Sunday, July 13, 2014

Factoryville illustrator aims for ‘eye-catching’ with children’s books

From ‘Lilly the Lash’ to murals and more, Keystone grad Marc Tobin achieves success with imagery

July 23. 2013 5:31PM

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“So rich, enduring, vibrant, 3-D like” are comments children’s book author, Julie Woik hears “100 times a day” about the illustrations of Factoryville illustrator, Marc Tobin, whose art can be found cover to cover in Woik’s series of books, “The Life and Times of Lilly the Lash®.”

“Marc’s spectacular illustrations provide the delicate touch and tone I need to allow the meaningful storylines to be received in the exact way they were intended. The storylines are written with a much appreciated and much need value-based character building focus, but Book Marketing 101 tells you that eye-catching illustrations are what initially draws the consumer in. I think I picked the right guy for the job,” said Woik of Tobin.

“Let’s face it, an eyelash is quite an odd character for a children’s book.”

According to Tobin, Woik contacted him approximately seven years ago, after finding his website.

“She had an idea for some children’s books – a series,” said Tobin, whose digitally- generated art has been his medium of choice for at least 15 years.

“She sent me the stories and they were wonderful. They were really, really good…” he added. Tobin followed up by developing some concept sketches for the character.

“I like having an image emerge. Being able to render it and then take it a little further and give it some highlights. I think it comes naturally (for me),” said Tobin, who “every once in a while,” will do a mural for somebody when he has a longing for “the tangible, hands on painting stuff.”

Tobin described his style as a little bit more technical with an aspect of realism that is not flat and mapped -out technical. “I always like to play with atmospheric things and I’ll give some blur…”

In the series, an eyelash utilizes her charm and mystique to playfully explore important life lessons and empower audiences everywhere to build self-esteem and character.

Currently, three books, “The Garden Gathering,” where Lilly the Lash finds her very first mission in a garden; “The Toy Store,” with Lilly in New York City and “Ocean Commotion,” as Lilly finds herself in the town of Rockin’ Reef, are available, in the anticipated 15- book series. Book four, “The Kacklin’ Kitchen,” set with Lilly in the quaint country village of Cobblestone Cove is due for release in August.

Tobin graduated from Keystone College, La Plume, with an A.F.A and Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, with a B.F.A.

In addition to his work for Woik, his clients include Compass Learning Inc., Del Taco, DHL, FedEx/Kinko’s, Glencoe/McGraw Hill, IBM Systems Magazine, Jiffylube, KFC, Llewellyn Worldwide, Loew’s Cinemas, McDonald’s, 7Eleven, Safeway, Salvation Army, San Diego Metropolitan Magazine, Sea World Graphics, Staples, Texaco, U.S. News & World Report, Washington State Dental Association and Whimsical Wizard.

A children’s musical, “Lilly the Lash & The Garden Gathering,” based on the first book in the series, premieres August 7, 8 and 9 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Prior to the premiere, August 5, Woik will offer a reading of the book via PowerPoint at an amphitheater in Hollywood, Fla. to several thousand people. Costumed characters will be on stage to sing songs from the play.

More information regarding Tobin can be found on his web site, To learn more about author, Julie Woik, visit

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