Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Five MInutes with Artist/Designer Marc Zapchenk

Sunday I wrote about the winners of our Bob Dylan Way Manhole Cover contest. One of those winners was Marc Zapchenk, an illustrator and designer from Shoreview, Minnesota. He graciously agreed to share with us a little about his art.

Ennyman: When did you first have an inkling that you would be an artist when you grew up?
MZ: I really enjoyed creating art as a child. I realized I that had some talent and potential in grade school. It wasn't until I was about to graduate high school that I learned I could pursue a career in art.

E: You make a living as an illustrator. How did that come about?
MZ: I started my career as a graphic designer. After that, I was hired to be an art director and I had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with other professional illustrators. Eventually, I was offered a position as an illustrator and designer.

E: You also express yourself in the fine arts. What is your favorite medium?
MZ: I prefer painting. Currently, I am exploring digital fine art and I am enjoying that process.

E: Who have been your primary sources of inspiration?
MZ: I have had many fabulous visual art teachers over the years. And, although I am a visual artist I am most inspired by singer songwriters like Bob Dylan, Bob Walkenhorst of The Rainmakers, Steve Forbert, Warren Zevon, and Paul Kelly.

E: How would you define the difference between "art" and "design"?
MZ: Because I have worked as an illustrator, a designer, and a fine artist, I have always struggled with how these different disciplines are related. I have come to the conclusion that they are more similar than they are different. However, design and illustration is more intentional. It is about problem solving and clearly communicating ideas. Fine art involves many of the same visual principles, but it is more suggestive. When I produce fine art, I let the image lead the journey... I let it surprise me.

E: It must have been fun to learn you won, and then a surprise to discover you had more work to do. What did you learn through the process of making the Dylan Way Manhole Cover?
MZ: I learned that I had to be patient and open to learning a new process. Most importantly, I had others that were willing to help me make this project a reality. I am most grateful for the Lase Magic, Inc. for laser cutting the prototype board. This project truly would not have happened without their generous assistance.

If you are in Duluth on Bob Dylan's 70th birthday, May 24, you might be able to meet Marc who will be here helping place a couple manhole covers that day. Here's a link to a site where you can see more of Zapchenk's work.

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