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Thursday, July 07, 2016

Faculty Catch-up: Mark Braught

Over the next few weeks I'll be featuring my fellow faculty here at Hollins University MFA in Children's Book Writing and Illustrating and Certificate in Illustration programs. Today we begin with our newest faculty member, Mark Braught. His latest release is WHOSE SHADOW DO I SEE?
     Mark says, "This book was drawn initially conventionally with pencil, then finished digitally with Photoshop and Sai. There were a lot of thumbnails for composition and content, as well as lighting studies. Light and how it works in a piece is the magic. It sets the stage and is last word in the story behind a narrative piece of art. This is my first journey into the digital world for children's books."
     About his path to publication, Mark shared that, "Initially, I was approached by the author at a literary festival and finally by the publisher that purchased the title. This process occurred over a year's period."
     Before this book was DEAR BABY, I'M WATCHING OVER YOU, with this stunning interior, which will send chills down your spine.
     For this book, he used pastels. You can get a peek into his pastel process via his recent pastel workshop here at Hollins University - CLICK HERE.
     Mark says that, "Creating images that create a story by themselves and bring another dimension to a manuscript in a unique and compelling is a challenge that is very addicting because it is so rewarding."
     Mark has been illustrating picture books for a long time. You may be familiar with P IS FOR PEACH or COSMO'S MOON.
     Mark says that, "The details of my life keep finding their way into the art. Lamps, childhood memorabilia, shoes, haircut of the neighborhood kid add a texture to the story."

     Mark also illustrates other projects outside the children's book industry. A recent project has been watercolor birds, which you can buy in his Etsy Store.
     I asked Mark about his opinion of heart art. He said, "We all see things, but some of us see those same things and see a whole story the rest of us missed. They find mystery, adventure and wonder in everything."
     So what's he doing now? Mark says, "Currently working on an image for a storytelling festival, and a couple of book projects. One, I am Illustrating, and the other I'm author/illustrator. That's about it for the kid's genre."
     Sounds good to me - I look forward to seeing it!

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