An Englishman in Paris, Mark Tungate has been a journalist for almost 30 years and is the author of six books, including Adland: A Global History of Advertising. He has written countless articles for magazines and journals worldwide, including The Times, The Financial Times, Advertising Age and Campaign. He has also been a ghostwriter and copywriter for brands such as Diesel, Guess and MTV. In addition, he is the Editorial Director of the Epica Awards - the only global creative awards judged by the specialist press. He hosts the jury and edits the annual Epica Book. Mark is married to a fashion journalist and they have a little boy, Gustave.
If there was one piece of art you could feature in, which would it be and why?
I wouldn’t mind projecting myself into a photo by Jacques-Henri Lartigue. Perhaps lounging in a louche fashion on the Riviera in the 1920s, or motoring through the French countryside in an open-topped Bentley. He is the photographer of pleasure and escape.
Who inspires you and why? An artist, a family member, someone current or historical?
At the moment my four year old son inspires me: not only does he drive me to write stories that he may read when he’s older, but he actually demands stories made up on the spot, which he embellishes with plot points, characters and unexpected incidents. Elsewhere, photographers like Cartier-Bresson, Capa, Doisneau, Lartigue and Willy Ronis get my imagination working. Other than that, I’m inspired by another author almost every week; but I often find myself going back to Borges. A rich and romantic oeuvre, where surrealism rubs shoulders with gaucho knife fights.
What are your cultural aspirations? What do you still want to see, do and achieve?
I’ve never been to San Francisco: in fact a tour of the architectural gems of California would be a treat. Closer to hand, there are a few gaps in my list of European cities: Porto, Trieste and Bologna, for example. As for me, I need to finish that novel. (But all journalists say the same thing.)
What are your favourite cultural cities in the world and why?
Paris, naturally – my chosen home for the past 15 years. Almost too much going on, plus Parisians themselves are works of art. I also love Venice for the sheer strangeness of its beauty. New York is always an energy boost, faintly humbling in its grandeur.
What are you up to at the moment and where can we find it?
I’m writing my next book, The Escape Industry, a history of the travel industry through its most iconic brands, which is due for publication next year (and a bit behind schedule to be honest). Also preparing for the next edition of The Epica Awards in November, followed by a coffee table book devoted to the winners. Instagram and Twitter: @MarkTungate Website: tungateinparis.com. Also: www.epica-awards.com