To sum it up, Mark Jones Art is a website where you can order prints of my artwork, commission bespoke artwork from me, peruse or purchase my children's book titles, schedule an illustration event, or simply enjoy the art on display.
Despite the name, Mark Jones Art is a team effort, and I don't do all the work (all the artwork, yes, but not all the work) myself. My partner, Richard Carnell, works just as hard to make Mark Jones Art a reality. It certainly helps that he works in digital communications, but what he mainly brings to the table is a lively, entrepreneurial spirit that is almost alien to my easy-going artist's nature. Nevertheless, this arrangement isn't some cut-down-the-middle agreement, where Richard handles business and I handle creativity. Richard feeds directly into the creative elements of Mark Jones Art.
I have the sometimes inconvenient habit of seeing potential in almost all possible ideas for my artwork. However, I do not have the time to flesh out any and all ideas. Richard helps to focus my wildly spluttering imagination, edits down overly complex ideas, and offers up ideas from his fun imagination that I would never have considered on my own. And where I may only see this one pastel illustration or that one children's book idea, he can see the bigger picture. Joining forces to create Mark Jones Art in 2014 seemed like a logical endeavour, considering our strengths.
Most days, I can typically be found at my desk in my flat, probably drawing something cute, strange, or strangely cute. I'm a freelance illustrator who was born in Switzerland, grew up in Florida, went to university in New York City, and currently live in London. I started drawing when I was two, and my parents generously kept me awash in stacks of beautifully blank printer paper for my own artistic purposes. I would make up and draw stories, or draw my own version of some cartoon on TV, or play with friends and draw out what we had been imagining together. No matter the occasion, I was usually drawing. While never too inclined towards painting, in high school, I started down the road of making chalk pastels my colour medium of choice. I found them clunky and inelegant, at first, but felt compelled to persevere and continue to perfect my abilities with them. Perhaps, I enjoy not having a brush or utensil between the artwork and my fingers.
I attended university in New York City, graduating from the School of Visual Arts in 2007. That same year, I illustrated my first professional children's book, Snow Party, with Blue Apple Books, which was published in 2008. Since then, I have moved to London, gained representation with Advocate Art agency, had thirteen more books published, conducted illustration events for Jo Malone London, painted canvases for Dragons of Walton Street, drawn artwork for theatre and television, and illustrated numerous greeting cards available in the US, Europe and Australia. I look forward to writing and not just illustrating my future books, and using Mark Jones Art as a vehicle for further creativity.
Drawing isn't my forte, but my creativity takes other forms: baking the occasional cake, cobbling together an over-the-top halloween costume, or attempting to make my nearest and dearest laugh with some imaginative silliness. I wager that my career in digital communications should come in handy when promoting Mark Jones Art, and I look forward to continuing to grow this website with new illustration collections and a myriad of fun products.
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