Sunday, March 22, 2009

My mentor, Marc Arceneaux

As a young artist still in high school, I had the good fortune to have an older brother, six years my senior. He was a creative person naturally, and words were often paired with his witty drawings.

When I was ready to decide what I wanted to study I followed in his footsteps and traveled to San Francisco to study at The San Francisco Art Institute. San Francisco in 1971 was still a wild and wooly place but much of the aura of the Summer of Love had degenerated into a much funkier harder edged scene.

But it was still a very good place to be, as a designer and as a curious art student. My brother was always encouraging during my art school years and introduced me to many of the founding schools of thought that built modern day design. He was an enthusiast of Bauhaus design, and always shared books he had found.

When he landed a contract to author two books on design history; Streamline: The Art and Design of the Forties and Atomic Age: The Art and Design of the Fifties, I was fortunate to work alongside him. We did fascinating research into these design eras. It was also my first exposure to publishing and having my art published. That foundation in Streamline and Atomic design has stayed with me always. Thanks, Marc.

10 Things I Learned From My Brother

1) Preliminary sketches are important.

2) Good design is inherent in a beautiful life plan.

3) Typography is important and historically grounded
in our psyche.

4) Raymond Lowie is a god.

5) Things will work out.

6) Treat everyone with respect, everyone is
an artist in their own way.

7) Borrowing from art history to create something new
is perfectly acceptable.

8) Use excellent art supplies and care for them.

9) Never let anyone borrow your personal Rapidograph.

10) Learn as much as you can about computer design.
(His advice in 1976)

© Copyright 2009 Guy Arceneaux All rights reserved


  1. I adore Raymond Loewy. Where is Marc these days?

    1. Hello Book Oblate(?),
      My good brother wrote the "God" thing.While
      I certainly appreciate his credited works
      and realize that he was similar to Walt Disney in being able to spot talented people to bring his ideas to life.As far as a "God"to me ,Alex Tremulis is the one
      who best fits that lofty place.I live in the Pacific Northwest and I draw every day at my table.

  2. Your E mail service is inacessablle..
    please call me, Guy or Marc, at 406 207 4958
    This is Terre' of old frisco and the haight ashbury..
    Call any time, even in the middle of the night..

    It's been many years

    1. Hello Terre,
      We just got Internet.I am living in Humboldt (southern)with my two sons.
      My Internet handle is marcarceneaux@gmail
      .com.Our phone#707 923 1617.
      Bestest to you,

  3. Marc was my friend at the Maryland Institute in 1966. One day he drew his sun, big and with white chalk, on the street below my third floor apartment. I lived with Nancy. I have a pen drawing he did of a motorcycle with the words " a golden wish, a golden motorcycle, Never Never Land" in his distinctive "stick" caps. It is one of my treasures.

    1. Hello,
      I remember your face.Thank-you for the nice
      words.I just started to look around the
      Internet,we (my two sons and I)got service
      two or so weeks ago.Its funny to read your
      note tonight,Ive been drawing that crazy
      sun face allmost every day for the past
      week.Any chance of getting a copy of the
      sketch? September 4 2012.

  4. Susan Papacek ValerianFebruary 19, 2013 at 9:05 AM


    Just wanted to say hello. Your T-Bird driving friend, Susan Valerian

    1. Susan,
      Hello,What year is that Thunderbird?
      Where do you drive in your world?

    2. Hello,

      It was a white 61. I drive around South Carolina these days. All my best to you.


  5. Hi Marc,
    My name is Jeff McGuire and I met you around 1985 in Venice California, we lived a few doors apart on Pacific Avenue, and you inspired me to develop my artistic soul.
    I still have the original Juma Unlimited postcard of the Arceneaux Car along with the story you printed about the car club. I would really like to hear from you again after all these years just to say hi.
    Thanks again for all your inspiration.

    1. Jeff Thanks for the kind words.I have a


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