About Me

Ian David Marsden – Internationally Experienced Illustrator, Cartoonist, and Animator

français CV & Témoignages | deutsch Lebenslauf & Referenzen

Ian David Marsden
34270 Vacquières, France
Phone: +33 (0)6 42 49 82 11
E-mail: ian@marsdenillustration.com
Website: https://marsdenillustration.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/idmarsden/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@MarsdenIllustration

Download my CV as a PDF

I am an independent illustrator, designer, cartoonist, and animator, and I also produce whiteboard and explainer videos. (How much do all these cool things cost? Visit my pricing page. )

Born in 1967, during the “Summer of Love,” in the artistically vibrant Greenwich Village in New York City, my passion for drawing took root in my earliest years. This passion was nurtured not only by the encouraging residents of the neighborhood, like the memorable butcher who traded drawings for pencils, but also by the unwavering support of my parents. As the child of a British father and a Swiss mother, we moved to Zurich, Switzerland, when I was still in preschool, marking the beginning of a new chapter in my artistic journey.

In Switzerland, my relentless passion for drawing flourished. I immersed myself in illustrated books, devoured volumes of classic Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck collections, and discovered treasures in the attic of my grandparents’ house, including stacks of old editions of Nebelspalter and an almost intact collection of Globi volumes. The discovery of the existence of Mad Magazine who luckily were still republishing old material in paperback and anthology form, along with Heavy Metal and underground comics like the Freak Brothers, further broadened my horizons. The opening of Zurich’s first comic book store, “Klamauk,” was a significant milestone that expanded my influences dramatically even more. I experimented tirelessly, developing my own cartoons and comics.

Summer vacations almost always spent in the south of France made me extremely receptive and appreciative of BD and French comics like Spirou, PIF Gadget, and various series of albums of Franco-Belge comics, atomic style, and ligne claire. This exposure to a different spectrum of comic art greatly influenced my appreciation for diverse storytelling techniques and artistic expressions, adding a rich layer to my evolving artistic identity.

My schoolbooks became canvases, filled with doodles and mad characters in every available space. Even the deputy principal of the LG Gymnasium, ironically named Gimmy himself, once sentenced me to sweep the schoolyard for an entire afternoon after discovering my desk covered in cartoons.

By the age of 14, I had published and illustrated several school newspapers and comics. With encouragement from my parents, I began sending my cartoons to professional magazines. After facing numerous rejections, I received an encouraging letter from the editor-in-chief of “Nebelspalter,” which at 16 made me the youngest cartoonist at the renowned Swiss satire magazine. By 18, I had established my own studio in Zurich’s Niederdorf, where I worked for demanding clients like the Tagblatt der Stadt Zürich, Swiss Television, and VISA.

My first encounter with the principles of Swiss graphic design and typography in Zurich profoundly influenced my artistic philosophy. Attending the preparatory art course at the F+F School for Art and Design and completing a graphic design apprenticeship with M,H, Leo Burnett refined my appreciation for these disciplines. The “less is more” principle resonated with me, yet I found myself equally drawn to the nuanced beauty of hand-drawn line variations and the vibrant colors in hand-painted watercolors.

The year 1999 marked a pivotal turning point: my admission to the program for Traditional and Computer Animation at AET, the Academy of Entertainment Technology, Santa Monica College, in Santa Monica, California. I had several top notch teachers and instructors and got to meet real people working in all kinds of faculties in Hollywood, at Pixar and Disney. Giants but almost to a par very humble and generous with their time and advice. Concurrently, I continued to submit cartoons to magazines, achieving a lifelong dream by selling work to both The New Yorker and MAD Magazine within a few weeks. My interactions with Michelle Urry, Playboy’s cartoon editor, culminated in a personal meeting in the Playboy Building in New York. However, Hugh Hefner himself vetoed my collaboration, citing my drawings as too “East Coast-centric”—a notable irony given my West Coast residence in Santa Monica at the time. That same year, I was commissioned by a fledgling startup, a strange search engine with a blank white page with a small search field in the middle named Google, to design the first series of what would later become the iconic “Google Doodles.” I continued to draw all of them for over a year.

In my diverse career, I’ve taken on various roles beyond illustration and cartooning, serving as a designer, art director, and creative director for different companies. In 2000, I co-founded Sham Records, a pioneering multimedia company that created groundbreaking web animations in Macromedia Shockwave and later Flash, becoming a trailblazer in the realm of social media. Our innovative approach, such as integrating Flash elements into Shockwave, even captured the interest of industry leaders like Macromedia themselves.

Following my time at Sham Records, I transitioned into the role of creative director for Ja-Tail Enterprises LLC, and later for the artist La Toya Jackson. In these roles, I oversaw the creative direction for both entities, managing design needs ranging from logos and singles to albums, website design, and other promotional materials. Noteworthy projects included crafting covers, tray inlay cards, and insert booklets, all meticulously tailored to reflect La Toya’s brand and musical style, along with the creation of original illustrated royal crest designs.

Additionally, I served as the main art director for Plushland Inc, a Los Angeles-based plush toy company manufacturing a wide range of plush animals and characters in their own factory. There, I supervised the design and production of various materials, including flyers, catalogs, ear tags, and websites. The toys enjoyed popularity among prestigious organizations such as the March of Dimes, ADA, and others.

Later in my career, I embraced the challenge of serving as the creative director for Sanafort, a Swiss company specializing in healthy vitamins and nutritional supplements. Over the years, I directed the design of various materials, including website designs, video productions, flyer and catalog designs, logos, and packaging designs for vitamins and supplements, including boxes and labeling.

Throughout my journey, my approach to design and creativity has been grounded in practicality, focused on delivering effective solutions tailored to the needs of the companies I’ve had the privilege to work with.

Since 2006, I have resided in the picturesque Languedoc region of France, where fast fiber-optic internet enables me to collaborate with clients worldwide from my home studio. My recent projects have included designs for RITZENHOFF, Dräger, Metro, PWC, Schweizer LandLiebe, and over 120 illustrations for the Mercedes-Benz employee handbook to name just a few. I’ve also returned to drawing for my “first client,” the Nebelspalter, regularly. Notably, my first cover for Nebelspalter was published almost 40 years ago, in 1985.

In 2020, I published my first graphic novel in the United States with Schiffer Publishing , “Marvin,” based on the autobiography of renowned composer and musician Marvin Hamlisch. Currently, I am working on a series of self-written and illustrated children’s books and further graphic novels with my own characters and ideas. I am always open to illustrating books for other authors as well.

Career Highlights:
My professional achievements include publications in The New Yorker, MAD Magazine, and Nebelspalter, designing the first Google Doodles, creating animations for industry leaders like Fox Sports, a nomination for the Reuben Award in 2002 in the “New Media” category, mascot designs for global events such as the official mascot for the Ski World Championship 2003 in St Moritz, and a role as a featured artist and brand ambassador with Wacom.

My educational journey encompasses the Literargymnasium Rämibühl Zurich, the F+F School for Art and Design, a graphic design apprenticeship, illustration courses at the Pratt Institute in Manhattan, and the Academy of Entertainment & Technology. I was a full member of the National Cartoonist Society and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (both lapsed), and have been a member of Mensa for over 30 years.

Languages: Fluent in English and German/Swiss German; proficient in French; basic Italian.

My diverse clientele includes:

AN2V, All Stars Project, Auto Bild, Autour du Pic, Blick Online, Blocklearning.ch, BOLD Werbung GmbH, Breaksru GmbH, Bref, Carlos Dias, Chemmedia, Club de la Presse Occitanie, Coca Cola, Coley & Associates, Comité des Fêtes Vacquières, Curtius Lütten Werbeagentur GmBH, Deutsche Telecom, Dfreeeze App, die Kleinert Bildarchiv, Diesel Jeans UK, Digades, Domaine Les Tuileries, Dräger Global, Drägerwerk AG, Droemer Knaur Verlag, Ecoforest, Evonik Industries, Executive Learning Systems, Federal Acquisitions Institute, Fernsehen DRS, Fox Television, Fraunhofer, Friars Club New York, GMX Glückwunschkarten, Google, Hairloss.com, HauntedHollywood, Hawlik Naturpilze, Henkel, Hermes Pakete, Infospace.com, Inspired Arts & Media, Jay Abraham Strategy Institute, John Morrison / Johnny Mundo, Johner Institut, Justhappiness Montpellier, KHW, La Gravette de Corconne, La Toya Jackson, LandLiebe Schweiz, LAP Vorbereitung, Le Mas du Sire, Les Héritieres de Bacchus, Lindt Chocolate, Mac Directory, MAD Magazine, MADant LtD, MAN, Mairie de Vacquières, Marktrezept.de, Mas de Figuier, Max Curious, New York, METRO, Mövenpick, Mycotrition GmbH, Nebelspalter, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Novartis, O Mas Troquet Restaurant, Parc Le Duc, PartyPOW!, Plushland, Publicis, PwC, Ransom Publishing, Richmond, Ringier Verlag, RITZENHOFF, Rock Brasiliano, Roland Berger, Samsung, Sanafort AG, Santillana, Schiffer Publishing, Seele, Sens Digital, Showtime Television, Sieber & Wolf, Ski WM 2003, Stadtwerke Wedel, Strobe Solutions, Sustain D, Take the 55, Telekom, The New Yorker, TIR, Top Source Wines, Universal Music Group, Universität Bern, Universität Zürich, Volkswagen Sedric, VISA, Wacom, Web.de, Yantramatte, YJOO, Zum Goldenen Hirschen, Zürich Gym

Select Client Testimonials:

“In 2019 I redesigned my internet presence. Together with Ian, I developed a new logo, which puts more emphasis on my consulting personality. We have done this well and I am very grateful for Ian’s support. The icons we developed and the illustrations on the website www.breaksru.ch are very appealing and please me and my customers again and again. What I really appreciated about working with Ian was that he responded to my wishes and was very quick to implement them. Thank you very much, anytime again.”
March 11 2020 – Suzanne Ruf, owner of breaksru gmbh
“Ian is not only a very talented illustrator but also an accomplished designer and corporate identity developer. He has his own distinct style but his designs are very much customer focused and oriented. The work Ian did for iShepherd can be best described as that he understood our concept and vision from the first drawings he made. The thing that I personally admire the most about his work from an artistic perspective is the conceptual variety he comes up with, but with a constant consistency. Business with a small flair of fun or unexpected “Easter eggs”. I hope we are able to call upon Ian’s support for a long time coming.”

March 6 2020 – Harro Wiersma is the CEO of iShepherd, Inc.
“I worked with Ian on several projects, such as our illustratedvideos for Mycotrition GmbH: https://www.mycotrition.com/en/about-us/our-videos We were always very pleased with his work. Ian is a great guy. Thank you, Ian”

March 16 2020 Sebastian Schmode, COO at Hawlik Group, Dronania Pharmaceuticals GmbH, Mycotrition GmbH

“Ian was always a pleasure to work with. His creativity and ideas always helped us achieve results beyond what we had hoped. We recommend Ian without reservation for any design, web and illustration needs.”

Tony Weber, President – Plushland, Inc. Los Angeles


“Ian Marsden is a highly gifted and talented animator and artist. He truly does deliver superlative work. But the real magic behind Ian’s astonishing animations is his ability to listen closely to what the client wants to to perfectly blend his own vision with the client’s to deliver work that is always provocative and deeply insightful. I worked with Ian on several projects, from rock & roll videos to public service annoucnements. He is personable, generous and very warm. It has been my pleasure.”

Michael Garcia, Vice President at BrightBulb Solutions, Los Angeles


“Ian’s talents are wide and deep. He takes a concept that you think is great already and delivers a final result which makes you have to revise upwards your idea of “great”. Ian adds new dimensions and polish to the projects I’ve used him on. Professional. Detail-oriented. Reliable.”

Michael James Kacey, Owner at Anthracite Films, LLC


Ian was my favorite Illustrator working on an animation project I directed. He supplied us with many cutting edge assets in very short dead-lines. It was a pleasure working together.

Avi Graiver, Animation Director, Animation Cowboy Studio

Download PDF Portfolio

Sketchbook | Advertising and Business | Videos and Animation | Editorial Illustration | Logo and Character Design | Cartoons and Comics | Packaging Design | Google Doodles | Children’s Book Illustration | Ritzenhoff | Wacom Featured Artist | Latoya Jackson

CV Ian Marsden English | CV Ian Marsden Français | CV Ian Marsden Deutsch

For a partial client list and testimonials please visit my biography page.

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