ARTIST FOCUS: MARK NELSON
Today for our Artist Focus series, we’re excited to showcase just a small portion of the artwork from Mark Nelson aka SparkMark. Mark is one of the many talented artists that’s part of the community on Tumblr, and we were really happy to get a chance to talk to him about his artistic process.
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from?
I’m a twenty something year old guy that loves video games and art. I was born in the east Texas area and I’m currently living there as well.
What is your day job?
I’m a graphic designer at a printing company in the area. I make lots of magazines, advertisements, etc. I’ve been doing that for about 2 years at this point. I also sell shirts and prints on Redbubble as a side job.
How long have you been designing/illustrating? What got you interested in art?
I’ve doodled on the corners of school papers for as long as I remember. I’ve been a fan of animation and video games, especially the visual aspects, since I was little. As a kid I drew A LOT of terrible DBZ fan art. Dream big, kids.
Who/what influences your art? Is there a particular person’s style that has influenced you?
Bright Colors, simple shapes, art that is simple but leaves an impression. Saul Bass is a big inspiration.
What medium do you typically use when creating your art?
A notepad and pencil is important for the general layout and composition. After that I typically move into Adobe Illustrator with touch-ups and effects in Photoshop.
How do you tackle new projects?
Lots of brainstorming. For big projects I tend to let the ideas bubble for a few days instead of jumping right in.
What was the process specifically behind your Mass Effect Cubism series? Any other games you’d want to tackle next in that style?
Lots of triangles! I did a lot of research into cubism as those pieces were some of my first in that style. I’m still thinking about what to tackle next in the cubist style.
Do you have a favorite video game series?
Zelda, Pokemon, Mario, Half Life, and Mass Effect are some of my favorites.
What is the best art advice you have ever received?
Draw Thumbnails, Draw Thumbnails, Draw Thumbnails.
What do you like to do for relaxation/fun?
I like gardening quite a bit. I also like traditional painting, sculpture and, of course, video games!
Are you playing any video games currently?
I’m currently playing Pokemon X and I’m loving it.
What is your most memorable video game experience?
The Anju/Kafei love story at the end of Majoras Mask. After seeing them reunited and awaiting destruction with no regrets I couldn’t stand warping back to the first day. I went straight to the final boss fight to save them.
If you could be a dinosaur with any super power, which would you choose and why?
Either a flying t-rex or a brontosaurus with laser vision. Could I add super speed to those too?
Want to keep up with what Mark is working on? You can follow him on Tumblr for his latest artwork and updates. Also, check out his RedBubble store for a whole mess of great gaming and geek designs on T-shirts, posters, and stickers! You can also see more at his DeviantArt Gallery.