Friday, January 27, 2023

Manu Forti

The Mackays of Scotland have a clan badge that says "Manu Forti," which means "with a strong hand." When I was just 13 years old, I realized I had Mackay ancestors, so I drew this bookplate on scratchboard and printed it out as a bookplate for my graphic arts class. 

Thirteen years old is the age when I started to figure out who the heck I was. I discovered it was possible to make a living with my hands in graphic arts, calligraphy, animation, or illustration. 

All my heroes—Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, Norman Rockwell, Preston Blair—had their heyday between 1900 and 1940. They were long gone before I got started. But that didn't matter to me. They were all people in books, anyway. I just saw the glimmer of a path out of the thicket of teenager-hood into the possibility of an adult life.


Paul Sullivan said...

James—I have traveled the same path. By the time I thought I had a good portfolio, the major magazines and illustration in general were things of the past. However, I managed to have a good career in art and enjoy every bit of it. Keep up the great work you do— Paul

John Pototschnik said...

Nicely done, James. How much you have contributed to the art world since age 13 cannot be overestimated. Thank you.