A Neligh artist is featured in the latest edition of a national car magazine.
Hemmings Muscle Machines has an article in its June 2015 edition about Mark Ervin of Neligh, the curator and creator of Art-N-Motion. Click here to read an excerpt of the article, "Automotive Tooning," by J. Daniel Beaudry.
Ervin said the magazine reporter contacted him for a brief bio after he was alerted to Mark Ervin's Art-N-Motion Facebook page.
"When he saw that I had worked for The Simpsons, he freaked," Ervin said. "He told me, 'We are going to break format for this.'"
Ervin began animation work after marrying his wife Jennifer (Baker) of Neligh in 1986.
The couple moved to California in 1989 so he could pursue a career in animation. Ervin attended the California Institute of Arts to study animation and film. He worked as an animator for The Simpsons television series, did some animation work for Rug Rats, and was a director and storyboard artist for six episodes of Futurama.
"In 2001, we moved back to 'The Good Life' to live in my wife's hometown, to raise our four kids," Ervin said. Their children are Ian, Abigail, Noelle and Matthew.
He continued to work for The Simpsons until 2012, when he left due to budget cuts. Although Ervin had done some commissioned artwork before, he didn't focus strongly on his Art-N-Motion business until this time.
"I figured it was now or never," he said. "It's still very much on the ground floor."
Ervin said the recent magazine article has gotten a lot of attention across the country. His passion for drawing cars and their owners is popular with car enthusiasts.
"My art is still character-driven, excuse the pun," he said with a grin. "People like it because the cars have character too."
Ervin said he spends time talking to those who commission the artwork and tries to really get to know them so they can become a part of the story being drawn. He draws any make or model and said he likes "anything from about any decade."
"I began drawing in the margins of my notebooks back at St. Margaret Mary's in Omaha," Ervin said. "And the first drawing I can remember was of two cars racing when I was about age 5."
Although he loves drawing cars and their owners, he can (and does) draw just about any subject. Ervin has drawn everything from farm scenes to characters for a coloring book.
His artwork is unique and affordable, starting around $100 for a pencil drawing.
"They make great gifts," Ervin said. "Email or call me for a quote."
He can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at (402) 887-2228. Visit his website for more information.
Click here to read the Hemmings Daily blog, detailing the process of Ervin's automotive art.