Back in the mid-1980s, a young man named Mark Kistler took up a
cause. He envisioned that every child would be able to expand
their imaginations by using art. He believed that the key to
understanding art was to teach children how to record their art on
paper in a meaningful way, which in his mind meant learning how to
draw three dimensional pictures.
Mark's mentor was a Disney artist, Bruce McIntyre, who
already had a video tape system of teaching drawing in three
dimensions but Bruce's system was very dry and appealed more to older,
more technical artists. Mark wanted to target elementary school
children and knew he had to keep their interest so he created a
character called Commander Mark who "blasted off"
into new realms of imagination by motivating kids to develop their
creativity instead of watching hours of "junk" TV.
Mark traveled to every local school he could talk into having him
come and speak. Soon Mark was traveling nation wide.
Eventually Mark's teaching methods found their way into the world of
The first television show which Mark appeared in was called The
Secret City Adventures. The 65 episode show was produced by
Maryland Public Television and featured Mark and all the characters he
created for the show - Moonbot, Unibear, Pigasus, Furbles, Violet the
Dragon, etc. The show also featured guest artists who expanded
the minds of kids by using other forms of art. The show became
extremely successful and Mark became an icon for kids.
From the very beginning, even before Mark had public TV exposure,
he was producing his own instructional video tapes series. The
first series was called Learn to Draw in 3D and basically had a
camera on Mark's drawing board while he drew objects and cartoons with
him narrating in the background.
Eventually, with the backing of investors, Mark was able to turn
his instructional videos into a professional grade television
production using broadcast quality video equipment in a studio
environment. That's where The Draw Squad comes into the
picture. This series of 44 video lessons is the highest quality
TV production Mark has ever done. It includes Mark's standard 7
Seven Magic Words of Drawing format AND high tech set design with
backgrounds and animated characters flying around while he
enthusiastically teaches kids how to draw. In between the
drawing lessons are segments with Mark's characters doing humorous
tricks. It is extremely entertaining for kids and does an
outstanding job of keeping their interest.