People I Know: Mark Ceb

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Mark Ceb is a part-time freelance illustrator and YouTube content creator. For the latter, he writes essays — thoughtful analyses of modern culture and video games — and then records them as videos. (Technology-minded freelance writers/journalists/bloggers take note!).

Mark Ceb (self-portrait)
Mark Ceb
(self-portrait)

How I Know Mark

I’m not going to go as in-depth in this section as I usually do. As you may have guessed by the fact that there’s no picture of Mark Ceb at the top of this page — and the additional fact that even the illustration of him has a censor bar over the eyes! — Mark is a bit of a private person. Despite the fact that he’s becoming more and more of a public figure, he values his privacy in his private life and I want to respect that.

But I will say this: We originally met in 2013 thanks to the StreetPass feature on our Nintendo 3DSes. Since then, Mark has become a close friend of mine and my boyfriend’s.

As a friend, Mark has never been anything but sweet and one of the most caring people you could ever hope to meet. As a freelancing creative, Mark is always a true professional — calm, respectful, ethical, and original.

This e-mail interview doesn’t do him justice. So go check out his work after you read it!

My Interview with Mark Ceb

What do you do?

Feels like everything these days. I currently work full-time as a video game tester, which isn’t as fun or easy as most people think.

"A Good Man in New Vegas" by Mark Ceb
“A Good Man in New Vegas” by Mark Ceb

In my free time I’m a freelance illustrator and I run the Action Points YouTube channel (where I produce video essays about video games and modern culture).

As an illustrator I make art per my clients’ specifications that I can then output in whatever format they need. Since I work digitally it allows me to be flexible.

As for my videos, I typically choose a topic that I care about and know isn’t getting much attention. Then I launch myself into a research period and use that research to write an essay that will become my script. After that, I record and master the audio and then edit it into a video project with pictures, clips, and my own art – tying it all together into the channel’s brand.

How did you start?

Drawing and video games were both something I discovered when I was a child. After second, third, and tenth guessing myself I decided to just go back to the things I love. Thankfully freelancing on the internet meant I didn’t have to know the “right people” to start doing what I like.

With illustration, I just tried to get my name out there. I put together a portfolio, made business cards, etc.

As a video maker, I found that I held similar views that lots of other people did, but they weren’t being communicated. I think that as a result these common ideas are getting the attention they deserve and my increased exposure will allow me to amplify our mutual views.

What’s your favorite part of what you do?

It feels meaningful. It’s like I’m sharing something personal.

What advice do you have for someone looking into doing what you do?

"Liminal" by Mark Ceb
“Liminal” by Mark Ceb

Don’t be afraid to fail. The more creative your craft is the harder it’s going to be compared to punching a time clock for a giant corporation. You either suffer for your craft until you can make it, or you give up little by little while working for someone else until you’re old and grey and wondering why you didn’t pursue the things you really cared about.

In any case, with the accessibility of the internet you don’t even have to be great at what you do. Just make a lot of it on a routine basis and you’ll probably find an audience. The whole post-modern-ironically-bad-but-actually-not-being-ironic is a hip thing these days.

Don’t focus on that though; focus on doing what you love and developing your skill. You owe it to yourself to be the best you can be, don’t you? Be true to yourself.

What’s next for you?

Make more art and videos. Got to keep going!

I would also like to make video games someday. Hopefully someday soon.

LINKS for More MARK CEB

Mark’s Portfolio
Youtube Channel, Action.PTS
Action Points Twitter
Mark’s Tumblr

 

 

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