Over his 20+ year career in the graphic arts, Marcus brings a diverse and deeply knowledgeable wealth of experience to his various pursuits.
Always a serious practitioner since childhood, Marcus worked diligently to teach himself how to draw properly by copying from life, cartoons, comic books, and studying drawing manuals. At the age of 13, he began a formal oil painting apprenticeship from esteemed artist Norman D. Roth, with whom he was mentored under until the age of 18. During his teen years, Marcus gained his skills in clay sculpture from artist Paul Sherman, while also learning some tricks of the trade from his mother, Pamela, owner of a ceramic business for 17 years. After some time studying Fine Arts and Literature at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, Marcus moved on and opened his first business at 19 years old, where he picked up airbrushing full time. In between his seasonal schedules, Marcus had a brief work stint at Disney, followed by travels and studies abroad in France, before finally continuing his formal education at Sheridan College of Animation & Film in Toronto. After his departure from Canada, Marcus moved back to NYC where he was a T-shirt designer, modeling scout, and animator for television commercials. Upon returning to Central New York in his mid-twenties, Marcus dove back into custom painting hot rods and motorcycles with his colleague Jason Baran of JT’s Customs; and running festivals, events, and parties with partner and close friend Al Miller for the next decade, until Al's passing. Advertising never escaped his grasp either, as Marcus eventually traded automotive painting for full-time graphic design, filming, and marketing work for a great number of businesses and charitable Non-Profits.
Over the course of his journey, Marcus has accumulated over 330 "Best Paint" and "1st Place" awards from around the country, including recognition from Harley-Davidson, over 30 magazine and book features, and has contributed articles and literary chapters on painting and art for various publications. His work is privately collected by former Tonight Show Host, Jay Leno and legendary comedian, Don Rickles.
Parallel to his Graphic Arts journey has been one in the Martial Arts. Marcus has been a student of Japanese Kobujutsu and Jujitsu since 1991 and has travelled the world in pursuit of his training. He frequents Japan, as time allows, and of course has been influenced in his art studies by Japanese history, mythology, woodblock prints, and tattoos.
Marcus entered the tattoo trade in 2015 and currently owns and operates a popular studio in Syracuse, NY.
Acala Tattoo & Design - Owner & Artist
A public, appointment-only tattoo shop that doubles as Marcus' design and post-production studio.
Onmitsu Kage, LLC
Partner and Director of Production & Marketing
A video streaming service, specializing in martial arts instructional videos, live classes, and historical programing. Founded in 2016 by Darryl Ingalls and Kacem Zoughari, PhD, Marcus was an occasional advisor and contributor to the company, until offered a full partnership in mid 2019, and made official in 2020.
AMP Productions - Partner
A production company known for event promotions and video documentation of various happenings. 2006 - 2013
Hottest Chick-N-Wing Festival - Partner & Promoter
A food and motorcycle event, founded by Al Miller in 2005, Marcus became a partner for the 2006 season. It was sold in 2007, although Al and Marcus stayed on as organizers and promoters until 2013.
Blue Fire Studios - Owner
The umbrella banner for Marcus' creative services, from 2004 through 2014.
Air Attack - Owner
An apparel shop specializing in airbrushed designs and textiles, from 1997 - 2000.