Interview: Mark Levy, Illustrator

In this series of posts we talk to residents and members of the co-working studio to find out about their work and how they ended up here. You can find more interviews here

Cluster: What do you do?

Mark: Illustration

Cluster: How long have you been doing it?

Mark: 23 years, I trained using traditional media, oil on canvas, but moved over to digital about 19/20 years ago. I don’t think I have picked up a paintbrush in over a decade.

Cluster: What does your day-to-day work involve?

Mark: I split my time between my MacBook Pro and iPad. For laptop work I use a Wacom Cintiq drawing display which allows me to draw directly onto the screen. My day job is creating art for arcade machines for which I mainly use vector software such as Adobe Illustrator or, more recently, Affinity Designer and Sketch. For my personal work I use Adobe Photoshop. Since getting the iPad Pro I have incorporated this into my workflow more and more. Procreate and Affinity Designer along with the Apple Pencil mean there isn’t much I can’t do creatively “on the move”

Cluster: Tell us why you use a co-working space

Mark: The initial reason was for fast reliable broadband. But it soon became apparent the the greatest benefit was the social side of a Co-working space. The fact that there are so many creatives here allows us to share ideas, tips and tricks or advice if we get stuck.

Cluster: Where did you work before Cluster?

Mark: I have always worked alone from home. Moving to Cluster was a big deal as I had no idea how I would get on in a studio like environment. But it has given me the confidence I needed to get my personal work off the ground again.

Cluster: Tell us something have you learned since working at Cluster

Mark: My workflow has improved dramatically from talking to other creatives. I have also learned to be more confident in my work.

Cluster: What have you found challenging about being self-employed/working remotely?

Mark: A big issue being self employed and working from home is not being able to switch off from work. Having a desk at Cluster, away from home, means it is easier to spend more quality time when I am at home without work infiltrating my every moment.

Cluster: Do you have any advice for people starting out self-employed or working out of the office?

Mark: Getting a decent working structure is important. The benefits of working out of the office or being self-employed mean your hours are often your own. But if you are not careful this can lead to erratic time keeping and you can end up rushing on a deadline or working unnecessarily late into the night.

Cluster: How can people find your work online?

Mark: I have a website with my work and posters for sale at traffikcone.com and can be found at @MarkLevyArt on Twitter and @MarkLevyArt on Instagram.