Ten years ago, I lived in Washington, D.C. and had no children. I worked hard at my job and came home each night to plop down in front of my sofa and watch home decorating shows. At the time, my husband and I lived in a luxury apartment. We weren’t allowed to paint or do anything to decorate our rental space. Nonetheless, we kept our dreams big, alive, and beautiful, thanks to the richness of the designers I saw on TLCs While You were Out (WYWO).
Introduced to Mark Montano Via TLCs While You Were Out
Anyone remember that show? I remember that show vividly. I loved Evan Farmer as the host. My favorite designer on the show was Mark Montano. Fresh and baby-faced, Mark dazzled the television audiences with his unique creative style and his penchant for living it up with dollar store finds.
The thing I remember so well about the WYWO episodes is how Mark always had ambitious plans, infinite details in his projects, and consistently ran out of time with so many creative details still left to do. Despite not being a crafter or designer, I related so well to Mark’s creative style even back then…
Well, several years have passed since WYWO. Boy, do I miss that show. Since then, Mark has moved on and forged a new career path for himself as a successful book author. Mark wrote his first book, Super Suite: The Ultimate Bedroom Makeover Guide for Girl and published it in 2002. Since 2002, Mark scored it big with his Pulp Fiction craft books and most recently, with his Big Ass series of craft books.
In doing my research for this blog post, I saw that Mark has 11 published books to his credit in roughly 11 years. In 2012 alone, he published three craft books. Yowzers! Prepare to be astonished with the amount of creative information, instructions, tutorials, and photographs that appear in his books. Yes, I’ll let you lag your tongue in jealousy, but only for a minute.
The following is a list of Mark Montano’s published books to date, listed chronologically:
• Window Treatments and Slipcovers For Dummies (co-author) (2005)
• The Big-Ass Book of Crafts (2008)
• The Big-Ass Book of Crafts 2 (2011)
• Pulp Fiction Perfect Paper Projects (2012)
• The Big-Ass Book of Bling (2012)
Mark Montano, the Master of Craft Videos
If you thought Mark was busy writing and laying out intricately detailed tutorials on a million different craft projects, you’ll probably want to start repeating “egads” a few hundred times once you see what else Mark has been up to. Mark is the consummate craft show host, folks! He hosts his own series called Make Your Mark on Youtube. Subscribe to his channel and let more jealous tongue-wagging begin!
Mad for Plaid Facebook Contest
Busy, busy crafter Mark Montano doesn’t sit on his laurels too long. Too busy! So many crafts to make, so little time. Mark does a fabulous job engaging his 7,000+ fans on Facebook and his 2,000+ followers on Twitter. I learned about his “Mad for Plaid” Facebook contest through Facebook. Be sure to “like” Mark’s Facebook page and you’ll instantly see the details about his Mad for Plaid contest.
The Creative Idea Gal Talks to Mark Montano – Huge Gasp!
Just because I love Mark Montano and his exquisitely detailed crafting style, I contacted him through Twitter to see if he’d be “game” for an interview. A really, really nice guy, he agreed right away. Despite some delays on my end, Mark was punctual, snappy, and had no problems answering my crazy questions. I just admire this guy so much. He has quite the success story on his hands.
It was a true delight getting to ask Mark some questions and it was an honor corresponding with this unique celebrity crafter via e-mail. Here it is folks, the Creative Idea Gal interview with the one, the only MARK MONTANO!!!!
Your new website does a great job giving a background on your career in fashion and crafting, but it doesn’t list your current occupation. What is your current occupation right now?
Right now I’m still writing books and executive producing my own show for PBS called Make Your Mark! Which is based on my books and Youtube channel.
Speaking of new websites. Love the launch of your new site! Wayyyyy prettier and glossier and “big ass” than your previous Blogger site. What gives? What brought on the changes?
I really needed to rebrand in a more serious way and have everything together in one place. It’s been a total pain, but wow is it much better. Now I have to learn WordPress and I’m having panic attacks about it.
What creative projects are you working on right now?
As I mentioned, I am executive producing my own show called Make Your Mark! And it’s truly exciting to have creative control in a bigger way. DIY on network television isn’t working and I feel like I’ve found a home and a good audience with the PBS family.
You are a very happy person on Twitter. Please tell us why you are always so happy and chipper and upbeat!
Truthfully, no one wants to hear people’s crap or terrible day stories. We all have them and I’d much rather be chipper and try to make people laugh. We’re all in this big boat together and guess what. If it sinks, we all go down! Let’s help each other to enjoy the ride.
Is there any one person or people who inspire you creatively?
Everyone and everything. I walk through life like a dry sponge soaking up whatever I can wherever I can. Who is it and why?
Are you a born crafter?
Yes, I come from a huge creative family and DIY was a way of life.
Do you feel that you are naturally talented or did you pick up crafting talents and skills through school or work?
Everyone is naturally talented in one way or another, but we ALL have to work on those skills and make them special.
Can you tell us 2 – 3 crazy, silly, or funny personal tidbits about yourself that would surprise readers?
Hm……I can’t sew with shoes on. I prefer to eat alone because I can’t stand to hear people chew and it makes me mad that traditional holiday colors can’t be worn daily……Like red and green or black and orange.
You call yourself the crafty king. Do you feel that the world of crafting is dominated by women or is there a respectable number of male crafters out there?
I decided it was better to tag myself as a king because the queen reference was bugging the bejeezus out of me. Ok, it was making me laugh a bit, too.
Help! Besides you, who are the male crafting geniuses out there! (I only know of Steve Piacenza. Others?)
Wow, um, hm, let me see, um. I’m stumped! The Crochet Dude is one. Crafty Chica’s husband is damn talented and, well, ok, I’m stumped, too.
Okay. Let’s get real. I’m the mom of 2 young girls who are precocious enough already without me introducing a book that has the word “ass” in it. Help!
Ignore the word like it doesn’t exist. If you have 2 girls then you have stickers. Put the stickers over the word ASS on the cover and call it a day.
How do I introduce my girls to the savvy craftiness of the one and only Mark Montano without having to put a Disney sticker over the word “ass”all over your “Big-Ass Book of…” series?
The word is only mentioned in the title. It’s never mentioned in the book for some reason.
Would you ever consider offering a G-rated title alternative to parents, like me, who admire your work but cannot stomach their kids shouting off expletives?
I do have other books with more standard titles but I’m just going to say it….My Big Ass put me on the crafty map!