What Folks are Saying!
Your drawing is awesome! We are all from Russia and now we live in America and we like it! Thank you!
I recently re-discovered your shows through the magic of YouTube and I realized how incredibly influential your lessons were on me and the amazingly positive impact they had on my life.
First, I would like to say how much of a fan I am of the show, and how much of a true inspiration that Mark has been in my life. Watching his show as a child got me interested in drawing and lead me to choose electives like art in middle and high school..I knew art was my calling, but Mark's show definitely gave it a push. I also got interested in the criminal justice field, and combined my two loves of art and helping to stop crime and I am looking forward to becoming a forensic artist...I do owe some of my future success to Mark and his great show. I am so glad that his show is coming back and can't wait to sit down with my 4 year old son and have art attacks with him. Sorry to go on and on..but my question was is this going to be on public television in New York in the fall? Thanks for your time..
My name is Russell Wilkins and I am a student animator in Portland, Oregon. I am not sure if this site or email address ever comes in contact with Mr. Kistler himself, but I wanted to say thank you to him. When I was five years old, I saw Mr. Kistler's television show Commander Marks Draw Squad, and it changed my childhood. I learned that I could express my ideas and share them with others. I didn't have to be limited by anything as long as I kept imagining and practicing. Because of those early life lessons, I have followed my dream. I am now on the cusp of finishing art school and I am getting ready to apply at some studios to begin my cartoon career. It's going to be exciting!
Although there were many life experiences that led me to where I am, I am comfortable saying that it is improbable that I would be where I am if Commander Mark wouldn't have been there to keep me company during those long and boring evenings.
Thanks again Mr. Kistler! Keep doing what your doing!
Our four homeschooled sons have grown up using your video lessons, and my whole family loves your fun and upbeat personality. We have "Kistlerisms" that we've shared over the last 14 years. "We love to shade!" (and sing) When I'm asked about our favorite curriculum choices, your materials are always in my top three. For vocabulary, encouraging creativity/battling passivity, art history, and a constructive perspective towards mistakes, I can't thank you enough for sharing your talents and your self with the rest of the world. You've built something beautiful with your life, and helped so many children to do the same. :o)
We want to say thank you!
Hi Mark :-)
I wanted to let you know that I checked out your website. I remember you telling me all you plans for your "School of Imagination" when you were in Racine. You ideas were amazing but more amazing is the fact that you did everything you said you would (That often is not the case with creative folks) especially the ones with the BIGGEST plans (like you had).
I love everything about the website- the video lessons, the sample lessons and especially the student gallery. I saw student pictures from all over the world- It's so nice to see that you can now inspire kids from all over with your talent and enthusiasm. I checked out your animated lessons and loooooved the animation payoffs in the lessons- really a great treat!!!!
I am soooo impressed with you, Mark, and inspired by you as well. I can't believe you did ALL of that in a few short years- even with your busy schedule of visiting schools and your family time. I believe that every person is born with a special gift from GOD. Some people are too busy to realize their true gift but YOU have been living yours for your whole life!
What can I say but- "Thanks for continuing to inspire millions of children and families with your gift" You inspired me today and I am smiling :-)
Your biggest fan- Karen :-)
A note via email!
A delightful posting by Melissa Wiley on her blog.
When I was a kid I watched the Secret City RELIGIOUSLY! ;) I loved it! I started into art in highschool because of it. I was never that good - and never let my art be free like you always taught - but I aspired to draw like you and like you taught me too. I now teach Philosophy and Religion in Cypress Texas (Cy-Fair College) and have given up my pursuits in art. Nothing went wrong and I never had a bad experience - life just led me in a different direction.
Hey Mark, I met you when I was in elementary school and I am 26 now. It's been a while!
I just want to thank you for being such a hero to me. You were the first real inspiration I had with art and I was so excited to watch your show that I'd sit down extra early and wait. :)
When I met you I was shy and didn't say much. You kept me afterwards and had me draw on the projector to show the teachers how your teachings work. For some reason I wasn't all that pressured being as shy as I was!
Dear Mark : I am wondering if you remember signing a pen and ink picture made by Alex Ulichny . You signed it "Wow!" and your name. I showed you a book of composite facial parts that were to be traced, and explained to
you that Alex did not trace but looked at the images and applied them to his
own work. You said to Alex , "May I shake your hand?" Alex was a little shy. You shook his hand and said, " When you are showing your work at an exhibition in New York City, and an old man comes up to you and says ,'Do you remember me? Remember this day , because I was the first to tell you
that some day you would be a great artist." You also said something to the
effect that ..." I have been all over the country and had not ever seen
anything like this." We still have the ink drawing ,framed, of course and display it. Thanks for your inspiration,
Dear Mark, I took your advice and went and looked at your "Imagination Station" book. I also found that the bookstore that I went to had your "Draw Squad!" book. I am pleased to say, I was so impressed with the two of them. I quickly bought the last copy of each that they had and brought them home. I spent alot of time looking through the student art, and even getting to see some of yours. I didn't have the pleasure of seeing you on your secret city show, but I have heard stories that you created a HUGE mural city and added a piece to it every show! Is that true? If it is, do you have a picture of it I could see? I would love to see it. Or even better would love to know how to make one of my own.
We have been using your drawing lessons as we homeschool in Mozambique, Africa. The whole family is enjoying them and turning out great pictures as well. Anyway, my kids won't give me any peace until I send in some of their drawings. Thanks! HK from Mozambiique, Africa
Dear Mark, I want to thank you for such a FUN show! I am a stay-at-home-mom who loves your show as much as my 5 yr. old does! I am tickled pink with your positive and peaceful attitude on the show! My 5 yr. old son is so excited to draw with you in the morning that he has his sketchbook and drawing supplies all laid out on the coffee table before your show comes on at 9:00 on PBS (WDSE-TV channel eight, Duluth, MN). I would like to know if you could make a recomendation on what DVD or video and/or drawing books would be most appropriate for his age. He will be 6 in October and we'd like to get him one of your DVD's or video and/or book. Sometimes he has a hard time keeping up or gets frustrated because he can't quite make the drawing you did. Your positive comments about "not having to be perfect" and "'having your own style", etc. really help. When he can follow you and "keep up" he is so PROUD of his artwork he just beams! He can't wait to show his papa his drawing when he gets home! If it was too hard he'll say he was just doing a warm up drawing.
"Mark, I have 2 of your wonderful learning books and have just become a member of your web site. I just had to let you know how much joy you have brought to my life. I am a 40 year old mom and when my children were young we would sit in front of the TV every time your show came on and DRAW DRAW DRAW!! The story type boards you did in different worlds started us sharing all kinds of ideals. We would draw for hours after and play together this way. My children are grown and gone now but some of my happiest memories were of us being together and drawing with you! I can't thank you enough. I just wanted you to know that you make a difference. Good teachers usually do! Thank you, Ann Mathis"
"I love to quilt but have been scared to go beyond stupid blocks and do the things I want to do - the things I see in my mind. On Friday, I came across your recent book displayed in a prominent spot in Barnes & Noble. After the first page I was hooked. I picked up Draw Squad as well and since Friday I have been drawing and drawing and drawing. Yes, all simple tables but what fun I've had! Entire pages filled with funny little tables. And EXTRAS!
"I am a teacher at Haverhill Elementary in Portage, Michigan. I was in the audience for your presentation today and I just want to tell you how much my students and I enjoyed your program. I am 62 years old, near retirement, but I have always had the desire to write for children and to be able to draw. You made it seem so easy, for the first time in my life. I am ordering your program for myself. Who know where it may lead me. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent with us. "
"Our homeschooling family has used plenty of resources over the past 10 years, but there is no debate around here as to which one was the treasure. Your drawing books, videos, and site take the cake. They have been our children's favorite passtime for all of that 10 years. We were just discussing this a few days ago and agreed that there are many good artist in this world, but what makes Mark Kistler special is his personality. He's funny, he's friendly, and he's focused on the positive parts of life. Thank you, Mark, for brightening up our home and helping our sons to see the delight and satisfaction in learning. You are still the #1 resource that we recommend to other homeschoolers, and we hope your life is going great!"
"Dear Mr. Kistler, My name is Nettie and I just wanted to drop you a note with a little
"Hi Mark -You are the very best art teacher there is...I'm 55 years old and have taken many classes but love your lessons best because you so thoroughly teach the principles, the progression, the importance of repeating and doing variations ..all the while (and this is your true gift) in a really fun, creative, totally none threatening (the killer of creativity) way. I'm so excited, I am about to sign up for the School of Imagination.! I wish you the very best and hope you know what a contribution you're making to people of all ages."
"Mr. Kistler - I recently picked up a copy of one of your books. I am not an artist, but I
am a consummate doodler, and my hobby has served me well through many a
monotonous meeting. Any way, I was intrigued by your work because while
your designs are often infinitely complex, they are equally simple and
clean, so I bought your book for my personal enjoyment.
"Dear Mark, I'm 25, married and have two young children. I came across your show on PBS this morning while looking for a great program for the kids to watch. I was so excited to see your show again, since I used to watch it when I was younger. I would doodle a lot in school and your show helped advance my drawings to the next level. I remember everyone saying how gifted I was and am still being encouraged by my family and friends to do something more with my artistic talents. Since having children that are still very young I have lost the time and energy to pursue those dreams for the moment. But seeing your show this morning as brought back the memory of those dreams and I feel encouraged again to reach for them. I'm now looking into art schools in my area and hope to start sending you letters of my progress. Thank you very much for encouraging children to dream and draw. What you do is truly an amazing thing."
"Dear Mark, Thank you for the compliment on my being in the Air Force. It is now my opportunity to do the same. I work with our young men and women from our great land in defending our freedoms and way of life. It is teachers like you who mold their young minds in doing what is right for our society. I thank you for the hard work and effort you put into creating our next generations of great citizens. May God Bless! Keep up your great work. PS - I love your show!"
James Gutierrez, Albuquerque, NM
"This is just to say 'thank you' for being the incredibly talented and charismatic person that you are.You are indeed blessed, as are we who have the opportunity to watch your show and draw with your books. Thanks for your very entertaining method of tele-instruction."
"I am the librarian at Silver Lake Elementary School in Grapevine, Texas. Drawing in 3-D with Mark Kistler is the most popular book in the library! I finally got my hands on it this past summer when school shut down!"
"I am 14 years old. My teachers are amazed at all that I have learned from you. Because of your wonderful show, almost all of my drawings end up in art fairs. Thanks!"
Your show is so cool !! I'm studying to be a Cartoons drawer so I watch your TV show each day I can. I'm a japanese style drawer but new style are always welcome :D It give me great skills and advices to draw better each time. ( sorry .. I'm a little clumsy with my english oh and my true name's Guylaine Ryu-chan is.. like.. my artist's name ^-^)
Ryu-chan in Quebec, Canada
" I watch your show here in New York every day. The voices you make are so funny that my younger sister goes berserk when she hears them! I've been a big fan ever since I saw the show three years ago. See you on board the Imagination Station!"
" I am a granny who can never miss your show! I also must admit that I couldn't resist and have purchased several of your wonderful books. Keep up the fun, encouraging work! You are WAY COOL!"
"Thank you so much for all you do. Your drawing series is wonderful! I have a ten-year-old boy who LIVES for your show."
"Just wanted to say 'thank you' so much for the joy you bring to our household and for your extreme dedication to children. You give kids an alternative to all the junk in the world."
"Thank you for the inspiration you have given all of us. You were one of the few people who gave me the encouragement I needed to pursue a career in art. I am now a cartoonist and have done work for Marvel, Image Comics and Fox animation studios."
"My name is Russell Sculley and I live in Singapore. I love your program and watch it whenever I can. I am 8 years old."
"We are your biggest fans! We record every one of your shows. Before we saw your show, our drawings were junky. But, after we began drawing in 3-D with you, our drawings were super! We showed our friends the tapes and they liked them a lot. Now, they are watching, too! We hope you do new drawing shows and that you will continue to inspire us and all the people in the world! We cannot survive without The Imagination Station."
Aaron and Jonathan Colon
" I am 38 years old and the father of two beautiful children. I just finished watching your show and, as usual, enjoyed it a great deal. You have stimulated a new fondness for pencil sketching in my life, which also doubles as fantastic quality time with my genius children!"
" I am a teacher of emotionally disturbed children in Detroit Michigan. My students think your books are very, very cool and your lessons are one method I use to reach them. Thank you for all the sacrifices you've made to bring your wonderful lessons to children such as these."
" I use your Imagination Station series in my K-5 classrooms and the children love it! I always get results when I use them. The kids are so into it that they hold their drawings up for you to see when you ask them to!"
J. David Arnold