Today we’d like to introduce you to Markas Odom.
Markas, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I’ve been drawing ever since I was in the 2nd grade. My friends that were doing it were really good and I remember wanting to be that good as well. Like most kids, I would draw Spider-Man, Dragon Ball Z, Disney characters and more. Soon enough my mom would start buying me art supplies and all kinds of “How To” books to learn from, Since then it’s just been non-stop drawing. When I got to high school I knew I wanted to be an artist but didn’t know what kind. I was fascinated by a lot of different art particularly animation, storytelling and cartooning. When I graduated from high school in 2010 I attended the American Academy of Art Chicago to see if I can find a career path by studying illustration. Unfortunately, in 2013 a year before graduating, I left the academy after 3 short and confusing years wondering what to do. It wasn’t long before I officially left school that I would find my self pursuing a new interest in caricature art. in 2014 I was hired as a live caricaturist at Navy Pier and since then I been in love with the new art form to this day. I’ve been a caricaturist for 5 years now.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Right now I am a self-employed caricaturist doing commissions, parties, and live events. Even though I have been a caricaturist for the past 5 years my passion for film and animation art is still embedded in me. Currently, I am working towards becoming a children’s book illustrator and storyboard artist. I’ve always wanted to tell stories with my art but I came to a realization that I didn’t want to animate. I would rather be a storyboard artist or character designer for a company like Pixar or my own projects. I want to tell stories that are relatable and impact audiences. Pixar is my biggest influence for this, as of late I’ve been studying their films and other films to learn how to capture emotion in sequences. Just like Pixar, I want audiences to feel something for my characters and relate to them like they are real people. I want people to feel nostalgic about my stories in hopes that they remind them of something from their childhood. Particularly people of my age generation.
The stereotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
Invest in yourself! First find what it is you want to do with your artwork, figure out how you can make money doing it, then invest in the things you need to get yourself started. In most scenarios, you will need a job to support your start but if you stay focused and dedicated your passion will keep you from starving. Make as many connections as possible and don’t be afraid to take risks.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
If you follow me on social media I usually update my followers when I have an event. All of my upcoming projects and exclusive artwork is stored on my iPad but I have 2 Instagram pages where you can see a lot of good stuff I’ve done. I will eventually make another website for myself to attract more support but in the meantime, you can find me on Instagram @artbyamarkaso & @caricaturesbymarkaso
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