MarkArmstrong

Boston, MA

Full time freelance illustrator. Specialties: editorial, humor.
Over 20 years experience.

I try to communicate some essential truth in a humorous way.

I really believe it: Nothing communicates more eloquently than illustration. Humor multiplies its power.

My work includes everything from simple cartoons to highly sophisticated photo-illustrations.


603-827-3985 office

Experience

  • Principal/Chief Sketch Officer
    Harrisville, NH
    Jun 1989 - Present
    Mark Armstrong Illustration
    Mission Statements:

    I have a motto that's served me pretty well: "Client first, client second, ego distant third."

    I'm a commercial illustrator. If I feel a need for "personal expression" (and I often do), I do it on my own time.

    My opinion: Nothing succeeds like good illustration. Humor multiplies its power.

    My definition of humor: anything from a drawing that makes you laugh out loud to the visual equivalent of a twinkle in someone's eye.

    Why being an illustrator is the right job for me: I think visual. I believe every communications problem has a visual solution. I love the challenge of finding that solution.

    Weird Beatle Metaphor: I like the early Beatles, the post-Sgt. Pepper stuff not so much. Why? Their early songs had tremendous vitality and joy. The later stuff was self-conscious, overworked, gimmicky. There's no substitute for vitality and joy. I try to remember that when I do an illustration.


    Back Story:

    I have a BA in math, an MA in math education. I've taught school, been an account rep, a bank teller, a methods analyst and a programmer. I denied my artistic self for a long time.

    I submitted gag cartoons to magazines while I worked 9-to-5 non-art jobs back in the 80s. It kept my art connection alive. I sold my first cartoon to The Rotarian for the princely sum of $50.

    Walt Stanchfield once said that everyone has 10,000 bad drawings in them. I believe it. I wish I'd known it as a kid-- it would have saved me a lot of discouragement. I think I've gotten most of them out now.


    Clients, past & present:

    Arizona Home, Barrons, Black Enterprise, Caribbean Travel, Children's Stage Adventures, Claire Porter, Congress Daily, Crawdaddy, Dairy Today, Dermatology Times, 3amCreative, eContent, Financial Executive, Gavin Willis Agency (UK), Holy Childhood Association, Incentive Magazine, Inland Register, Inside Counsel, ITWorld Canada, Maring-Weissman Agency, Mass Lawyers Weekly, New Physician, OECD Observer, The Partner Channel, Philadelphia Weekly, PR Tactics, Printwear, RBC Dain, Reed Business Information (UK), Skies America, Smartpress, Successful Meetings, Teachers Discovery, Thomson Reuters, Tremendous Life Books, Washington Post, Yankee Magazine


    I am happy to recommend Mark as a highly accomplished artist/illustrator… If I give him a concept, he follows through to perfection; if I ask him to generate ideas, he always comes up with great ideas. His witty, creative drawings tell the whole story in one glance. But they deserve way more than a glance!

    –Beth Taylor, Senior Editor, Thomson Reuters


    I really enjoyed working with Mark. We engaged his services to design and illustrate a direct mail piece. Mark really knocked it out of the park for us… Two thumbs up, no reservations or qualifications.

    –Chuck Reese, President, Smartpress.com


    Mark’s work is always a joy — from his concept sketches to the final product. He has never missed or asked for an extension of a deadline. His work is just as he promises — the man is an artist and a professional.

    –Eric Meisfjord, Editor, Inland Register



    Personal Log:

    I self-syndicated a weekly comic strip for 10 years. I think it topped out at 7 papers.

    A client once mailed me a half-pound of fudge to "keep me going."

    I once spent 4 hours drawing caricatures of people's dogs at an animal hospital open house.

    I paid someone $40 to teach me how to play the guitar solo in Roy Orbison's Ooby Dooby.

    I got talked into some community theater– a musical. I sang a solo. After the show, a woman told me: “You made me cry.” I wasn’t surprised.


    Contact info:

    Mark Armstrong
    Mark Armstrong Illustration (principal, 1989-present)
    PO Box 56
    Harrisville, NH 03450 USA
    603-827-3985

    mark.armstrong.illustrator@myfairpoint.net
    Twitter at @mrstrongarm
    http://markarmstrongillustration.com
    http://www.directoryofillustration.com/MarkArmstrong
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/markarmstrongillustrator



Education

  • Bachelors
    Worcester, MA
    College of the Holy Cross
    Cum laude.
  • Masters in Math Education
    Oneonta, NY
    State University College of NY at Oneonta
    After graduating, I taught high school math for a year. An interesting experience, and valuable, too: I learned that being good at something (math) and being emotionally invested in something (art) are two vastly different things.