Born and raised in North Plainfield, New Jersey, Mark Romanoski has always had a passion for art. Early on in life, comic books, fantasy, and superheroes particularly caught his eye. He studied commercial art at St. John’s University in New York, and later transferred to Kean University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts for Illustration.
Mark has had the distinct honor of being mentored by four renowned artists. Joe DeVito, who is best known for his Kong King of Skull Island and the Doc Savage novels, instilled an academic approach to illustration, with a focus on the principles of shape and form, and the properties of light and how it reacts to objects. It was Joe DeVito who encouraged Mark to enroll at the Art Students League in Manhattan, where he spent three years studying the Reilly Method of illustration, developed by Frank Reilly. Mark’s next mentor was Peter Caras, a professor at The duCret School of Art in Plainfield, NJ. Caras has over 1700 published illustrations and studied under Frank Reilly, Jim Bama and the great Norman Rockwell himself. Caras took each of the principles Mark learned from DeVito, broke them down into further detail, and taught Mark how to apply them to his art. Legendary fantasy artists Tim and Greg Hildebrandt, whose vast body of work includes DC Comics, Marvel, Lord of the Rings and the iconic original Star Wars movie poster, taught Mark, among other things, how to communicate with clients effectively, how to present his work to clients in a professional manner, and the importance of meeting deadlines. Mark assisted the Hildebrandts’ in their studio for a number of years. Jean Scrocco, the Hildebrandt’s agent began representing Mark’s art in the 1990’s. Jean taught Mark the business end of commercial art, and how to attribute value to his work. Jean still reps his art to this day, and through their work, they have built a lasting friendship.
Mark feels fortunate and grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from these masters, whom he considers family. Hard work and perseverance has earned Mark the opportunity to create art for DC Comics, Marvel, Warner Brothers Studios, The WWE, Harry Potter, Magic the Gathering and World of Warcraft, to name a few. As Mark’s career grew so did his artistic aspirations. He has become an accomplished portrait artist and muralist. In 2007 he did an altarpiece for Saint Joseph Church in NJ. He has painted two murals in the Federal Courthouse in Newark, New Jersey, a mural in the Time Warner building in New York, and an original painting in the WWE building. His triple self-portrait of the Joker, “Rockwell’s Joke,” is owned by Michael Uslan, Executive Producer of the Batman movie franchise.
Mark still resides in his hometown of North Plainfield and is an instructor at the duCret School of Art and an adjunct professor working in the design and fine departments of Kean University. In addition to teaching, Romanoski stays busy with a variety of commissioned work.