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Thomas C Fedro

Artist's Interview

How long have you been creating?
I've always drawn as long as I can remember. I started when I was young by copying all the Sunday comics like , Beatle Bailey and Garfield. I didn't really get into art until college though. I was very involved with music and was a music major in school. I became very interested in Patrick Nagel in the late eighties and decided to buy some paint and try to do one on the back of my jean jacket. That was a huge hit and I started doing them for all my friends at school. After graduation I got a job at IBM as a marketing assistant and ended up being taught how to do computer graphics. I did that for a few years (while selling my Nagle jackets to various boutiques in Chicago) and then was hired by a head hunter to be a creative director for an advertising agency. It was then that I decided to move from jean jackets to actual canvas and I began reproducing all sorts of art for people who wanted something they saw by another artist to be in their colors. About twelve years ago I met my wife Alicia, who very quickly talked me out of the corporate world in order to pursue an art career doing my own work. It's taken about ten of those twelve years to develop my style and a following before I really became successful at this art thing. Ultimately it was being discovered by, at the time, the GM of the Allegro Hotel in Chicago which is a hot spot for celebrities and musicians. He chose me to do one of the Cows in Chicago's Cows on Parade Fest and then hooked me up with Rent in New York and Second City for which I did commemorative commission pieces.
What is your medium of choice?
I tend to work with acrylic on canvas more than anything but have been adding a few different mediums along with it like chalk, ink, watercolor, oil and craypas.
What are your motivations for creating?
My wife and son are a huge factor in being motivated to continue this path. I get so much support and encouragement from them on a daily basis. Aside from that I just need to be creative and wouldn't know what to do with myself if I couldn't be. I suppose it would be wrong not to mention the money too, it never used to be a motivator but it certainly keeps me working now that it is actually coming in.
What other artists and movements inform your work?
I have always been a huge fan of artists like Kandinsky, Chagall, Picasso, Matisse Warhol and Lichtenstein. I have many styles but keep getting drawn back to the hard edges and bright colors of Pop Art. I also continue to research all the new artists out there and have become friends with quite a few like Carlo Beninati, Romero Britto, Joe Burlini, and Ed Pashke ( who recently passed away).
What do you find stimulating right now? How does this influence your creative process?
Lately, I've been buying a lot of vintage comic books as they are very visually stimulating and great for new ideas and composition. I'm drawn to bright colors and most importantly, women! Their faces and figures are a huge inspiration in my work.
Read anything good lately?
I am in the process of reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince right now. I just love all the HP books. I'm also a big sci-fi fan, one of my favorites being Robert Heinlen.
What are some of your artistic goals for the future?
To continue to saturate the world with my work including sifting through various publishing contracts that have been offered to me so I can start doing prints. I would also like to start doing more gallery shows again because the way things are right now I'm stuck in my studio 24/7 and would love a reason to actually get out and mingle a bit.
What would you like your fellow EBSQ artists and collectors to know about you and or your work?
I love what I do and couldn't imagine ever not painting. It allows me to spend time with my family and play a lot of golf when the weather allows. I think that the new Internet world has become a great way for artists to be seen and sell and I applaud sites like EBSQ for taking the time to support us in our ventures. For the new artists out there I say "Never give up. It took me ten years to get where I am but now couldn't be happier. Keep trying to get better as an artist and never stop trying to re-invent yourselves." For my collectors, "Thanks for all your support and remember, you can never have too many Fido originals!!"

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