For years, Awesome Art We’ve Found Around The Net has been about two things only – awesome art and the artists that create it. With that in mind, we thought why not take the first week of the month to showcase these awesome artists even more? Welcome to “Awesome Artist We’ve Found Around The Net.” In this column, we are focusing on one artist and the awesome art that they create, whether they be amateur, up and coming, or well established. The goal is to uncover these artists so even more people become familiar with them. We ask these artists a few questions to see their origins, influences, and more. If you are an awesome artist or know someone that should be featured, feel free to contact me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org. This month we are very pleased to bring you the awesome art of…
Mark Levy is a UK based digital illustrator with over 25 years of experience. Trained in oils on canvas at Falmouth College of Arts, Mark has worked across a wide range of fields including designing arcade machines, TV animation, web design, and motion graphics. But his love of film and illustration drew him back to what he loves most and he now focuses on poster art and illustration digitally on the Mac and more recently iPad.
As well as commissions for editorial illustrations and movie posters, Mark’s work has featured in a number of books including “Stranger Things Artbook” and “Underexposed – The 50 Greatest Movies Never Made”. His work has also been exhibited at Gallery 1988, Poster Spy, Stroud Film Festival Exhibition and Moore Art Gallery.
JoBlo: What got you started as an artist? Levy: I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. As a small kid, most Saturday mornings I would be at my grandparents watching movies on VHS and drawing my favourite scenes. When I realized that people actually made a living out of painting movies posters, I knew that was what I wanted to do. I studied art at college, painting in oils on canvas. Computer art wasn’t really a viable thing back then. I remember seeing a very early version of Fractal Design Painter, now Corel Painter, and being blown away by it. But trying to do creative work with a mouse is very hard. Luckily I got an agent straight out of college and worked freelance for a few years. Then I worked designing coin pushers and other amusement machines, later dabbling in animation for TV and Web.. But the pull of poster design never left so in the mid-2010’s I started focusing on my illustration again. In 2017, for fun, I created a series of Baby Driver posters and, searching online found that Poster Spy were holding a Baby Driver Poster Competition. It was here that I was introduced to the wonderful AMP community.
Who were some of your favorite artists growing up? I have always been a massive fan of Drew Struzan and John Alvin. Being a Sci-Fi nut I was also into Syd Mead and Ralph McQuarrie. As I got older I started appreciating classic artists such as Degas, Van Gogh and John Singer Sargent. I did my school final art project on J. M. W. Turner. It’s good to get inspiration from where ever you can.
Who do you really dig these days, follow on Instagram? I think there is such a strong community out there at the moment. Olly Moss was a huge reason I got back into movie poster designs. All the artists at Poster Posse are incredible, especially, Freya Betts, Eileen Steinbach, Bella Grace, Orlando Arocena, Doaly and, well, all of them. Paul Shipper is doing an amazing job of continuing the Drew Struzan legacy. Matt Griffin, Matt Ferguson and Tony Stella’s art is just beautiful. I could go on and on.
What advice would you have for budding artists today? Practice, practice practice. Find artists you like and figure out how they accomplish what they do. Don’t copy, of course, but learn from them. Then, with that knowledge, you can discover what works for you and develop your own style. Get involved in some online communities with peers and like-minded artists. These help so much with support, critiques and can create a fun social environment as Illustrating can be a lonely profession.
What should we be looking out for from you in the future? My Princess Mononoke inspired print is currently for sale through PosterSpy. I have some pieces that will be turning up in a few books over the next few months, two of which are with Printed In Blood. I’m also taking part in #TerrorTwos, set up by sinagedesign and ccbookdesign which will be showing artwork of a horror sequel by a different artist each day of the month leading up to Halloween. I will have more work with Gallery1988 and hopefully, we can get the Stroud Film Festival Exhibition up and running again after having to close last year due to the lock down. I have also been getting into the 3D program Blender and iPad sculpting app Nomad. So hoping to incorporate some of that into my work.
Being a fansite, we have to ask you… What are some of your favorite movies/TV shows of all time? As a child of the 70’s Star Wars is right up there. I can still remember the hype as our neighbours saw it before us and were just so excited when they returned from the cinema. Jaws is my favourite film of all time. Others would be The Thing, Godfather, Die Hard, An American Werewolf in London, Shawshank Redemption, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Lost In Translation, and Pulp Fiction. I love horror too, my Shudder subscription gets lots of use.
Scroll down to check out some of our favorite art pieces from Mark as we continue to follow his journey across his Website and social media hubs: Instagram / Twitter / Store
An American Werewolf In London
Batman vs. Godzilla
Castle In The Sky
Godzilla: King of Monsters
Withnail And I