Mariano Mercado was born in Mexico City and immigrated with his family to the United States in 1984. He attended Northern Illinois University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Illustration. He went on to earn a master’s degree in Education at National-Louis University and currently teaches art in Elgin, Illinois.
He has been interested in art since childhood. In high school, he was asked to create T-shirt designs, posters, tickets and yearbook covers for his school. As a freelance artist, he has been commissioned to paint landscapes, portraits and caricatures for private clients. His work has been displayed in art fairs throughout Illinois and in a number of gallery shows. He has illustrated several children’s books, including one he authored himself.
Many of Mariano’s illustrations reflect the colorful designs of his Hispanic heritage. He loves to express distinct human emotions through his illustrations, and he can design both realistic images and creative caricatures. Mariano’s work combines traditional illustration methods and digital media. He employs technology and software like Photoshop CS5 and Corel Painter 11 to enhance his original illustrations. When he is not teaching or creating beautiful art, Mariano enjoys playing guitar, singing, and spending time with his four sons.
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