According to his Facebook page, Mark's religion is "Smiles and Laughter", this is probably the reason why his interview is so fun to read, or maybe also because the posters he is doing are as nice as different making you guess the range of his skills....
Hot Soup, a local Boulder band with a ripping guitarist named Matt Flaherty
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I’m originally from the Pittsburgh, PA area, I moved to Colorado coming on 7 years ago..Never thought about going back. I love the West. I prefer canyons and mountains over stripmalls and highways.
When did you start drawing?
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, but distinctly I remember being about 7 and discovering comic books, that was all she wrote, I’ve been drawing ever since. I still want to draw comics at some point..
Hahaa, no I didn’t deface my learning materials. I went to Kent State University for Graphic Design, and then on to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh for a degree in Illustration.
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
I’m living from my art, it’s not always easy, but I love it.
Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?
No, but that would be cool.
Where does your influence come from?
Comic books (Jim Lee), 60’s psychedelic artists like Griffin and Mouse, and even current artists and illustrators like Richard Biffle, Ken Taylor, Aaron Horkey, those guys are just killing it right now.
Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
Ummm, I think I answered that one above…
What are the principal steps in your work ?
It always varies, but typically I listen to the band, check out their site, and check out previous work that had been done for that particular band, as I don’t want to step on anybodys toes and rehash something…then typically its on to pencil and then ink, from there it goes digital.
I tend to illustrate by hand and handle the text digitally, as well as coloring and what not…
How long does it take you to do a poster?
Totally varies depending on what concept I am trying to achieve.
You have a very distinctive style, are you doing only what you feel like or if tomorrow somebody asks you an oil painting with horses running out of water with a sunset backdrop, is it a problem or are you up for it ?
This question is funny, no I wouldn’t take on an oil painting, mainly because of the time it would take…I tend to be over criticizing of my own work so my paintings take quite a long time. Someone would have to be really willing to pay for the amount of time it would take for me to accomplish an oil to the best of my ability and satisfaction. But hey, if they wanted to pay me for all of that, then yeah, I guess I would..hahaa
Well, I do a lot of promotional poster work, that deals more with the venues and management,
But most of the time the bands management gets an approval, OCCAISIONALLY the band gets an approval vote..sooo many many bands, but recently I had the pleasure of doing a merchandise poster for the Mickey Hart Band, and being a long time deadhead it was a true honor to get to meet Mickey and have his direct personal approval of my work.
For which band would you love to work?
Do you choose the artists yourself?
No like I said, its mainly venue oriented work, but I do some work for up and coming bands in my area that I chose to work for.
Sometimes its finding something that hasn’t yet been done, or finding a way to do it different and new, many of these bands have been around for quite some time, and have quite the legacy of pre-existing art surrounding them..so you want to be new and fresh, but sometimes its tough.
Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
I’m blessed to be where I am, Boulder, Denver, these are fertile grounds when it comes to music and the “scene”, so there are quite a few really talented people working here, and it’s a nice community to know.
Off hand some names in the area that come to mind are, Tripp Shealy, Lauri Keaner, Jack Shure, Nick Doyle, all these cats are actively working here in Colorado and it’s a great scene to be a part of.
I can be found at:
The best praise you received lately?
Someone called me the swiss army knife of posters…LOL, I took it as a compliment.
What can we wish you for the future?
A sharp and busy pencil!