The Write Space is a monthly Q&A series from Creative Collective covering a local writer and a North Shore space(s) s/he associates with writing.  Questions? Contact: ellorelizabeth@gmail.com.

Give us your best writerly bio.

Well, let’s see...On a dark and stormless night in the midst of Minnesota, a boy was born. Not just any boy, but a boy of ruby toned cheeks and hair curled by the Midwest winds. Amongst the snow and mosquitoes he grew into a formidable….

Okay for reals though...Mark Hoffmann (me) is an author/illustrator and professor. His newest picture book, FRUIT BOWL, is his first foray into writing, but it won’t be his last.

Let’s back up a little and find out how it all started.

He did, in fact, grow up just outside of the Minneapolis, MN. Mark didn’t know much about where he would end up in life besides being involved in the art world. With inspiration from his high school art teacher Mark took a leap of faith and moved to the east coast to attend Rhode Island School of Design. Over the years Mark focused his career on illustration and teaching at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA. Although writing his own material sounded like fun, he never attempted such a task, fearing words were his foe. But on the suggestion of a friend (thanks Erin), he found himself at the New England Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators conference. Soon thereafter he had newly gained confidence, an agent, and a book contract for Fruit Bowl with A. Knopf (Random House). Since finishing that book he has spent his time working on two more books to be release next year.

Mark Hoffmann now spend his time and money on picture books. Working out of his studio in his house, Mark finds what spare time he has to spend with his wife and son (whom he reads to regularly).

Tell us about a North Shore Write Space. 

As a professor at Montserrat College of Art, I spend a majority of my time in Beverly in the classroom. When in between classes I can be found in my office hemming and hawing over whatever manuscript is on my agenda. It’s not a classy space, but a functional one, and best suited for my busy lifestyle. Since I don’t drink coffee or tea (I don’t like hot beverages) you won’t find me in a coffee shop with a laptop trying to work on my next book. Therefore my little office is enough to get the job done. It is cluttered with school paperwork and random art supplies, but luckily it overlooks Beverly Common.

When I’m in the North Shore, not writing, I’m … 

I love to eat. Food is my vice and I’m not ashamed of it. I have three favorite haunts around Beverly that grab my interest: Wrapture, Little Italy, and La Victoria. If you are ever looking to sit and chat, just tell me that you’re heading to one of those three places and I’ll happily join you.

What are you working on now?

Currently I am in the midst of wrapping up the sketches for a picture book I have written. Simultaneously, I am working on final art for a book that i’m just illustrating and writing the next manuscript for a future picture book. Ooof...Along with all of this I am in the middle of making artwork for a solo show in San Francisco in the fall. I wish the teaching life meant summers off, but the reality of it is I am just as busy, if not more, during the hottest months of the year. Wish me luck.

And finally . . .

I can’t really share any artwork or text for the books I am currently in the middle of working on, but I can hint that one is about birds, one is about dirt and money, and one is about dinosaurs. In the meantime please check out my latest, FRUIT BOWL, about a tomato who has to prove he really is a fruit.

Find out more about Mark at: www.studiohoffmann.com and/or my instagram: @studiohoffmann.



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