Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Hernandez.
Mark, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve always been interested in cartooning since I was a child, specifically animation. I took classes here and there throughout the middle and high school. I was more serious about art classes in college and decided to pursue my degree in animation. I attended Cal State Fullerton and received my BFA in animation/ entertainment arts.
While attending college, my interest in comics and children’s illustrations grew tremendously. My focus though was in pre-production in animation such as in storyboarding. I choose that because there was a correlation between that and comics. While in college I was fortunate enough be hired at Knott’s Berry Farm (Kaman’s Art Shoppe) as a portrait artist and eventually a caricature artist. My last year of college, I decided to study abroad in Florence Italy. I had an amazing experience and I really tried to work on my draftsmanship as continuously recommended by my peers. In retrospect, there were plenty of things that pushed me to pursue the entertainment arts. While in Italy, I met some classmates from the academia that were going to a school in Florence that was geared toward comics. I met and took classes from a former Disney cleanup artist.
During this time, I was practicing my caricatures on my classmates. After graduation, I was fortunate enough to get a job as a portrait and caricature artist at Disneyland (Rubio Arts). During this time as well, I had interned for a few places which I felt fortunate and blessed to have these experiences.
The biggest one for me was Smorgasbord Animation Studios under Dahveed Colony-Nagy. I was very privileged to have some good hands-on experience.
While there, I met Shawnee’ and Shawnelle Gibbs of BopSee Books and had a role in a short animated film as a storyboard artist. From them, I have received a few freelance projects over the years and I’m currently wrapping up a comic book project of theirs which I’m super excited about.
Since college, I really have made an effort to stay within the arts in any kind of capacity. From being a studio assistant of an individual artist to working as a facilities clerk at Dreamworks Animation Studios (PDI- Redwood City), working as a sign artist at Trader Joes to being a graphic designer, everything has contributed to my art career. Where I currently live and the opportunities that come about are extremely minimal, I felt like I had to create my own opportunities to continue art especially in the areas I’m interested in.
Quite honestly, this is what I’ve always wanted to do in terms freelancing art projects and eventually having my own content in public circulation. What helped me make this leap into running my business were many variables but this biggest was from my family and their support, especially my beautiful wife and what keeps me going is my passion for the arts and my peers that inspire me day after day to learn and improve, and most of all my wife and son who inspire me to work hard and stay determined. Even though I still have long ways to go and learn, I strive to bring quality with a sense of humor to all my work and I’m using technology to communicate to the masses. From the aesthetics of my art to the way I present the non-art material such as website, business cards, and ads I try to be clear and simple. I don’t think I’ve reached that as of yet but its always going to be an ongoing process to improve and stay current with technology and trends. With what is available out there to run a business is incredible and far more simple. Everyday brings something different and a new challenge but I will say that I’m super excited about what to come.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I wish it was a smooth road but that’s okay because experiencing the good and bad is an opportunity to learn something and apply it. Marketing strategies. salesmanship, and artistic growth change over time but still have a basis to them that are solid. For example, I’m an introvert, not a very good salesman to pitch my ideas, however, I have to figure out how to overcome that by maybe incorporating something that suits that my personality. What is a big helper is my passion for what I do. I love art and excited about it. I try to use that to my advantage. I feel like if you are excited about something, it comes through even for the most shy person. “Oh man, did you see that movie, so and so was incredible in it.” “Oh man, that vacuum works wonders, sucked up all my dogs shedding with out clogging the machine. Its so worth the investment.”
From an artistic standpoint, it’s a constant struggle, whatever I do. Finding the right angle, depicting something or someone doing something or conveying an emotion(s) in a drawing. It’s still exciting yet challenging but I know as time goes on, I can depict the thing I’m drawing much more soundly.
Cartoon Scribble – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Cartoon Scribble specializes in illustration but it can roll into other areas of art such as graphic design. For the moment, its primarily a one person operation, although my wife helps me out too. I’m essentially taking on freelance projects from various people but what is coming through these days are caricature assignments and illustrations.
What sets me apart is the artistic style off the top of my head. This is where my lack of salesmanship come in, unfortunately. I can only say that in every art project, caricature I’ve taken part in, I will always give my very best. I have to because it represents me and what I can do artistically and I want people to know that I will work hard to have a successful outcome. I may not be the fastest but I want quality in everything I put out, it means something to me that quality shines through from the most simplest illustration to the most complicated one.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
For the sake of simplicity, if I can make a living doing what I enjoy doing, that, to me, is success. I’ve had all types of jobs but this is the one that where I’ve utilized my artistic ability fully, that is another level of success.
If the client is happy with the outcome, that is success that builds on top of another.
The way I’m seeing starts off with taking pride in doing what I do. My desire is to make the client happy with their investment. With hard work and determination and a good reputation shows and shows other people what I can do for them.
“Piano piano” is what the Italians always told me while learning Italian, which means floor by floor.
- Address: Murrieta, CA 92563
- Website: www.cartoonscribble.com
- Phone: (909) 210-7945
- Email: Mark_Hernandez713@yahoo.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mark_hernandez713/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1204784844
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/cartoon-scribble-murrieta-2