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About Mark & this site

Mark ferrari with his wife Shannon Page - Photo by Jim Hines

Mark ferrari with his wife Shannon Page - Photo by Jim Hines

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A passion for storytelling

Mark J. Ferrari is an illustrator and author currently living and working on Orcas Island, Washington with his wife—author and freelance editor, Shannon Page. Mark has always been passionate about storytelling, whether in images or in words. This site offers news and highlights of his various creative endeavors—past, present, and future.


Sketchy beginnings

Mark’s illustration career began in 1987 with a collection of colored-pencil Illustrations for S. Petersen’s Field Guide to Creatures of the Dreamlands by Chaosium Game Company.


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A checkered past

Before the Chaosium job was even finished, Mark had been hired by Lucasfilm Games, and seduced to the dark side, (ie: computer games), doing EGA background graphics for such now-classic point-and-click adventure games as Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, Loom, and The Secret of Monkey Island, during which he helped perfect the old-school technique of ‘pixel dithering.’


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No-account dilettante

During the 20th century’s twilight, Mark did freelance illustration, concept work, and indiscriminate odd jobs in both traditional and digital media for virtually any rogue that crossed his palm with silver, including TOR, ACE, Doubleday Sci-Fi Book Club, ILM, Buena Vista Software, Bulletproof Software, Realtime Associates, Virgin mastertronic, and many others. During this period, he also produced a fair amount of unpublished concept work for products that were either never released, or never put into production at all.



Careerus Interruptis

In May of 2000, Mark ran into a little problem—with his head—while riding his mountain bike down a peaceful logging road just outside of Mendocino, California. (No, these are NOT just stock photos.) The truck never recovered, but, happily, Mark did. :] During his recovery, however, Mark gradually realized that his head and hands were no longer communicating quite as reflexively as they had. And so, for a time, he set art down and took up writing!


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From bad to worse

Seeming bent upon further catastrophe, Mark now embraced the only occupation even lower than commercial illustration: WRITING! To his anxious parents’ dismay, Mark’s first contemporary fantasy novel, The Book Of Joby, was published by Tor in 2007, and soon found its way even to public libraries, dashing any hope his unfortunate family may have entertained of eluding disgrace. It was even well reviewed by various all-too-visible sources, and nominated for a couple awards. Worst of all, it is still in print—selling in dribs and drabs from Australia to China, like a plague suppressed but impossible to eradicate. Nor does Mark demonstrate any credible signs of repentance. After a promising hiatus of some years, he has dashed all hope for his recovery by announcing intentions to publish AGAIN this spring. How can all this end but badly?



With all hope lost—a miracle!

Years after Mark had resigned himself to a hapless life of writing—if not things even worse—Wacom’s Cintiq technology at last became affordable enough that even Mark could try it. Et Voila! An artistic prosthetic combining truly facile capacity for on-screen freehand drawing with all the ‘re-do, nudge, warp, fill, smooth, filter and adjust’ tools of Photoshop made commercial illustration viable for Mark again. Boy, were his parents relieved!


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Now the future’s bright

Who could’ve guessed Mark’s sordid journey would end in happy ever-afters after all? But isn’t that what happens sometimes—even in the best of families? In 2014, Mark married the most remarkable woman anywhere on the planet. (Profound apologies to the rest of you guys!) And now they’ve gone off to live in a charming house surrounded by stunning natural beauty on a lovely island in Washington State’s San Juans, where Mark has big plans to produce the best art and writing of his life. Will he succeed? Or will his checkered past find him even here? And what of Naomi? Tune in again to find out! :]