We had the good fortune of connecting with THOMAS WILLIAMS and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi THOMAS, how do you think about risk?
I’ve never had a fear factor because failure is a part of success. I wasn’t moving art a the pace I thought I should in Chicago so, I decide to do shows on the road. This is risky because you have to be juried in, pay for the show and hotel. You would have invested at lest $600.00-$1000.00 before you have made a dime. And this isn’t counting buying a tent, framing art and investing in prints. Being successful at these shows allowed me to create my largest income earnings every year.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I realize at the age of 33 I wasn’t pursing my art career so in 2001 I bought a house and decide to recommit to my art. I would draw and paint after work everyday 7:30pm-2am and weekends at least 13 hours of drawing. In 2010 I reconnected with my high school classmate from art class Kevin WAK Williams. I asked him about my art he suggested I should come to ATL and bring my favorite piece. I was critique by Kevin and his art colleague. It was the best thing that ever happen to me it forced me to be more critical of my art and allowed me to create the art I wanted to create. I have always love to express my art through color and this allowed me to tell my story of us (African American’s)
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Southside, downtown and Northside of Chicago. Harold’s Chicken Shack, Uno Pizzeria and Gibson’s. Art Institute of Chicago, Lake front, Hyde Park, Rush Street and House of Blues to name a few.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Thomas and Irmagene Williams (Parents), Robert Johnson H.S Art Teacher, Kevin Wak Williams Artist, Edwin Lester Artist, Frank Frazier Artist and Jonathan Romain Artist