in the early 00's when I was working on my own comics, and I'd stay up until 6 every morning - you couldn't easily listen to the BBC World Service then as it was prior to the widespread use of digital radio. So I'd switch Radio 4 on at night, and after midnight you'd get the book of the week, then the shipping forecast and then it switched over to the World Service. Those are some of the happiest art related memories I have, where the world felt still and it was just me, my drawing board and distant voices from around the world seeing me through the night.