About Martin French
Martin French is an illustrator, designer and educator based in Portland, Oregon. His distinctive style, an interplay of marks, signs, and symbols spanning a diverse media context—has been recognized internationally for its dynamic visual exploration of life and culture. His images have won awards from the leading visual communication organizations across the United States, including Gold Medals from the Society of Illustrators in New York and Los Angeles.
Martin’s studio practice relies on traditional drawing in various dry & wet mediums combined with digital composition and design. This emphasis in maintaining a balance between two forms of art making gives Martin’s work an unusual sense of dynamic life. His command of the human figure and all its nuances as a tool of communication is central to his work. Color, texture, and his use of space consistently build a stimulating context for his energized imagery.
Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, Martin has a BFA in Illustration from ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. He spent 8 years as a designer and design director at Microsoft before launching Martin French Studio in 1996 while based in Seattle. 10 years later Martin moved to Portland where he designed the BFA program in Illustration at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA). He is currently Dept. Head of Illustration, Chair of Design Arts and an Associate Professor teaching classes in Drawing for Illustration, Creative Professional Practice, Visual Thesis Development, and the intersection of Design & Illustration.
Martin's clients include:
American Airlines, American Express, Apple, Atlantic Monthly, Barneys New York, Boom! Studios, Boston University, Candlewick Press, Coca-Cola, Consumer Reports, Christianity Today, Columbia Pictures, Discovery Channel, Dutton Children's Books, ESPN, Fila, Foreign Policy Magazine, The Gap, Gatorade, Grammy Awards, Hardy's Winery (Australia), Hershey's, Holland America Cruise Lines, Honda Motorcycles, House of Blues, Island Records, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Joffrey Ballet, John Deere, JVC Jazz Festival, Kate Spade New York, Major League Baseball, Macy’s, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Multnomah Publishers, Nagano Winter Olympics, National Geographic, NBA, New York Times, NFL, NHL, Nickelodeon, Nike, Nintendo, Nokia, Oracle, Penguin Putnam, Pepsi, Rossignol, Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Smithsonian, Sony Entertainment, Sports Illustrated, Stanford University, St. Martin’s Press, Time/Warner, United States Olympic Committee, United States Postal Service, USA Today, Utne Magazine, Warner Brothers, Wizards of the Coast, and The Village Voice.