Thomas A. Gieseke - Illustration / Art
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Who the hell is this guy?

Tom Gieseke
Oh, groan. This is the part on the website where I have to blabber about myself. Stuff like, “I was born in a log hospital and I had to cross the Himalayas every day to go to school.” (None of that is true, by the way.) I had a pretty decent childhood. I was born in Kansas City, Missouri, December 19, 1952. Truman was president for a whole month of my life. (I don’t remember any of it.)

I grew up in the K.C. suburb of Overland Park, Kansas. Most of my teen years were in the mid-60s, if you’re doing the math. Much of that time is engrained in my head and it has defined much of what I do now in my art. I taught myself to draw when I was a kid and have been self-teaching ever since. I had no real formal art training.

After a stint as a welder in the U.S. Army, I attended the local community college and enrolled in their Commercial Art program. Everything I learned back then, how to prepare material for print, is now obsolete. Furthermore, I decided on the last day of school that I wasn’t going to be content being a paste-up artist. I wanted to be an illustrator.

Getting that off the ground proved for some tough going for the first couple of years. Nevertheless, I eventually managed to make quite a successful career in Illustration. I lucked out and worked with some truly talented art directors along the way. However, in 2011, that beautiful bubble popped. Due to a perfect storm of calamities; the internet, the economy, changes in advertising and cultural tastes; illustration pretty has much dried up.

Since then, I have been going full tilt into gallery art. The skills I learned from illustration I have transferred to making paintings on my own. Like when I started out in illustration way back in 1977, gallery art, too, has been an uphill climb. Gradually, good things are beginning to happen, though.

I’ve been lucky. I didn’t get here on my own. I thank my family- my wife Margot and my son Andrew- for giving me their support through the years. I am grateful for the many fabulous art directors I was lucky enough to have met and have worked with over my career. As I move into fine art, I express my gratitude to those galleries who have taken a chance on me and continue to promote me, including Copro Gallery and the Todd Weiner Gallery. And finally, I want to thank all of you who support me with your investments in my art as well as your encouragement.