The bold, graphic renderings of Tom Fedro leap off the canvas. Visit his website to see more of his compelling artwork.
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, although I didn’t really get into art until college. I became very interested in Patrick Nagel in the late eighties and decided to buy some paint and try to do my version 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 and ended up being taught how to do computer graphics. I did that for a few years (while selling my jean jackets to various boutiques in Chicago.) After being hired to be a creative director for an advertising agency, I decided to move from jean jackets to actual canvas.
About twenty years ago, I decided I had had enough of the corporate world and started pursuing a career as an artist. It’s taken about ten of those twenty years to develop my style and a following before I really became successful. I was discovered by the General Manager of the Allegro Hotel in Chicago who chose me to do one of the Cows in Chicago’s Cows on Parade Fest; he then hooked me up with “Rent” in New York and “Second City” for which I did commemorative commission pieces.
My work has been well received both in the United States and abroad due in large part to how my paintings make people smile and think at the same time. With bright, vibrant hues and vivid, exciting shapes, I paint in a variety of styles, although I prefer urban images and pop art faces. Whatever mode I am into at the moment I try to bring light and life to the canvas with color, whimsy, and joy.
I have exhibited my artwork in the United States and internationally, and am currently represented by galleries both at home and in Europe. My art hangs in over 3,000 private and corporate art collections in over fifteen countries worldwide.
In addition to my exhibitions, I have also been featured in a number of publications and have been commissioned to do pieces by high-profile clients, including the Broadway show “Rent,” IBM, NBC television, Chicago’s Navy Pier, Toogood Wineries, Amano Chocolates, Washburn Guitars and Sweet Riot Candy Co.
I love what I do and couldn’t ever imagine 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 Internet has become a great way for artists to be seen and sell and I applaud sites like ArtsyShark for taking the time to support us in our ventures. For the new artists out there I say “Never give up. It took me 20 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.” To my collectors, “Thanks for all your support and remember, you can never have too many Fido originals!”
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