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Biographical
My name is Mark Sheeky and I am an artist, musician and computer programmer.
I was born in 1972 in South Cheshire, England. My first creative work was designing computer games and by 1991 I began developing public domain games for Amiga computers under the name of Scorpius Software. I also discovered music at that time, using simple software to write the music that I used in my games. By 1998 I had released twenty five software titles for the Amiga.
In 1998 I began developing software (mostly games) for Windows PC computers under the new name of Cornutopia Software. My first PC game, Arcangel - The Legacy of Peace, took 18 months to develop but the game remained unpublished due to a poor contractual arrangement with the publisher. This and similar incidents left me distrustful of publishers. This was my lowest point.
In 2001 I began to write poetry for the first time in my life and found some solace in the activity. An early poem, Afterlife, came second in a poetry competition and I have since regularly entered poetry contests. Later that year I developed Noise Station, music software that combined a synthesizer and music sequencer, effectively a virtual music studio.
In 2002 I decided to stop chasing game publishers and founded the Cornutopia website, a place to sell my games directly to game players. Five games were written that year, as well as three CD's of music, all composed using Noise Station. I founded IndieSFX this year too, a sound effects website for the independent computer game industry. Later in the year, the much improved Noise Station 2 was developed, and plans for a new more complex game began to form. That game, Flatspace, was released a year later and was my first game to sell more than ten copies.
At around that time I started to write songs. My first song came to me in a dream, and enthused by this newly discovered gift I wrote profusely, over one hundred songs that year. I entered the U.K. National Song Writing Contest and became a semi-finalist with two of my songs, and in 2007 became a competitive semi-finalist again with the song One Day. My song writing and producing continues to the present day.
I started to experiment with digital art in 2002. Since my early days as a game developer I had always used computers to make images, but by that time I was using fractals and complex algorithms to make swirling digital imagery. The pictures were purely decorative with no message or meaning and I remained largely ignorant of the art world.
In late 2004 a Channel 4 art contest led me to an Internet forum and my first experiment with real art media. I painted my first oil painting in August, a copy of an obscure van Gogh painting called Girl in the Woods. I experimented with styles and subjects over the next year or so, while continuing to develop games for most of the time.
At the start of 2006 I discovered classical painting techniques of painting in several delicate layers each over the other. I began to practise painting techniques with more vigour, and started to assess the fundamentals of art; what a picture should mean, what makes an artwork good. My mental processes had started to change and my passion for painting began to surpass any attachment to computer games.
I sold my first painting in July 2006 and won first prize in a charity art competition in the same year. In November my first great painting, Penalties became a finalist in the international One Love Football Art competition and was highlighted on the BBC arts website.
By the start of 2007 I had answered my questions on what makes a great artwork, and in 2008 my attitude began to change as my confidence as an artist increased. From a creative year I entered a social one, and 2009 was a year of rebirth, personal goals and a new interest in psychology and aesthetics.
Its end signified the start of a new golden period and 2012 was my most productive year to date. I wrote The Love Symphony, published and illustrated my first poetry book 365 Universes, and wrote my first novel The Many Beautiful Worlds of Death. I developed new illustrations for William Blake's Songs and began to use wood more, creating cabinets and complex frames for my paintings. The Richard Dadd cabinet helped my sell my first limited edition print and won the Grosvenor Open Art Prize. 2013 was equally frenetic and included my first screenplay, lots of painting events and first live music performance.
Its end signified the start of a new golden period and 2012 was my most productive year to date. I wrote The Love Symphony, published and illustrated my first poetry book 365 Universes, and wrote my first novel The Many Beautiful Worlds of Death. I developed new illustrations for William Blake's Songs and began to use wood more, creating cabinets and complex frames for my paintings. The Richard Dadd cabinet helped my sell my first limited edition print and won the Grosvenor Open Art Prize.
2013 was equally frenetic and included my first live painting events, music performance, and first screenplay.
Philosophically I think art has an important functional purpose in society; that of teacher, healer, therapist; a god in an atheist world. Art can foster innovation and creative thinking, but it's key role is to provide solace and understanding to those who empathise with the artist. Art defines civilisation; it can inspire and guide ordinary people and pull with it all of humanity. Great art is more than a product, it can transform lives and change the world.
It is my mission, my life, to aspire to create the greatest possible artworks, those that say the most, feel the most, in the simplest and most direct way.