We had the good fortune of connecting with Mark Page and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mark, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Well, I think I’m still working on actually developing a brand. People do tell me that I have a recognizable style and I guess my style has become my brand so far. I’ve grown my career by trying to be as broad as possible when it comes to the subject matter that I’m designing. That also I think has contributed to the success of my brand if you will. When a client approaches me to create a character, or design an environment, or something else, because they’ve seen the range of my design abilities I think they feel comfortable with me working on their project. This has helped me to get more assignments, but clients sometimes want you work in a specific style and this makes things tricky in keeping a traditional brand. So I guess you can brand yourself as a designer that can contribute to whatever the project is, or you can brand yourself based on a specific style. This however can limit the work you may be called on to do, at the same time people may want exactly your style for their project.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I guess I would have to say that my art it’s very broad in its scope. I can’t really say that I do one particular thing like science fiction art, or oil painting, or just character designs. I think what stands out to most people that look at my artwork is my strong desire to draw, and to make sure that my drawing stands out. I love drawing more than painting. I pride myself on being a strong draftsman. I think what sets me apart from some artist but not all is the fact that I like to take things that are Design in reality and put my personal stylization on them. To give the design my own personal style which goes back to the way I draw. I think what I’m most proud about is that I have tried to be able to be strong at designing just about anything as my mentor taught me. I’m not saying I’m the best at designing anything, but I think I’m pretty good at designing just about anything that’s asked of me. To some people this could be a positive because you show that you have a large range of capability, at the same time when you show that you can design environments, characters, vehicles, or whatever it kind of takes away in some people’s mind that you don’t have a brand. The case is you actually do have a brand and that’s your take on how you would design or illustrate something and that’s usually why someone will hire you to work on their project. I have to say this is what it’s like to be a concept artist which I am. If I were more of a fine artist and sold my art inn a art gallery , then my art would be more narrow in it’s subject matter because I’m catering to a certain group of people and I’m trying to get some of the same ideas across in my art. I think I’m excited also about the possibilities love playing around with all kinds of different subject matter and as a concept designer using different software’s as tools to express my artistic tastes. I got to where I’m at today as a professional designer/Illustrator and sometimes our director because of a lot of hard work, surrounding myself with brilliant artist, and willing to try things that I wasn’t comfortable with doing. One has to do this though, as uncomfortable as it is in, order to grow. I’ve forced myself to do this in many areas when he came to my career so that I could be more considered valuable as an artist and designer. So no it wasn’t easy but it was well worth my diligent effort. I overcame challenges by showing my work to as many people as I could who I respected in my industry, getting advice and direction from especially designers that we’re older than me and wiser than me so I could find out where they had obstacles and how they overcame them. Of course my mentor Steven Olds was very instrumental in helping me figure out ways to overcome obstacles. So my advice would be to seek advice from those you respect and those who probably have had some of the same obstacles that you face. The lessons I’ve learned along the way which I still struggle with is for one not to listen to the negative voice inside your head that tells you that you’re not good enough, that you can’t be good enough, that you’ll never succeed, and especially ignore the inner voice that beacon’s to give up! I’ve learned that I can’t let other peoples negative comments affect what I do because I’ve learned that some people will say negative things because they possibly are jealous of your skills. Or they don’t have the confidence within themselves to do something difficult and so they try to bring you down and make you believe that you can’t accomplish it either. I feel sorry for these people. I think when it comes to work of Mark Page as an artist, I would want the world to know that I tried my hardest to be the best designer, concept designer, illustrator, artist, that I could be. That I didn’t always like my work and continued to strive to be better but I realized that sometimes you have to be satisfied with what you’ve created or else you won’t create anything. NOBODY can be perfect, so why try to be. If you strive always for perfection you’ll never do anything because no one is perfect. Learn to be happy with what you create despite what anybody else says. That is part of your brand and who you are.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well I guess, I would take them to some of my favorite places which are right in LA but are a little outside of LA. So for food we would journey to Crystal Cove in Newport beach California to an eclectic Mexican restaurant called Xavier ‘s. It’s some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had in my life but I must say it’s not completely traditional. Next for drinks we would go to a place called the Edison, which is a old Edison electrical building in downtown LA. The Allison was beautifully restored and refurbished to become an amazing night club with amazing throwback drinks dating back to the 30s! Unfortunately I believe it’s closed due to the Covid pandemic. Next, I would have to take my guess to a beautiful hillside museum re-created to look like I house that a royal Roman citizen would live in. This would be the Getty Villa museum in Malibu California. This place is amazing. Not only is it meticulously re-create it to look like an amazing Roman palace, but it’s filled with amazing works of art and usually has a traveling show that is extremely interesting and rare. Given my background of course we’d have to make a stop at Disneyland and enjoy all that the resort has to offer. Unfortunately this is another place of course that has been affected by the Covid pandemic. As far as interesting and exciting people, I don’t know that many personally but I could we’d try to hang with Leonardo DiCaprio. I think he is an interesting person because he’s such a great actor and yet he’s managed to keep his life private. I think I’d want to know more about him personally.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to give a shoutout to my friend and mentor Steven Olds , who helped me become the designer I am today. Steve is a self taught, brilliant, designer. If your a gamer and you know the Oddworld’s Abe’s Odyssey video games, you’ve seen the brilliance of the mind of Steven Olds. He’s worked on so many high profile projects yet you probably haven’t heard of him because he is a man of humility and never tries steal the spotlight. These are some of the lessons that impressed me about this man. He engrained in me the notion that a competent designer should be able to try his or her best to design anything. Also Steve made sure that as I grew as a designer myself, that I gave him a reason for my design choices. These choices couldn’t be arbitrarily to Steve because everything is literally designed with a purpose in mind. By including this type of thinking when you create, your artwork will be that much more believable because you can easily see the functionality of what your designing. Lesson’s like this prepared me to ultimately be an art director for the Walt Disney Company as an Imagineer.