Marc Johnson-Pencook

Drawing Fantasy Figures and Cartooning Instructor

MARC JOHNSON studied drawing and painting at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and finished off his training at Atelier LeSueur in Excelsior. "It was at the Atelier that I became acquainted with artists from of the Golden Age of Illustration. As I began learning from them it soon became apparent that my forte was going to be the mediums of pen and ink and watercolor with a focus in children's books. Since then my work has evolved into a combination of the strengths of past artists coupled with modern influences."

Marc Johnson-Pencook, "They exited to a vast apartment."
Illustration to The Ant Who Did the Impossible
Pen & Ink on Board

To date Marc has illustrated over forty-five tradebooks and educational textbooks, including The Kiran Trilogy, Little Shiner, the Bottle-Doo series, Jasper's Neighborhood and The Adventures of Tookipaws. He is a member of the Children's Book Illustrators Guild and has won numerous awards for his work, including County and State Fair competitions. In addition to illustration, Marc also does limited edition prints and mural commissions, including three 30' by 4' murals for the children's section of the Plymouth, Minnesota Library.

Over the last decade Marc Johnson has also illustrated the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Mark Twain for Adapted Classics, and has spent much of his time perfecting his craft by creating full page plates for The Ant Who Did the Impossible, a fantastic adventure story that he has written with James Robinson:

LEFT: Marc Johnson-Pencook "A ship docks in the harbor, ready to set sail…", Illustration to The Ant Who Did The Impossible, Pen & Ink on Board
RIGHT: Marc Johnson-Pencook, "It was a Wolf Spider!", Illustration to The Ant Who Did the Impossible, Pen & Ink on Board

Marc has been teaching adults and children for over twenty years. "It's important to me to make students aware that their own lives are a source of inspiration for the artwork they produce. It's a balance of observing nature and staying open to outside influences. It helps, too, to have a knowledge and respect for other art forms such as music and film. A piece of artwork should have a musical rhythm and a sense of pace that you would naturally associate with those art forms. I try to bring all these factors to the attention of my students when I'm teaching."

Marc Johnson-Pencook, Skeleton Dance
Pen & Ink on Board

"I especially like working with kids and adults illustrating children's books because they can tap into their unbridled imagination. They bring an abandonment to their artwork that makes it feel fresh and alive. By adding my knowledge of traditional methods to a teaching situation I can nurture that energy and help organize it into a cohesive, artistic statement. Its fun, exciting, and very rewarding."

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