Schin Hern Loong: When did you first become interested in illustration, and what prompted you to develop the watercolor style you have now?
David Mack: I always wrote and drew and made things my entire life. When I was in high school, I made my first comic book and I realized it was a format that I could integrate all other mediums in. As far as style or media, I start with the story first, then based on the story I write, I try to determine the best visual way to communicate it, and then I try to cultivate a different look or use a different media based on what seems right for that particular story.
Schin Hern Loong: Which was the University that you received a full scholarship to? Do you think a formal art education is necessary for any illustrator?
David Mack: I think it is helpful. I donít know if Iím an illustrator, but I like to write stories and tend to use the art as another tool of the storytelling.
I didnít go to a specialized art school, I went to a university: NKU. This was helpful to me because aside from the BFA I received in Graphic Design, which entailed all of the Fine Arts classes, I was also given access to all of the wide variety of subjects offered at the university (History, Science, Japanese language, Childrenís Literature, etc.). I was able to integrate these into my work to make my stories and art richer.
Schin Hern Loong: How did you get started in the business of illustration and what methods of self-promotion did you do and recommend?
David Mack: I just began writing and drawing my own books. I wrote and drew the first Kabuki volume while in college and turned it in for my Senior thesis in writing. I started Kabuki at a small publisher and continued doing stories in comics from there. Based on the story in Kabuki, I was offered a job as a writer on Daredevil at Marvel Comics, and I continued writing and drawing stories since.
Going to conventions helped me cultivate a larger readership. Because I do a creator-owned book, it is up to me to introduce it to new readers. I do this at conventions and also get offers for other projects there as well.
Schin Hern Loong: What advice would you give to a fresh grad about to embark into an illustration career?
David Mack: Do it and enjoy it, and constantly work all the time to get a sense of what you personally want out of your work. Doing a large amount of art all the time, will give you a sense of what you want to do when you are doing it for jobs for others.
Schin Hern Loong: Will you be present at any US comic/art conventions this and next year?
David Mack: Yeah, so far this year, I signed at New York, LA, San Fran, Pittsburgh, Dallas. Iíll be at Chicago, San Diego, Charlotte, and many more, an art gallery show in Austin and Belgium. Just check davidmackguide.com for details.