CU-Lock Haven brings prominent artist to campus


Commonwealth University-Lock Haven art and design faculty member, Jason Bronner, invited prominent artist, Mark Schultz, to campus to speak with art students about his experience and professional successes.

Schultz, a comic creator, graphic novelist, illustrator and author, spoke to students and other members of the campus community about working with publishers, agents, copyright issues, contracts and other important concepts on the business side of being an artist. He also gave a demonstration of his way of working with figures, developing composition and his general process of illustrating.

“Mark Schultz came to campus excited to show the art students his works and techniques,” said student Cielo Giandomenico. “I was baffled watching him create a full human figure in only a few minutes.”

During his presentation, Schultz addressed his influences, which include books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, “John Carter of Mars;” Robert E. Howard, “Conan the Barbarian;” and Frank Herbert, “Dune” and movies like “King Kong,” “Them!” and “Dune.” He and the students also discussed current Marvel and DC films. 

Schultz also spoke about the materials and his techniques including inks, papers, types of pencils and erasers for developing great compositions and engaging use of darks and lights. He also touched on working with models and the scientific research behind his work. Manga and comics were discussed along with intellectual property and he spoke about video games made from his work and the global markets for drawing, comics and art.

“I felt so appreciative that a professional and famous artist would visit a smaller state school,” said student Lindsay Borges. “He was very kind and eager to engage in conversation with us. As an art student, working to become an artist, it was inspiring to hear about his own thoughts on commercial artistry and what he has encountered. I asked if he had any other jobs before his professional career and he said he worked in a restaurant as a waiter. This was an uplifting insight as a waitress working her way through college.”

Schultz has done work for DC Comics, Marvel, Conan, Prince Valliant and is the creator of “Xenozoic Tales,” among other books. He is the recipient of five Harvey Awards, two Eisners (equivalent to the Academy Awards for comics), an Inkpot, a Spectrum and three Haxturs. 

“I think this program was incredibly valuable to our students,” Bronner said “Mark went to Kutztown University for his undergrad. Students see how successful he is with a State System degree, like the one they are working toward, and they can see themselves as being successful in the future too. Being able to ask questions and hear of Mr. Schultz’s experiences provides significant insight into the life of an artist and how they can develop and advance their careers. It helps the students to make a connection from the theory and skill developed in the classroom to real world success.”

“I thought the presentation was amazing,” said Brian Ardan, media services librarian at CU-Lock Haven. “For students to have an opportunity to see a person of this caliber was terrific, but the fact that they were able to meet him and interact in such a small and informal setting took it over the top. His sketching demonstration, viewed close-up, showed students how quickly he goes from concept to image. It looked effortless, but was obviously the result of many years of experience in the business. Students were able to view numerous samples of his work while he spoke.”