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We used the word "legendary" in the tagline on this one, and for good reason. Mark English has earned it. After years of brilliance in his chosen field, and after influencing an incalcuable number of younger artists — it applies. Period.
Mark is someone who has been on our radar for a very long time. Dwight and I (and now, Adrian) delayed asking him on the podcast until now because we wanted to make sure that we were ready for such a talk. That our collective skills for gab were up to the task. That (and this is being completely honest), that we wouldn't sound like three chickenshit art nerds with nothing of substance to say to an artistic hero. After all, Mark is someone who entered a field where guys like Austin Briggs, Al Parker and Bernie Fuchs were already doing it real big. And he not only held his own with those fellas, but made his own mark (no pun).
Over his career, clients like RCA Records, GE, Ford Motors, Redbook, McCall's, TIME and Sports Illustrated were all well served by English’s talents. And he went on to receive hundreds of awards for his work, at one point being the most awarded illustrator in the history of the Society of Illustrators. Also important to note, in 1983, Mark was elected to The Illustrators Hall of Fame in New York alongside venerated predecessors like Maxfield Parrish, N. C. Wyeth and Frederick Remington.
Nowadays, Mark is retired from the illustration game. After three decades of knocking them out of the park, he decided to start painting for himself. And yes, he kicks ass at that, too. Have you seen his personal work? Geez.
We hope you enjoy our interview with the legendary Mark English. Again, he’s earned that title.
**Mark will once again join the students and staff at Illustration Academy this summer for four weeks of intense "arting" and visual literacy. It’s all going down in Kansas City, MO, so click the link above for more details.
And below are some examples of Mark's current work. The fine art painting he's been doing since he retired. Check out how he employs seemingly random patterns and colors to create very distinct figures and landscapes.