Mark Zander

Mark Zander

Pencil/Brush Artist

Organization:

Lumpy's Garage

Website:


Since going back to his childhood passion, Mark Zander’s vibrant and surreal pin-striping and brush work pieces have found their way into the hands of people from all over the world. It’s not hard to see why: with both eye-catching design and wry humor, Zander’s work — which he makes under his brand, Lumpy’s Garage — is both sharp and clever. We caught up with him to talk about his background, what gives him inspiration and making art out of rusty old handsaws.
 

Tell us more about some of your past projects? 

Up until I was about 18, I always drew some crazy little characters/toons and thought I would forever. Reality set in however and I realized I had to make a living, so I pretty much buried my love of art and went to work in the family business. About 8 years ago I had just finished a bike build and wanted some pin-striping on it. I had heard about a local striper Keith Knecht, so I contacted him about the striping job. After visiting Keith's studio and being wowed by his talent, I got the bug to get back into art. Keith mentioned he might start teaching a striping class, and I was very interested in taking it. I believe however for health reasons he never got the class going. So about 4 years ago I bought a few brushes and some paint, and have been non-stop since.

 
What current projects are you working on? 

Most of my pieces are fairly small and at the most only take a few hours. I really love to paint on old items I find at garage sales and flea markets. One of my favorite canvases is old rusty handsaws, I have probably painted 200 saws since I started. The most popular saw designs are the Tattoo Removal pieces that I sell to tattoo artists.  I also do pin-striping and lettering on bikes and cars when I get the chance.

 
What advantages does being in Northwest Ohio/Toledo offer your efforts? 

I do a lot of shipping and being kind of centrally located in the U.S. is a good thing. Also love the fact that the spiders are dormant in the winter here.


Tell us about one of your greatest successes. 

I guess that would be — since the short period of time that I have been painting — I am very fortunate I have been able to develop such a great online following, and have made sales all over the world. Just don't really sell much locally, though.


Tell us who or what gives you inspiration? 

There are several artists and sign painters that I follow online, and give me some super inspiration. Some are local artists like, Todd Hanson, and Nick Hartzel. Funny thing is though most of my best ideas for new pieces come to me when I’m supposed to be sleeping. I am usually up at 3am —cuz I can't sleep — painting a new piece.


Tell us about your background. 

I started working in 77 at my families (now closed) business here in Toledo. We designed and built plastic injection molds primarily for the automotive industry. I also owned and operated Trucktoyz.com for about 10 years. Selling / installing truck accessories, and producing vinyl graphics for vehicles. I no longer sell truck accessories, but still make some vinyl graphics for vehicle signage from time to time.


Do you have a motto or favorite quote you try to live by?

Not too many you would actually want to print, but this is one of my dad’s favorites: "It is better to be silent and thought a fool, than to speak up and remove all doubt."


Favorite place for local culture? 

Garage sales/flea markets.


Toledo’s “best kept secret” is . . . 

Lumpy's Garage.


My favorite natural space in the Toledo area is . . . 

Gina and I love to take walks in Wildwood Metropark when we have the time.


When I’m not working hard, I can always be found at . . . 

We hit Rumors quite a bit; their food is awesome but love their Long Islands!


Any exciting collaborations (past or present) you would like to tell us about? 

Wish I had some, but I really don't work too well with others. 


Name one person (living or deceased) who you would love to collaborate with. 

My Grandfather CM Abbott, one of the most talented men ever.


Name a CD, book or website you can’t live without. 

Instagram. So much talent showcased on there.

 
3 words that best describe me or my work are . . .

These could describe me or my work: twisted, colorful, and original. 

 
My biggest vice is . . . 

Used to be Cain’s potato chips, now since they are gone it's Ballreich's.


What’s the last dream you recall having? 

Might sound kinda twisted but here goes: I kept finding our pet, Conure Rosalee, in a coffee grinder. She wasn't getting hurt or anything; just kept dancing around in it and I couldn't get her little ass outta there.
One movie character I identify with is . . . 

Garfield. 

 
The best gift I’ve ever received was . . . 

Finding the love of my life, Gina. 


My most inspiring moment was/is . . . 

Not really a specific moment, but really love that people think enough of my artwork to pay me for it. 


I want my last meal to be… 

Some kinda spicy Chinese food.


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