|Born||3 October 1952|
Windsor, Berkshire, England, UK
|Known for||Album covers, comics, illustration|
Wilkinson's breakthrough came through his association with the neo-progressive rock band Marillion in the 1980s. He went on to design art for the subsequent solo career of their lead singer, Fish, as well as bands such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Though versed in a number of techniques, he is considered to be a master of the airbrush.
In 2012, his sleeve for the 1984 Marillion album Fugazi was chosen by Gigwise as the 29th greatest album artwork of all time. In 2015, Wilkinson designed the artwork for the Tya Brewery in Øvre Årdal, Norway.
Wilkinson's break came with his designs for Marillion in the 1980s, who were then second only to Iron Maiden in terms of their sales of T-shirts and merchandise. Wilkinson's first artistic creation for Marillion was the cover of their debut 12" EP Market Square Heroes (1982). Subsequently, Wilkinson's art work would be used on all of Marillion's albums and 12" releases through The Thieving Magpie (1988). When Fish left the band Wilkinson went with him, providing the artwork for several of his 1990s albums and singles. In 1997, he collaborated with Bill Smith Studios (which had replaced him as Marillion's official art group) on the Best of Both Worlds compilation CD. The compilation included songs from the eras of the band with and without Fish, and the record label, EMI, decided it should also include artwork reflective of both eras. In 2000, Fish and Wilkinson collaborated on a book, Masque, which, in "back and forth" format, described the process by which the Fish and Marillion album covers were created. Wilkinson will likely always be most closely identified with Fish and Marillion (in a similar fashion to Roger Dean's association with Yes or Paul Whitehead's association with Genesis).
Wilkinson's work for Marillion gained attention and led to him designing Monsters of Rock posters. This in turn brought him to the attention of heavy metal band Judas Priest. He has named "The Four Horsemen" from Judas Priest's 2008 album Nostradamus as the work he is most pleased with. He has designed miscellaneous pieces for Bon Jovi, Jimmy Page, the Who and Kylie Minogue. Outside of the music community, he has also done numerous book covers, advertisements, comic art (including a 1993 Judge Anderson episode in the Judge Dredd Megazine) and commissioned pieces.
Album covers include:
- Marillion Albums
- Fish Albums
- Judas Priest Albums
- Iron Maiden
Interior comics work includes:
Comics covers include:
- Judge Dredd Megazine #2.10, 2.15, 2.20, 2.27, 2.30, 2.32, 2.37, 2.48, 2.50, 2.63, 3.04 (1992–1995)
- "Judas Priest Once Again Working With Cover Artist Mark Wilkinson". blabbermouth.net. 13 April 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
- Frith, Holly (2 April 2012). "The Greatest Album Artwork of All Time". Gigwise. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
- "Tya Brewery craft beer labels designed by Mark Wilkinson". 2015.
- Perry, Tom (8 August 2011). "Home of Metal - Part One: The Art of Mark Wilkinson". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
- Wilkinson, Mark (2000). Masque: The Graphic World of Mark Wilkinson, Fish and Marillion. Babel Books. ISBN 978-0953955107.