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Open Right

Marc Martin

Author, Illustrator

Marc Martin is one of Australia’s most talented new picture-book creators. Having formally trained as a graphic designer, he splits his time between his design studio and various illustration projects. His first book, A Forest, explores themes of sustainability, growth, and our relationship with the environment.

Where were you born?

I was born in Chartres, France. I moved to Australia with my mother when I was 6 years old and have been here ever since. I also lived and worked in Paris for a year in my early twenties, and love travelling. I’ve ridden horses on the steeps of Mongolia, seen pandas munching on bamboo in China, wandered the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and almost gotten lost in the jungles of Borneo.

What other jobs have you had?

K-Mart checkout boy, warehouse parts runner, dishwasher, kitchen hand, telemarketer, bar keeper.

What themes are recurring in your work?

I’ve never considered myself a typical nature-lover or particularly outdoorsy, but somehow most of my work so far has explored themes of nature, the environment, sustainability, and the relationships between humans and nature. I think living in the city for so long has made me realise just how detached we are from the natural world – we’re often so caught up in work and busyness that we never stop to observe the world we live in. Bridging this constructed separation between the man-made and the natural world is something I’d like to explore further in my work.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Just having my books published has been a highlight! A Forest was originally self-published, but I was lucky enough to get the attention of Penguin Australia who seemed to think it was worthy of a larger publishing deal! Reading the reviews for A Forest has been really exciting, and having the book compared to those by Jeannie Baker (one of my favourite picture book authors) is a real thrill.

I’ve also been working on The Curious Explorers Illustrated Guide to Exotic Animals A to Z, also originally self-published as a tiny postcard sized booklet, but due to be released by Penguin in 2013 in a much bigger format – very exciting!

Where have your works been published?

A Forest is currently published in Australia, with forthcoming release in Korea and North America. My illustrations have also appeared in magazines such as Monocle, Wired, and the Financial Review.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about telling stories and sharing ideas. Illustration can traverse languages and cultures, and often has a way of communicating the indescribable or intangible – something you can’t always do with words. I make books to better understand the world we live in, with the hope that by sharing these ideas others will also learn from them.

Testimonials

Marc was terrific and the students were really impressed with his artwork. He had a gentle manner with the students and he was very open and sincere. We’re honoured to be his first presentation. Thankyou!

—V. Gualano, Mother of God Primary School, December 2012

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