I came across Mark’s work on his blog at markbhill.blogspot.com and was completely entranced. You can see more of his drawings on his website, here, and in his Etsy shop. So of course I wanted to know more. We tried to set up a podcast, but our schedules are so wildly different that we haven’t yet been able to make it work. In the meantime, though, I asked him our Artist Profile Questions so we could get to know him a little~~enjoy! Oh, and don’t forget to check out his ongoing Envelope Project–so cool, especially for those of us who used to be involved in mail art projects. You’ll love this–
Name: Mark B Hill
Where you live: Middleton WI
What kind of art are you known for? Drawing and Linoleum Block Prints
What are you working on right now? I am currently involved with The Sketchbook Project and I’m trying to get that finished by the deadline. Otherwise, I’m always working on something.
Why do you make art? I have been drawing ever since I can remember, honestly. So that’s at least 40 years of doodling and drawing and learning to draw and I have never asked myself why I do it. In fact, you’re the first person to ask me. I guess I draw because I can’t not draw. It’s a compulsion. I can’t help myself.
What’s your current favorite, can’t-live-without-it tool/supply/material/junkyard find? My Koh-iNoor Rapidosketch Pens. I’m a nut about crosshatching on drawings. These pens are perfect for that.
What’s the best book you’ve read lately? I’m a big fan of the Kindle. My latest favorite is a book titled Galore by Michael Crummey. I love stories that have that magic realism element. Right now I’ve got 3 books going at once. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susannah Clarke, The Complet Sherlock Holmes by Conan Doyle and The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson.
What’s the last thing you cooked? I make a pretty wicked grilled cheese. I think that was the last thing.
Do you have a talisman/power garment/magical thing you wear? I favor vests. I have one that is handmade by my Mom. She actually made for my brother, I kind of inherited it when he passed away. He was always a big inspiration for me. So I feel connected to him when I wear it.
What’s your favorite place in all the world? My studio in our apartment. I have everything I need right there.
What one thing do you want to do that you haven’t done yet? Go to Paris with my wife.
What’s the best day you’ve ever had? My wedding. A little over a year ago I married the love of my life. She is my biggest inspiration.
What’s today’s Word to Live By? Perservere
What is your guilty pleasure? I don’t believe in guilt. It’s such a hindrance to enjoying life.
What do you listen to when you create? On most days I am usually listening to movies. I favor old horror movies, usually ones I’ve seen before. That way I’m not as distracted. Other days I listen to music. I listen to all kinds of music. Except for country music. I stay away from polka, too…
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? To be able to function for weeks at a time without any sleep.
With whom would you love to spend one day making art? For me art is pretty solitary. I can tell you who inspires me, who influences my work, but as far as spending the day with them, well, I don’t know. I am inspired by Edward Gorey, Robert Crumb, Aubrey Beardsley just to name a few. I doubt that I would want to hang out with any of them.
When is your favorite time of day? Morning. I can remember my dreams from the previous night and that is usually fuel for drawings. It’s also quiet. I always prefer the noise of my own choosing.
What is on your workspace right now? Lamps, pens, remote controls, coffee cup. It’s a mess. I have to clean it up before I take a picture.
What is your earliest memory? I was 3 years old and in the hospital with pneumonia. My brother bought Batman bubble gum cards for me to look at. I was inside of an oxygen tent.
What is your least favorite technique that you still use anyway? My workspace is small, so I don’t really have room for an actual press. I hate handprinting. It’s so time-consuming. I can spend a big chunk of the day printing a single linoleum block.
What’s your favorite tool or material? For drawing it is, as I mentioned before, my Rapidosketch pens. As far as printmaking goes, I love the goldencut linoleum. It is a pleasure to carve.
What’s your one favorite material thing? I was going to say my bicycle, but since weather has set in I haven’t ridden it. I see people ride their bikes all winter and I think they’re a little nuts. So I have to say my favorite material thing at this point is my Kindle.
What’s your best piece of advice for artists? Carry a sketchbook with you everywhere. Draw everything you can see. And teach yourself to see everything.
Ricë also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.
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