Artist Interview – Mark Poulier

We are always impressed and inspired by the consistency of Mark Poulier’s beautiful style. He treats hard architectural angles with the same grace as his renderings of frescos and murals. Mark cleverly uses his mark-making to suggest different textures with great success and plays with light and shadow on top of them.

His work clearly takes a huge amount of skill and patience, often giving each brick or notch of dental moulding his full attention. Ultimately it makes you want to go and draw something from the 15th Century!

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1) How do you motivate yourself?  

MP: I am pretty self motivated. I have always enjoyed art and deep down knew it was a strength to play to. To see something made that you’re proud of is enough to spur you on.

Drawing on my way to work and posting it on Instagram is fulfilling. The recognition has been so surprising. I don’t call myself an artist, I just like to draw.

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2)  How do you structure your time?

MP: For drawing, regularly, one hour on the tram to work weekdays (plus a little time pinched throughout the day). I ride the early tram, there’s always plenty of room and it’s free of school kids. I have a family, job and a household that takes up the rest. And I like to upload drawings at bedtime here in Melbourne and wake up to see how it went.

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3) What do you listen to when you work?

MP: I have playlists that are old and annoying. So I took up Apple music for a year but that wore thin too. Music that is classified as electronic seems to resonate. But my taste is quite broad.

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4) Who are three artists that inspire you?

MP: Hmmmm… many really. Here goes.

Hockney. His latest show where he showed iPad paintings was brilliant. His drawings have been a constant inspiration to me all my art school life.

Warhol. For the same reason, his draftsmanship and mark making especially in his pre pop days amazes me and it’s always like I’m seeing them for the first time.

Who is the third? Impressionists like Cézanne, Degas and Manet for colour. Lautrec for his drawing. Magritte for his ideas. See, I can’t pick one more.

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5) What’s the best piece(s) of advice you have been given?

MP: Plenty of practice and commitment. If you don’t keep at it you don’t learn. And this is the strangest and best part: You never stop learning. 

I’m a bit scared of the blank page when I start. There’s always a little black cloud called failure. I wonder will it work out or look any good. Am I going to get the proportion and mood right. It’s like every drawing is a start again. As each drawing is unique, I battle in the process until it either satisfies or disappoints. But the best advice is to keep going and rip it out if it fails.

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6) Describe an object or tool related to your work that you love.

MP: The iPhone. It brings the world into my focus. I can take pictures and movies, keep them, edit them and share them. It plays my music, tells me if it’s going to rain on my walk to the tram stop, wakes me up, pays bills, holds precious memories, books holidays, manages income, makes me laugh, allows me to talk to people around the globe from my tram seat. And it fits perfectly on the left page of an open sketchbook while I hold a pen in my right and draw away the time.

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7) An anonymous patron has donated $100K for you to build your dream studio, what would it look like and where would it be?

MP: It’d be in Italy. An upstairs room of an old converted farmhouse, light, modern and minimally furnished. One big antique desk with a view to pencil pines and vineyards clothing rolling hills into the distance. Nearby would be a small village with great food. But then a studio room with a balcony and view to the sassi of Matera or the Apulian coast would work just as well. 


You can find Mark on Instagram – @markpoulierart

Or online at


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