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A Minute With Mark Neeley
Hi! This is a newsletter about artists I like.
I began acquiring art through some friends that worked in galleries. I started small, working on a limited budget, for stuff I could afford. As time passed, my collection grew, and it was exciting to watch many of the artists I'd collected go on to bigger shows and critical acclaim. My goal with this newsletter is to make a digestible resource for anyone interested in artists that are making great (and still affordable!) work, whom you haven't heard about... yet.
A little over a year of doing this newsletter and it’s been cool to meet new people that read this so it was cool to talk with Mark and hear about his life, his work, and part/present projects. My hope is that future readers can also take part, whether that’s with a recommendation, taking part in an interview, or sharing a post.
Thanks Mark for taking time to do this. For more info on Mark and his work go HERE.
Tell us about the book ... when is it out and where can we buy?
MN: The book is called Extracted Frames and it's sort of a career-spanning sketchbook of all of my animation projects: short films, music videos, promotional films, etc. Since I animate on paper, it's all sourced from hundreds of inked & painted frames from all of that stuff, and printed using a unique risograph method. It's available now from the publisher Cereal Box, and working on having it available through outlets like 50 Watts and Printed Matter.
Describe your style or what you like to draw?
MN: I'm really inspired by mid-century illustration and design styles, the hand drawn pen & ink aesthetic. When it comes to design and color, there is just so much to mention. I go between doing character and more abstract work quite a bit.
How long has this project been in the works?
MN: Probably around a year and a half, from the inception and when all of the artwork was archived and compiled. The last several months has been the heavy production ... I still don't even fully understand the riso technology myself but the publisher had to meticulously color separate every single piece for print, it's a pretty labor-intensive process. But I think the printing method really matches the analogue nature of the animation. The whole package will like a true artbook to people, hopefully!
You also work for Aquarium Drunkard, one of the best around, so what music are you listening to when you are drawing and making art?
MN: I'm not really a "mood" listener in terms of what I have on when I work, so it's a mix of everything that I love. Although I do have instrumental music on a lot - not in a background muzak sort of way, but certain times it just feels right. Go-tos would be vibraphone-heavy jazz like Bobby Hutcherson and avant-pop stuff like The Durutti Column and Arthur Russell's instrumentals anthology. Today it was Ashra's Blackouts.
Is it hard to be creative with your own output when your day job is also creative work. It’s like double dipping in a sense….?
MN: Unfortunately, yes. Up until recently I had a day job that was not in the arts. Now that I'm doing freelance full time, it's great but it consumes your creative output in a different way. I would really like to make another personal short film, but I would probably need to dedicate a couple months to it with no distractions ...
What are some inspirations for you and what resources do you recommend ? This could be print, books, or online sites etc.
MN: Any opportunity I will spread the word of John & Faith Hubley, they were an incredible husband and wife animation duo who really pushed to intellectualize the artform with stunning films. There's so much in terms of books ... I'm a bibliophile and have collected the Graphis Annual anthologies for a long time, especially from the sixties and seventies. There were also a few film offshoots called Film & TV Graphics. Those are an endless archive of inspiration.
What do you have planned for the summer?
MN: June has been a huge month with the book and I did a collaboration with Madewell that just came out a few weeks ago (both projects had been in the works for over a year). I'm currently working on a music video, and we'll be doing a release event and exhibition for Extracted Frames here in Cincinnati at the end of July. And I'm a parent now, so trying to enjoy taking morning walks with my eight month old before the summer humidity really kicks in.
Who should we have on next?
MN: Madalyn Stefanak, John Zabawa, Jason Look, Linda Meli