Mark Begin surrounds himself with models, drives fast and lives in the moment. Sounds like a guy you’d find at an Italian disco, eh? But, Mark can also sculpt, shoot film and sing opera – A true renaissance man.
Mark David Begin
Senior Model Maker
Q: In your own words, what do you do at bb7?
I create lightning rods.
Moreover, I draw from a broad understanding of materials and processes to bring an idea into real (not virtual) space. Whether I’m developing a model from a complete thought or isolated concept, I make it to be passed around the room. My work is meant to be critiqued and to generate response. In product development, both positive responses and negative responses are welcomed; it’s all useful information.
Q: In a nutshell, what is your expertise?
I’m not sure if any of my skills would be useful if I found myself in a nutshell. Oh, wait!
Hard skills: Soft tool casting, CNC programming/machining, sculpting, finishing.
Soft skills: Listening, discussion, curiosity, context.
Q: Brief history on your background/career?
I started my career as a university staff member in the department of photography and cinema. I was a cinematographer, videographer and film editor for 18 years. This experience prepared me for my work with design consultancies. The compressed timelines, collaboration with multiple teams with different interests, and the concept of “creative ideas for sale” are challenges faced in any creative profession.
I entered the model-making profession as an entry level artisan, honed my skills in craft and collaboration, and eventually became the director of the model lab.
Q: Why did you choose to go into your profession?
I had been working in film and video for many years producing commercials and industrial pieces. Fun – but not really very helpful. You know?
I believe that well-designed objects can actually increase the quality of life for users. We are all beneficiaries of better functionality, higher quality and intuitive usability. That’s what I wanted to be a part of.
Q: When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up and why?
Pfft! Don’t ask me! I was playing in the dirt. I was in the moment…
Q: What drives you at work?
A search for quality – in results and in process. Curiosity in how people think – what they need and what they value. The reward of good collaboration! A well crafted object – beyond expectation.
Q: Favorite tool you use at work?
Don’t have one. They are just tools…My favorite thing would be the preparation to use the tool.
Q: Name three songs that would play on the soundtrack of your biopic.
“The Andalusian Merchant” by Thomas Weelkes, which is a 16th century song of wonders discovered outside your known world.
“I Sat Down Under His Shadow,” which is an early 20th century Bairstow piece about caring.
Leo Kottke’s “Cradle to the Grave” – a lament of man’s struggle for achievement.
What? You were thinking my three favorite Beatles tunes?
Q: If you could master one more thing in life, what would it be?
Believe it or not, business administration! I have become so interested in the methods used to accomplish work. I’m intrigued by how people effectively work together. I like to learn about project management and cultivating work relationships.
Q: Do you have any outside activities?
I still seek art in both still and motion pictures – I value stories.
I’m an avid motorcyclist who loves to go fast around corners. I marvel at the history of technology – especially the evolution of motorcycles through time. How ‘bout that Britten!
I’m a choral singer performing several times a year with different groups.
I like to walk.
I like to play with my kids (24 and 34!).
BFA in photography and printmaking.
Plus, mechanical engineering through Hot Rod magazine. Craft and restoration appreciation at the Crawford Auto Museum. Model making in design at Fitch – Richardson/Smith.