“As a child, I made these giant, elaborate cards for everyone’s birthday and other special occasions. On the back of each card, I wrote ‘NealMark’ instead of Hallmark. I dreamed of starting my own greeting card company.
My dad was a draftsman at Wisconsin Southern Gas Company so I was always surrounded by drawing materials and art equipment. As the youngest of four artistic kids, I thought everybody was an artist… I never thought about doing anything else.
I attended college at the Art Institute of Colorado. I wanted to head for the mountains and do that whole ‘Grizzly Adams’ thing. Once I got there, I realized I wasn't a city person. I missed the lakes, the people, my family, and the Lake Geneva area. After I graduated, I returned home to Wisconsin.
I love Lake Geneva. My family has been here since the mid-1800s. This town is great when it gets crazy busy in the summer and wonderful when it slows down in the fall.
In 1986, I entered a contest with the Lake Geneva Chamber of Commerce to design a piece celebrating our town’s 100th anniversary and won. That was a launching point in my career as an illustrator in the area.
Throughout the years, I’ve created many commissioned pieces for big name companies, local businesses, and private clients. There are many that stand out, but I can’t pick a favorite. I just enjoy making people happy through my art.
In addition to my commissioned art, I like to create for myself. I’ve always wanted to design a vintage-inspired Lake Geneva postcard. I've been putting it off for several years, but I had a big event in 2022 at the Geneva Room and I wanted to unveil a new piece during the VIP night. It was the perfect time to design this retro classic. I hope to create several other series for personal enjoyment in the coming years.
I like my art to be as bold and as simple as possible. My pieces should be a quick read and have an impact on you right away. I’m looking forward to one of my latest designs making a bold impact as a Downtown Lake Geneva mural in 2024.” - Neal Aspinall, Illustrator, Designer, Artist