Mark Wang is an Illustrator and comic artist original from Tucson, Arizona, but is currently located in the fabled NYC. Sometimes his drawings are funny, and sometimes they’re not. Go figure huh.
Artrepreneur.com: How do you decide on the concept or idea behind each of your illustrations?
Mark Wang: To me Illustration works best when it acts like a joke. Think about the setup, what are you trying to express with you illustration. Is it a story your trying to tell, are you trying to express a idea, or is about a mood. Once you have that down you can figure out what the best punchline is.
It’s best if you can summarize the article into a tagline. Each picture is like a 1000 words, but like you can get the point across more effectively if it’s like 6 words.
From there it’s just thumbnails. In illustration composition are ideas/stories. Keep it simple, if you can express your concept with basic shapes and lines in a tiny thumbnail your final illustration will also read.
ATP: How do you incorporate storytelling into your illustrations? Is narrative important to your work?
MW: Everything is a story or has a story. Even the dead have stories to tell. It would be more impressive to find something without a story, but then again I would wonder what the story with that.
If I were to answer the question seriously though, I like comics. it tells the story through distance and composition. I have a harder time with time based mediums such as animation and music, so it’s nice for me to breakdown the story telling more flatly you know.
ATP: How do you approach the use of color in your illustrations? What considerations do you make when choosing a color palette?
MW: I feel like when it comes to color I’m a little reckless. I almost never start off with a color palette. I start of with like one key color then start building everything off of it through temperature. It’s an intuitive process and yes it has messed me up a couple of times. It is not a efficient process, but I like wondering.
To me visual storytelling is all about contrast, and simplifying colors into temperature allows me to think of the process in contrast. Warm colors pop and cool colors recede generally, although you can always play around with the composition to make it the opposite.
ATP: How do you approach the composition and arrangement of elements in your illustrations? What principles guide your decisions?
MW: It’s all contrast. Concept are contrast. Compositions are contrast. The lack of contrast in a illustration tells its story through its use of contrast.
ATP: How do you know when an illustration is complete? Do you ever experience the feeling of unfinished work?
MW: It’s done to me when I think it looks good. It’s done for the clients when they think it looks good.
Sometimes these two things aren’t the same, but sometimes they are.
I think the trick is to stop working on it before it starts to look bad.
To view more of Mark’s work please visit his Artrepreneur profile.