The Artist as Storyteller – Mark Montgomery
On 12 August 2020, Mr Mark Montgomery, our YCIS Shanghai Artist-in-Residence (AIR) was invited by Starbucks to hold a Portrait Art Exhibition at its Gubei store, one of the most popular neighbourhood hangouts for the YCIS community.
The exhibition ran through September and was so well received that Mark earned kudos and a small following in Shanghai for his unique storytelling through portraits. Mark is from the USA and graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia, majoring in sequential art with a minor in painting. Mark joined YCIS Hong Kong in 2010 and two months later moved to Shanghai. He has been with YCIS for 10 years.
Mark sees himself as a storyteller and enjoys his special morning routine sipping coffee at Starbucks, observing and drawing faces. The idea of portraiture started with his reluctance to discard envelopes and paper, which he saved for his doodles. His work evolved with different colours and techniques as he completed more than 60 portraits of family members, colleagues, and total strangers.
Sharing his experiences as AIR at YCIS, Mark says he took it as an opportunity to learn from students and teachers and to grow. He has been teaching art through storytelling and a recent project involved the creation of fun and expressive comic books by primary students.
“Whether an artist or anything else, do what you love and practice it every day,” says Mark. “Be it drawing, basketball or science, find that passion because it will carry you through good times and bad.”