Artist Interview: Ian Thompson
It's that time of year....the cold weather blows in, the rain or snow falls, the holidays draw nigh...and if you're anything like me, you seek comfort and cozy things.
And nothing says cozy and comfort like cute little drawings of mice. But when these drawings are matched with charming, heart-tugging stories...well.....then it's all over for your heart, isn't it?
So may I present the whimsical art and imagination of Ian Thompson.
Hi Ian! Welcome to my site and blog! So...why do you enjoy art and storytelling? Also, why did you personally choose mice?
Hello, Hannah! Thanks for inviting me here for a chat. I have enjoyed art and storytelling for as long as I can remember, and I think what appeals to me the most is the fact that the two are essentially one and the same. Storytelling, if done properly, paints a perfect picture on the canvas of the mind. Art, in turn, should paint a thousand words. There is also a challenge to tell as much story as you can with one art piece. That aspect appeals to me. I never sat down and thought, “I’m going to draw a bunch of mice.” It sort of just happened. I think my childhood certainly played a big part. Stuart Little, Angelina Ballerina, The Great Mouse Detective, The Rescuers, and many other stories/films had a huge influence on me. But I mean…who doesn’t love a cute mouse? I am planning on starting to shift my artistic endeavors to other animals and even people soon, but I don’t think I’ll ever stop drawing mice.
Which authors and artists inspire you the most?
Many authors and artists have inspired me. Shel Silverstein is incredible. His picture book The Giving Tree is one of my favorites. The drawings are so minimalistic and yet powerful at the same time. The illustrations paired with the words yields a masterpiece in my opinion. Helen Craig’s illustrations in the Angelina Ballerina series were probably the biggest influence on my mice drawings. The incorporation of comedy and storytelling into her art is wonderful. More recently I have been introduced to Joe Sutphin and Janna Mattia. Both have an amazing talent of telling stories through whimsical art.
What is your favorite art piece that you've done? (If there are too may, pick one, lol)
It’s hard for me to pick a favorite art piece of mine. But if I have to just choose one, it’s probably “Snail Mail”. It definitely isn’t perfect, but I like the colors and the idea behind it.
How long have you been practicing art? What steps have you taken to improve?
Like many artists, I’ve been practicing art for as long as I can remember. I’ve become more serious about it as I’ve grown older, but I’ve always been drawing and painting. For the past two years I have participated in Inktober on Instagram. Though I wasn’t doing it intentionally to improve, it has helped me push myself. Instagram also helped me by joining the Art Stew 52 account. It’s an art community that provides a weekly prompt (similar to Intober’s daily prompt) all year long. When my creativity becomes stifled, the Art Stew has helped me. My “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” mouse was inspired by the Art Stew prompt, yellow.
You're also a writer. Can you share some plans for the future?
Immediate future plans are to do a series of mice and other animal art pieces that are inspired by famous movies with mice substituting the main characters. I’m really excited about that. I’ll be doing the first one soon. My long term plans are to illustrate a children’s picture book that I have already written. I am also working on a young adult fantasy novel that I thought I had finished. Now, I realize I need to add a lot more to it and to edit some out. An Online shop to sell my art is also something I am considering.
Thanks again, Hannah, for inviting me to share some of my art and a little about myself. My artistic journey is definitely a slow one. However, I am moving forward even if it is at a snail mail pace.
Thank you so much, Ian! Isn't his art charming, everyone? Be sure to give him a follow on his Instagram, Whimsian, there is so much more cute art to see!