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Illustrator Mark Armstrong in role of Inky Draws, The World's Oldest Living Cartoonist, About Page graphic
painter color palettes used as background for Mark Armstrong Blog About Page mission statement

I have a motto that’s served me pretty well: “Client first, client second, ego distant third.”

I’m a commercial illustrator. If I feel a need for “personal expression” (and I often do), I do it on my own time.

My opinion: Nothing succeeds like good illustration. Humor multiplies its power.

My definition of humor: anything from a drawing that makes you laugh out loud to the visual equivalent of a twinkle in someone’s eye.

Why being an illustrator is the right job for me: I think visual. And I believe that every communications problem has a visual solution. I love the challenge of finding that solution.

Weird Beatle Metaphor: I like the early Beatles, the post-Sgt. Pepper stuff not so much. Why? Their early songs had tremendous vitality and joy. The later stuff was self-conscious, overworked, gimmicky. There’s no substitute for vitality and joy. I try to remember that when I do an illustration.

Illustrator Mark Armstrong face in mouth of sleeping baby used as Looking Back graphic on blog About Page

I have a BA in math, an MA in math education. I’ve taught school, been an account rep, a bank teller, a methods analyst and a programmer. I denied my artistic self for a long time.

I submitted gag cartoons to magazines while I worked 9-to-5 non-art jobs back in the 80s. It kept my art connection alive. I sold my first cartoon to The Rotarian for the princely sum of $50.

Walt Stanchfield once said that everyone has 10,000 bad drawings in them. I believe it. I wish I’d known it as a kid– it would have saved me a lot of discouragement. I think I’ve gotten most of them out now.

old soldiers wearing many combat medals used for Distinguished Clients graphic on Mark Armstrong blog About Page

Arizona Home, Barrons, Black Enterprise, Caribbean Travel, Children’s Stage Adventures, Claire Porter, Congress Daily, Crawdaddy, Dairy Today, Dermatology Times, 3amCreative, eContent, Financial Executive, Gavin Willis Agency (UK), Holy Childhood Association, Incentive Magazine, Inland Register, Inside Counsel, ITWorld Canada, Maring-Weissman Agency, Mass Lawyers Weekly, New Physician, OECD Observer, The Partner Channel, Philadelphia Weekly, PR Tactics, Printwear, RBC Dain, Reed Business Information (UK), Skies America, Smartpress, Successful Meetings, Teachers Discovery, Thomson Reuters, Tremendous Life Books, Washington Post, Yankee Magazineblank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I am happy to recommend Mark as a highly accomplished artist/illustrator… If I give him a concept, he follows through to perfection; if I ask him to generate ideas, he always comes up with great ideas. His witty, creative drawings tell the whole story in one glance. But they deserve way more than a glance!

–Beth Taylor, Senior Editor, Thomson Reuters

I really enjoyed working with Mark. We engaged his services to design and illustrate a direct mail piece. Mark really knocked it out of the park for us… Two thumbs up, no reservations or qualifications.

–Chuck Reese, President, Smartpress.com

Mark’s work is always a joy — from his concept sketches to the final product. He has never missed or asked for an extension of a deadline. His work is just as he promises — the man is an artist and a professional.

–Eric Meisfjord, Editor, Inland Register

Additional Testimonials: click here, then scroll down to Recommendations for Mark.

large Hostess Twinkie used for personal fluff information graphic on Mark Armstrong blog About Page

I self-syndicated a weekly comic strip for 10 years. I think it topped out at 7 papers.

A client once mailed me a half-pound of fudge to “keep me going.”

I once spent 4 hours drawing caricatures of people’s dogs at an animal hospital open house.

I paid someone $40 to teach me how to play the guitar solo in Roy Orbison’s Ooby Dooby.

I got talked into some community theater– a musical. I sang a solo. After the show, a woman told me: “You made me cry.” I wasn’t surprised.

Illustrator Mark Armstrong dressed as Inky Draws, The World's Oldest Living Cartoonist, against comic strip background as Contact Info graphic on blog About Page
May I be of service?
Here’s how to reach me:blank vertical space, 16 pixels high
Mark Armstrong
Mark Armstrong Illustration (principal, 1989-present)
PO Box 56
Harrisville, NH 03450
USA
603-827-3985
Email
LinkedIn
Facebook
human foot and toes painted as bed with five sleeping heads used as This is just a footnote joke at end of Mark Armstrong blog About Page
83 Comments leave one →
  1. February 22, 2012 2:03 PM

    Hot diggety!!!
    ::applause::
    Super!!

    (Will stop back later to visit, need to scram right now…)

    • February 23, 2012 9:59 AM

      Thank you for that quick-hitting enthusiastic review!! : )

      ::coughs in dust cloud::

  2. February 24, 2012 11:08 AM

    Wow, superb! Brilliant :)
    Would I be qualified as your assistant? hehehehe
    You’re a genius!
    Sincerely,
    Dolly xo

    • February 24, 2012 1:47 PM

      Now, now, blush, blush–! ::cheeks glowing bright red::

      I do consider you my assistant– you’re an inspiration… : )

      Thank you, dear Dolly!! ::bows low, trips, falls off rug::

      • February 24, 2012 3:24 PM

        hahahahaha, I adore your humor :)
        and thank you so much for all of your cheers…see you around and enjoy your weekend :)

  3. February 24, 2012 8:28 PM

    Excellent! For sure the new one is more interesting than the old one! :)

    You are brilliant, Mark! :)

    • February 24, 2012 9:04 PM

      Brilliant??

      Gosh!– it must be this sequined tuxedo I’m wearing… : P

      Thank you so much, Inge!!

  4. February 26, 2012 1:54 PM

    I think it’s great. Especially where you are looking out the baby’s mouth. Just perfect! I also like the twinkie and the mission statements — very cool. You have a very impressive resume . . . oops I meah bio. How about Resubio! Enjoyed your informative post too. It’s all top drawer!

    OK, here’s a thought that jumped out at me while reading the last item under mission statements.. What if you changed it to say:

    There’s no substitute for Joy and Vitality: Here’s a weird Beatle’s metaphor . . .

    “There’s no substitute for joy and vitality” is such a powerful statement!! You might consider giving it top billing.

    Ok there’s my 2 cents worth Mark. Oh and I love the About picture! Haha~ Perfection!!

    • February 26, 2012 9:29 PM

      Wow… what are all these roses falling from the sky… ?? ::jumps out of baby’s mouth, slips on saliva, gets up, takes bow, crawls back in::

      Thank you, Most Uplifting One! Really appreciate all the kind words, they mean a lot– and I love “resubio”! It’s got a great ring to it, at least in the echoey cavern of my mind… : )

      I loved your idea of giving “joy and vitality” top billing. I couldn’t quite get it to work as a lead-in sentence which gets repeated soon after (debatable point, of course), but putting it in boldface seems to work just as well– so I took that route. Have a look and see what you think.

      Thank you so much for your kind comments and support, and that was no 2 cents, that was 2 gold sovereigns!! : )

  5. February 26, 2012 10:08 PM

    Ha ha! Glad I could help. Say what? Your mind has an echoey cavern? I knew we could relate . . . late . . . late! If you need me I’ll be out buying a sovereign piggy bank. Hope 7-11 has ‘em!

  6. March 1, 2012 10:54 PM

    I had to giggle over the client who mailed you the fudge!

    • March 2, 2012 4:52 PM

      Ha! Yes, I was giggling myself at the memory when I wrote that down. I think there’d been an email exchange where I’d said I’d have to make myself some fudge to keep me going on the big assignment. The next day this package arrived in the mail: a half-pound of chocolate walnut, and it even had a little plastic knife to cut it with!! : P

  7. March 7, 2012 9:59 AM

    Hello Mark, you will enjoy my award for you, here it is check it out: http://allaboutlemon.com/2012/03/07/creative-chaos-award/
    Enjoy dear :) xoxo

    • March 7, 2012 2:34 PM

      I’ve never received an award from a Beautiful Dentist From Mars before. My heart is beating very rapidly here… : )

      Thank you, Dear Dolly. I know the award obliges me to perform certain labors like Hercules. I shall certainly do my best, provided I can find a set of muscles in my closet somewhere. : )

  8. March 9, 2012 11:29 AM

    This is awesome Mark! It demonstrates your fabulousness in a clear and unique way which will wet the appetite of potential clients :) I hope you are very pleased with it as it is very worthy of the interest it will undoubtedly get!

    • March 9, 2012 2:56 PM

      I read this comment and little flower petals started falling from the ceiling, and I’m sitting here now completely covered with them. I have a lot of cleaning up to do, but man, it’s worth it!! : )

      Thank you so much, Tan, for that outrageously wonderful comment– and the flowers!! : )

  9. March 9, 2012 5:08 PM

    Hehee :) my pleasure Mark! You thoroughly deserve your flower shower :)

  10. June 21, 2012 8:49 PM

    Hi, Mark!

    I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. In my humble opinion, your blog has given me lots of inspiration and has shared great experiences of life. I hope you would like to accept this award and pass it on to other bloggers.

    http://godslover.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/the-versatile-blogger-award/

    Many thanks for having shared your stories and works with me.

    Have a nice day! :)

    • June 22, 2012 8:27 PM

      How very kind you are, Inge. I am honored. My sincere thanks.

      I’m very glad you have found my posts helpful. Your kind words make all my efforts seem worthwhile. I must add, too, that I always enjoy my visits to your blog. You are an inspiration to me. : )

      Thank you again for your great kindness and support!

  11. July 22, 2012 9:14 PM

    Hello Mark :) how are you? Check what I have for you here: http://allaboutlemon.com/2012/07/23/you-are-loved-day-and-two-awards/

    Congratulations, and enjoy!

    • July 30, 2012 9:28 AM

      Thank you, dear Dolly!! These are outstanding awards, and I certainly can’t think of anyone who deserves them more… : )

  12. September 19, 2012 12:28 PM

    We love your blog, Mark, and are passing on the ONE LOVELY BLOG award to you. It’s a great way to acknowledge the time and effort involved in creating a fabulous blog. We look forward to knowing 7 things about you and being introduced to some of your favourite sites. For more info please visit
    http://studiobluesea.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/bursting-back-into-blogging/

    All the best,
    Miles and Pippa

  13. September 25, 2012 10:00 AM

    Awards ceremony at my blog yesterday, Mark! http://breezybooksblog.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/after-watching-the-emmys/ I nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger Award! Usual rules – seven things about yourself; nominate others. I chose this award for you because of the kind of person you are – and your artwork!

    • September 25, 2012 8:59 PM

      Ah, dear Maddie, you’re too kind, and I sincerely appreciate it. Coming from you, an award like that means a lot… : )

      I shall certainly be over to bask in the glory, convey my heartfelt thanks, and make a confession or seven. Thanks so much!! : )

  14. ashybug permalink
    September 30, 2012 4:49 PM

    Wow, your illustrations are simply amazing! You have a talent, a great one. It certainly made my eyes twinkle. Thanks you so much for making my day!

    • September 30, 2012 6:03 PM

      Wow. Speaking of making one’s day, you have certainly made mine– thank you for that lovely comment! I’m so happy you enjoyed the work, and I sincerely appreciate your enthusiasm and support. Thanks so much for your visit, and for putting a twinkle in my eye (and a big smile on my face!!). : )

  15. October 1, 2012 1:30 PM

    Very talented!

    Cheers,
    Courtney Hosny

    • October 2, 2012 8:51 PM

      Thank you, Courtney, you are most kind.

      Your blog title made me laugh. I don’t have a week– alas, I’m there!! : P

      Thanks for stopping by, I sincerely appreciate your lovely comment! : )

  16. October 18, 2012 12:36 PM

    i like your art. >) thanks for visiting my blog. a big hug and a song for u

    • October 19, 2012 9:29 AM

      Many thanks, Julia, you are most kind. What a pretty song– why are all Romanians so talented?? : )

      Cheers and all the best from New Hampshire, USA!

  17. October 21, 2012 10:30 AM

    Hi Mark, Don’t know how you found my blog but that led me to yours. I think I got the best of that deal. I love your work and your Van Gogh post had me chuckling too early on a Sunday morning pre-coffee! That is quite a feat. Surprised our paths hadn’t crossed earlier. I worked at two ad agencies in NH (Star Media, and Stal-McLane) and consulted with many more. Would love to reblog your Van Gogh as a Halloween tribute, is that okay with you?

    • October 21, 2012 2:28 PM

      What?? You looked at that van Gogh post before you had your morning coffee?? Shudder! That was taking a terrible chance… : P

      Hi! Sorry for the late response. I was lingering over my own Sunday morning coffee. Yes indeed, feel free to reblog, I’m delighted you enjoyed the post that much. My pleasure.

      I was intrigued to see you’re a fellow NH resident, it’s very nice to meet you. I’ve not had occasion to interact with the two ad agencies you mention. Sounds like you have an impressive client list.

      You were kind enough to ‘Like’ a post of mine that got Freshly Pressed a few weeks ago– that’s what led me to your blog, which, BTW, is excellent. Thanks again for your delightful comment! : )

      • October 21, 2012 4:07 PM

        I’m a MA resident, but I take full advantage of my next door to NH status. Great state and really fun and up close politics. My mind is slipping, I didn’t connect you to the Freshly Pressed blog…so I’ve obviously enjoyed multiple posts you’ve written. Keep em coming

      • October 22, 2012 8:50 AM

        Well, you may be an MA resident, but I can see you have an NH sensibility– which, of course, is a mixed blessing… : P

        Again, nice to meet you, and thanks for the very kind comment! : )

  18. October 27, 2012 10:15 PM

    Love the footnote!

    • October 30, 2012 9:51 AM

      Ha! I always kinda hoped someone would comment on that!

      I knew it would take a particularly astute and good-humored guy– thanks, Nick! : )

  19. October 28, 2012 9:43 PM

    Your singing solo made someone cry… for a good reason or bad?

    • October 30, 2012 10:21 AM

      Well, it was a sad song, and I could tell that it really had moved her to tears– so that was good.

      Of course with a voice like mine, I always worry that I’ll move people to leave the building! : P

  20. November 4, 2012 10:50 AM

    Thank you very much for your feedback on my gallery! I really appreciate it! I love your blog and work, I like how its fun, and colourful! This is the kind of work that inspires me, I will definitely keep checking your blog! Thanks again!

    • November 6, 2012 7:37 AM

      Thanks so much for your wonderfully kind comment– sincerely appreciated! I thought the work in your gallery was excellent, and I shall certainly be stopping by again. Wishing you all the best! : )

      • November 9, 2012 4:18 PM

        Im working on my 2nd year Degree blog now, its lukamorrell.wordpress.com! So all my new stuff will be on there! Again I really appreciate it, wishing you the best too! Do you have a facebookt/twitter I can follow?

      • November 14, 2012 11:35 AM

        Thanks, Luka Jake! I shall definitely be over to check out your new work… : )

        I’m on Twitter at @mrstrongarm, and here’s a link to my Facebook page. Would be delighted to count you as a fan! : )

  21. November 15, 2012 7:42 PM

    Mark, I’ve just read your comment on my “Owls in the heart tree”. I wanted to thank you so much for your encouragement, it brought tears to my eyes. I was having a very self doubting day(alright, feeling sorry for myself) you know, one of those “who am I, what am I doing here?”. I loved reading about your past and about how you’re now doing what you love. Thank you, again.
    Jen

    • November 18, 2012 8:51 PM

      You’re very welcome, Jen. It’s not always easy trying to find the right path. I’ve made a lot of wrong turns, and had my share of self-doubts. I’m not sure one ever solves all these problems, but once we find the path, we have to walk it with confidence, trusting that things will ultimately work out, no matter how many setbacks we encounter. Most of all, we have to be grateful that we finally found the right path. Trust your gift, enjoy the journey. Wishing you all the best! : )

  22. November 30, 2012 9:44 PM

    I didn’t know where to put this congratulations…but jeepers, now you’re featured as an illustrator blogger interviewed by wordpress.com in Nov. 2012. Cool. Let’s see Freshly Pressed at least twice and now this… :)

    • December 3, 2012 10:24 PM

      Jean, there’s only one possible explanation: they’re getting desperate for material… : P

      (Thanks for your kind tip of the helmet!)

  23. December 25, 2012 4:46 PM

    Hello, Mark,

    Your talent with pen and wit lifted my spirits today, and I spent quite a bit of time reading articles on your blog. I reblogged one of the articles, “Hacking the Human Brain” on my own blog — “50 Shades of Human Resources.” From there, it will also appear on my LinkedIn Profile and my Twitter account, and in a few other places. I’m just a teeny player in this wild social media circus, but I think others should know about you, and I’d be delighted if something positive happened from it. Catch you around cyberspace….

    Rosemary

    • December 31, 2012 1:19 PM

      My sincere thanks, Rosemary, for your lovely comment. I’m truly flattered. Thank you very much.

      I hope you’ll accept my sincere apologies for this late reply. I took some time off at Christmas, and am only just getting around to replying to recent comments.

      Your blog title really made me laugh. It’s brilliant, timely, funny, and memorable. I shall certainly be stopping by to take a look.

      Wild social media circus is right, and I’m just a teeny player myself. I’m delighted to meet you, thank you again for your kindness, and I shall look forward to future exchanges. : )

  24. January 19, 2013 10:42 AM

    You are very talented…but alas…you know that…which is a good thing…to know ones’ self! Also…very funny!!

    • January 21, 2013 11:52 AM

      What a delightful comment– I’m putting you down on my Delightful Person List straight away… : )

      Many thanks, kind Spirit, I sincerely appreciate your support!!

  25. Mia Moravis permalink
    February 8, 2013 10:39 AM

    Love, love, love the Garbage Pail Kids, especially the aliens – ack! ack! ack!
    :>)
    Mia

    • February 14, 2013 10:57 AM

      I love comments with sound effects– ack! ack! ack! Sounds like me tryna eat Liver & Tofu Pizza… : P

      I have a feeling you’d be exceptionally good at designing GP Kids– thank you, Mia! : )

  26. April 29, 2013 8:15 PM

    Mark, I have received a bouquet (award), and since I totally enjoy your posts, I am in turn recognizing what you give me and want to share you with my readers. So I am officially offering you my bouquet, which can be found at http://tkmorin.wordpress.com/awards/

    • April 29, 2013 8:57 PM

      Thank you, T.K.!! I love receiving virtual bouquets. Takes the pressure off, because I don’t need to remember to water ‘em… : P

      Your kindness is very sincerely appreciated!! : )

      • April 29, 2013 8:58 PM

        … and so are your posts!! :)

      • May 1, 2013 9:12 PM

        Too kind, too kind!!

        But I won’t be filing a formal complaint, of course… : )

  27. May 2, 2013 3:35 AM

    Hi Mark, I’m glad that you stopped by on my blog, thereby found yours. I follow – you are inspiring!

    • May 2, 2013 12:22 PM

      I read this kind comment and my pigtails flew out and flapped in the breeze!!

      I mean, they would have if I had pigtails. Maybe I’ll grow some… : P

      Thank you, Tutti!! : )

      • May 3, 2013 3:21 PM

        I really like this imagination :-)
        You could draw one ;-)

      • May 8, 2013 1:56 PM

        Ha! That idea makes more sense– I’m sure I could draw pigtails a lot faster than I could grow them!! : )

  28. May 22, 2013 6:03 PM

    So, I read through all the above comments… thinking to myself… hmmm what could I possibly say after all that? :) I’m glad I stopped by! Will be looking at some random posts now. All the best on your journey!

    • May 23, 2013 8:15 AM

      What could you possibly say? Why, you’ve said just the right thing! Thank you, Carmen! I’m delighted you stopped by, and I appreciate your good cheer and support. I shall leave the red carpet out for your next visit!! : )

      • May 23, 2013 8:30 AM

        Why, thank you kind sir :) Will there be golden trumpets too? (kidding) Take care til I see you again! :)

      • May 30, 2013 8:12 PM

        Of course there’ll be golden trumpets– I keep ‘em wrapped up in the red carpet… : )

  29. June 6, 2013 4:12 PM

    Great blog, personality and sense of humor! 😂

    • June 10, 2013 10:28 AM

      How very kind! My sincere thanks for that lovely comment, delighted to meet you! : )

  30. July 19, 2013 11:04 PM

    Mark … I am constantly amazed by your creative concepts. You do capture the essence of what a story is about and tell it beautifully thru your illustrations. I’m so proud that one of your illustrations will appear with my story, “The Chase.” Thanks again, my friend.

    • July 25, 2013 9:07 AM

      What a lovely comment– thank you, Judy. Your kindness, your insights, and your good humor all help keep me going– it means a lot, never doubt it.

      It was a pleasure to illustrate your story. Your blog posts are always a delight, which isn’t surprising given the fact that you’re a former reporter with a keen eye for detail, and a great writing style. I’m proud of our association, my dear Ms. Berman!! : )

  31. November 29, 2013 5:44 PM

    I’ve enjoyed looking at the thumbnails on the sidebar.

    • December 3, 2013 9:19 PM

      That’s extremely kind of you, Frank. I sincerely appreciate your interest, it means a lot. Always a pleasure to see you here! : )

  32. December 26, 2013 4:04 AM

    I like your Blog :)

    • December 29, 2013 9:31 PM

      Thank you, Jean-Paul! I’m delighted to meet you, and I sincerely appreciate your very kind comment! : )

  33. February 27, 2014 1:33 PM

    Hey there Mark,
    I agree with your approach to life – we are nothing without a functioning funny bone. It brings me great joy knowing people like you – humble with amazing talent. I will be visiting your way often as I muck through the mud beneath my newbie blogger feet. You’ve inspired me to give my banjo another try and ignore my kids when they tell me to stop singing Mario Lanza songs aloud.
    Humor us on…
    AnnMarie

    • March 5, 2014 1:29 PM

      Hi, AnnMarie! A pleasure to meet you, and thanks for that lovely comment– which, I must tell you, conjured up an excruciatingly funny vision: namely that of someone sitting on a stool, flailing away at her 5-string, singing Mario Lanza songs at the top of her voice, while standing nearby are several kids, eyes shut, gritting their teeth, with their hands pressed over their ears!!– a most delightful vision!! Keep up the good work, say I!! : )

      Thanks again, glad to see you anytime, and I shall definitely stop by for a visit!

  34. April 7, 2014 9:58 PM

    Well you are pretty funny Mark. I loved the foot note. Those can’t be your toes? How about you have a listen to my music? Some of my songs will make you laugh for sure. Try “Da Pino
    Piano Man” from Monkey of Sousse. You can access from my web site. Just click on the album covers to you find the one you want. You can sample for free from iTunes.
    Leslie

    • April 10, 2014 1:06 PM

      Ah, the footnote– one of my most sole-ful gags… : ) No, they’re certainly not my toes– much too clean… : (

      Monkey of Sousse… I hope I don’t ever see that on a menu. Your site sounds intriguing, Leslie– I shall definitely stop by.

      And thank you for stopping by! : )

  35. May 20, 2014 8:02 PM

    Hi Mark,
    I was sprucing up my WordPress site and I discovered a widget where I can add links to other WordPress bloggers. After I added two of my friends who write, I decided I’d like to add an artist. So if it’s okay with you, I’d like to put a link to your site so my friends who browse my site can click over to your page to see your excellent illustrations.
    Steve

    • May 22, 2014 8:20 AM

      How very kind of you, Steve. I’m enormously flattered, thank you. I’d be delighted. I shall have to learn more about that widget– sounds like a wonderful idea. Thank you again for both your kindness and your friendship. Mark

      • May 24, 2014 3:15 PM

        Thank you for the permission. It is a pleasure to feature talented writers and artists at my site.

      • May 27, 2014 12:48 PM

        My dear fellow: your graciousness and kindness are exceeded only by your talent and imagination. And that’s the truth. Thank you again.

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