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The Draw Squad Story

The Draw Squad!


How Did The Draw Squad Get Started?

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 public television.

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.

The Draw Squad tapes were produced in a non-broadcast format and meant to be used in the classroom environment.  They were also meant to be a companion to the Draw Squad Book which is available from most book retailers nationwide and here on the Internet.  We highly recommend you obtain a copy of the book before you purchase any tapes out of the classroom series.

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