Mark Boardman - Artist Spotlight
Since joining the team at Meiklejohn Mark Boardman's textured, graphic style has proved increasingly popular with editorial, design and advertising clients. Mark's combination of creativity and precision never fails to deliver and has earned him a loyal client base over the last three years. Always keen to develop, Mark uses any free time to hone his craft and master new techniques. We spoke to Mark about his working life, his inspirations and his desire to keep learning.
Tell us about your studio set up?
I work from home in my studio; I keep it a pretty clean, white space, aside from some framed artworks. I got into woodworking a few years ago so I work from a desk that I made myself. Working from home, I try to keep to a routine and work 9 to 5 every day. I prefer to focus on one project as much as possible as it helps with the creative flow and I tend to use any down time for portfolio development.
We love that you continually send us new work, making time to create new pieces even though your schedule tends to be incredibly busy. What inspires your self initiated pieces?
It sounds a little odd, but I find illustrating commercial buildings really inspiring. I also love mid-century architecture and spaces with a real sense of calm. I think I managed to convey this in the self-initiated office artworks that I added to my portfolio last year. Those images had a really great response and I think that's at least somewhat down to the atmosphere I created.
Sometimes my inspiration is of a more practical nature and I create new pieces as way of improving my technique. I often do quick exercises to practice and warm up, before I start a project.
Another example of this is my Googlemap series. I use a website that generates a random place on Google Street View and then use the image as a reference. It's a great way to give myself a different city or landscape to apply my style to and try different approaches or colour palettes.
How do you approach commissions?
I start off by thinking about how I can create some strong compositional lines and bold shapes and then I start to build the illustration from there. Colour roughs are typically the point where it's make-or-break for an image, once these are approved I can cruise through the final process as I polish it up to completion. I use exactly the same process for both client and self-initiated projects.
How do you feel your work has developed over the past few years?
I've worked hard to develop my style and I've got to a point where I'm able to strike a good balance between the graphic and illustrative elements in my work. Previously, I could get caught up in making every line adhere to self-imposed rules of angle and size, whereas now I can combine hard and soft forms for a better result. I've also learnt to recognise when a project calls for a simple solution and to not to feel the need to over complicate things.
In the past year you've worked on a wide variety of projects, what would you like to work on next?
I've really enjoyed working on some particularly challenging projects over the last year, which have pushed me to think in new ways and master new techniques. Although I don't know exactly what the next dream project would be, ideally it would involve learning new skills or cover a brand new subject matter.