After many years spent working in advertising, where he ended up as head of art at Alliance International, Mark Oliver decided that he was a creator rather than a capitalist and became a freelance illustrator. Throughout his time in advertising, he not only learned what art directors and clients need from illustrators, but enjoyed working with a range of talented artists and admired their work. Occasionally, he’d take the opportunity to illustrate his own ads.
For more than 20 years now, he’s been working as a freelance illustrator with commissions from some of the world’s biggest brands and the top names in publishing. Now settled in Worthing on the South Coast, he continues to develop his style and relishes new projects. In addition to his distinctive illustration work, he enjoys creating Litter Bugs – insects made from found objects. As a consequence, you might find him in a flea market or at a car boot sale looking for items to upcycle.
His inspiration comes from Raymond Loewy, Herge and Eduardo Paolozzi, as well as sitting in his garden observing how water droplets sit so delicately on velvety leaves the morning after a heavy dew.
Mark took his foundation course at Stevenage Polytechnic, before doing a degree in graphic design at Middlesex University.
Adapting to the challenge of any brief is what excites Mark. He’s used a wide range of media during his career, from physical painting and collage through to Illustrator and Photoshop. Most projects these days are tackled digitally, but he loves to draw and paint as well if it suits the commission.
Mark works in a variety of styles that he adapts to suit the requirements of a job. His favourite at the moment involves an isometric perspective with a distressed finish using a retro palette. He likes the look and feel of old photos from the 50s and 60s, as well as Polaroids, and has a collection of vintage paper and card that he uses to bring real world textures into his work.
Client list Macmillan
Faber & Faber
Oxford University Press
Cambridge University Press
Hodder & Stoughton