What helped you decide to become a Children's Book illustrator?
It has been a life-long passion. As I child I would write and illustrate stories whenever I could. (Often in class to the dismay of my teachers.) I loved books and I loved drawing. It just seemed like a natural thing to do.
Did you have formal art school training, or are you self-taught?
I’m self-taught and proud of it. I tried taking a drawing class once in college. On the first day of class there was a bowl of fruit on the table. Ever since fourth grade I had drawn a bowl of fruit on the first day of art class. I was already working as an artist and I certainly didn’t want to draw any more bowls of fruit. So I changed to a business class and started learning more about drawing and art on my own.
How did you go about breaking into Children's Book Illustration?
I knew I wasn’t going to just jump into freelancing and become a children’s book illustrator right away. I knew I was going to have to prove myself, so I started out by doing art for children’s magazines and other publications and eventually started submitting samples of my work to children’s book publishers. My first book assignment was about postal workers. Not the type of first book assignment that I had dreamed of, but it was a start.
Have you been published? If so, where can we find your books?
You can find my books in the library, bookstore, online, and on at my website, http://www.BookIllustrator.com
What are you working on now?
Some magazine assignments, a couple of book ideas, and some inventions.
What advice would you give to those hoping to write and illustrate children's books?
Persevere. Perseverance is a large part of being a successful writer and illustrator. Don't give up when your art is rejected by a publisher. You can’t give up when others doubt you. Find a way to tell your story and/or show your art.
What is something about you that kids might like to know?
I’m still a child at heart and I love creating fun stuff for kids of all ages. Go here for some of my fun stuff: http://www.markix.net/fun.html
What is something about you that everybody might like to know?
I dream of creating for the joy of creating. I have literally thousands of ideas for paintings, books, inventions, sculptures, and much more. My goal is not really to have these projects published or for them to become commercial successes, but simply to create. However, for reasons I don’t understand, there seems to be unseen forces in this world that prevent so many creatives from fulfilling their dreams by placing insurmountable obstacles in their creative path. And, sadly, I seem to be no exception. But oh, to think what I could do if I could just find the time, support, and resources to match my imagination.