Drawing a crowd: commercial art.
“Fuelled by the frustration of past failures and a recent redundancy, I applied two golden rules to my output…”
2014 saw the launch of Mark Wallis Design, my third attempt at selling my work. At the turn of the century I was an oil painter in Amsterdam. Back in the 90s I was doing promotions for bars and nightclubs. Slowly, I began to understand how the phrase ‘starving artist’ came about. There was never any doubt about my capabilities, and while the interest in my work was there, the money certainly wasn’t.
MWD was built from the ground up with commerce in mind. Fuelled by the frustration of past failures and a recent redundancy, I applied two golden rules to my output: is it the kind of thing someone would want to hang on their wall, and is it something someone else is already doing? I looked at other artists and decided I wanted to offer something a little different. More colour! More effort! When I realised some of the local talent were just downloading clip art, I decided to make sure my work would stand out for it’s originality.
A merchandising machine slowly grew from modest sales, and 5 years later I’m dealing with suppliers and clients, ordering stock and planning for the future. I’m proud to have various ‘classic’ designs which often get requested, and I’ve even had a stall in House of Fraser, Manchester.
Here is a selection of my current work.