Mark Fairhurst has been a professional photographer since the late 1970’s, with his work featuring royalty and celebrities appearing in magazines worldwide, but he always felt there was something missing.
The 2012 London Olympics inspired him so much that he suddenly found a new outlet in art (insert discussion about whether or not photography is art here). On day three of the Olympics he posted a few designs on twitter, someone from BBC Radio saw them and the tentacles of the twitterverse did the rest. “The next day a press agency called me to say they’d like to do a story on my work,” Mark says. “They came and went. The day after that, they called to say it was in Metro (the free, colour newspaper that morning commuters leave on trains), 1,000,000 readers were looking at my pictures!”
The images take about three hours to draw, created on a computer using a stylus and a tablet to produce posters from A2 in size, printed to order on heavy-weight matte art paper. Mark was inundated with orders from all over the country, attracting followers of some note - Sarra (Mrs Sir Chris) Hoy and Ewan McGregor for starters. Pictures with a little touch of art deco style most of the folio is based on cycling, “I’ve always loved cycling, although never reached the lofty heights of competition,” explains Mark. “Like many, I was gripped by Wiggo’s performance in Le Tour. I try and put as much feeling into my images based on my experiences and those of the pro’s.” ‘Bonk’, ‘Peloton’, ‘Tournesol’ and ‘Domestique’ are just a few of the prints that Mark hopes capture the grit and determination of the sport, a spirit embodied in his series of paralympic images that are level pegging in sales, those prints being in great demand even before the paralympics, something the newfound artist was really pleased to see.
Mark says he has loads more ideas floating around, often waking up in the middle of the night with images in his head. Mining his sudden creative seam a recently released collection of mugs and t-shirts sit alongside the posters and he hopes to hold a series of exhibitions next year.
Not bad going for a 51 year old grandfather of two.
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.