It's been forty years since Mark and I met at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1976... first day, first class... typography with Helen Webster. It was a serious school and we were none-too-cool for it; Visual Communications majors with ridiculously large portfolios that didn't fit on a transit bus and never-ending homework. Mark got a job at KDKA straight away and my first gig was at The Pittsburgh Press, but I set out for DC (where I was born) to find work. It was '79, the recession was in full bloom and freelance was the best way to pay the rent and stay busy. I moved from ad agency to magazine to newspaper, weekly or sometimes daily. As mind-rattling as it was, it was a learning cluster. Eventually, I took a design position that lasted a couple of years until the better way to pay the rent was freelance illustration. By '81, Mark was in DC working at Goldberg-Marcesano, a small but influential agency. As a staff illustrator, he cut his teeth on PBS work and started a career geared toward entertainment. By '82 we were married and living in the burbs, formed Eloqui [ el-oh!-kwi ] and began to feel the conservatism of our nation's capital... with respect to the home-grown work. The advent of the fax machine and FedEx made movement possible and permanent in '89. Two amazing kids later, we'd moved to Western Maryland and set up shop in our attic studio. Been there ever since.
Many changes have taken place since we signed those articles of incorporation in '84. It's a lightning-fast digital world and with all the love, we do our best to preserve the things that drew us to this work and the things we still cherish about living the creative life. – Laura
Best known for his rendition of the young Elvis Presley Stamp, Stutzman’s illustrations are used in advertising, on products, posters, magazines, book covers, and other niche markets. His work is well-known in the entertainment business; on Broadway: Young Frankenstein, The Musical, Annie Get Your Gun and in the mystical realm of David Blaine and his event "art" posters. He has created artwork for movie products and premiums for Batman, Jurassic Park, and Space Jam, as well as book covers for Steven King and is an acclaimed playing card artist. With a client list topped by McDonald’s, DC Comics, MAD magazine, The New Yorker, Nickelodeon, Rolling Stone, Microsoft, Time, and Esquire, he's had the opportunity to influence many worlds through his illustrative works.
Stutzman works with clients from around the globe in the quiet comfort of his remote studio. But as a member of New York’s Society of Illustrators and The Illustrators’ Partnership, Stutzman has contributed to annual shows there, has been selected in competitions among his contemporaries, and is a recipient of the Stephan Dehanos award. He has volunteered his time by serving on the board of directors for a local arts organization, spoken and presented for schools and colleges and produced artwork for local nonprofit organizations. He has also been a guest speaker at EG3 and EG6 (The Entertainment Gathering) in Monterey, California. In his home town, he has contributed to a public art movement with large-scale murals.
Most recently, he has strayed a bit from art to explore new interests. Stutzman helped found and serves as president of Engage Mountain Maryland, a nonprofit volunteer organization that focuses on community organizing to empower citizens to be more active and involved in local and state issues. Through working with the organization, Stutzman began producing video shorts to document activities and personal stories. This led to his first feature-length documentary, Wings of a Dove, that shares the story of a small rural school as they learn to build their own steel drum band under the guidance of an artist-in-residence. The local premiere welcomed 450 viewers to celebrate the value of arts education and volunteerism in public schools.
His latest documentary is a 4-part series about his home town, Mountain Lake Park. Mountain Chautauqua Stories explores the rich history of a Chautauqua resort along the B&O Railroad in the Appalachian Mountains of Western Maryland. Stutzman lives and works in one of the summer cottages that was built in 1884 by a successful merchant from Wheeling, West Virginia. Through a series of interviews with local historians and residents, and an array of archived photos, postcards, and film, the Victorian vacation era gently unfolds.
Laura's illustration career started in Washington, DC, after leaving agency work in 1982, and spanned the next 25 years. Her work, mostly editorial and institutional, was inspired by Dean Cornwell and N.C. Wyeth, with their narrative sensibilities and impressionists, Sargent and Hassam. Its most recognized by its confident, painterly style, a blend of traditional technique and contemporary imagery. Clients have included PBS, MCI, CBS, Simon & Schuster, National Geographic, U.S. Postal Service, Zippo, Time/Life Books and the US Mint to name a few. In 2003 she entered the children's book market with "B is for Blue Crab", an alphabet book of Maryland and an updated retelling by Alisa Grodin, of Oscar Wilde's "The Happy Prince", both published by Sleeping Bear Press.
In 2007, a friend asked if she might be interested in helping with some marketing materials; menus, ads and photography for her two businesses. That began the next chapter of her professional life. She's still working with that friend who has several businesses now and others who have a need to communicate visually!