November 3, 2020 Blog

Get to Know Thomcat23

Step inside the mind of Thomast23, Cherry Street Pier’s resident illustrator extraordinaire who uses artistry and humor to expound on the human condition. Learn about his inspirations, the age-old advice he lives by, and how he counteracts what can sometimes be an isolating life as a creator in this fun-loving, 5-minute Q&A.

What would you consider one of Philadelphia’s best-kept secrets?
I’ve always considered the people and the art Philadelphia’s biggest and best-kept secrets.  The city’s national profile is built off the identity of our sports fans, but I believe a much more creative Philly lurks beyond that in the form of writers, poets, dancers, painters, and artists. A large segment of Philly’s makers are small-scale and serve the few blocks they live in.

What’s your favorite piece of art that you didn’t create?
Ceci n’est pas une pipe (This is not a pipe) by Renee Magritte. I’ve always wanted to convey this witty snark in my work. 

What’s your personal mission or vision?
My personal mission has always been to create double meanings using illusion and wit while educating about the human condition.

The creative/artistic life can often feel isolating. What do you do to counteract that?
Music, cartoons, research, and social media help in staving off feelings of isolation. I’m blessed to have an audience of artists and creators that are my support. Also, having a wife and daughter that are artists helps greatly.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given was from my professor in college (Jack Martin). He told me to keep drawing.

The best advice I’ve given was to my daughter –  you’re only competing with you. You are better than you were yesterday and always will be.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Teleportation. The ability to be wherever I imagine is so appealing.

What’s invisible but you wish people could see and why?
I wish people could see my imagination. They’d be able to see how my mind merges things into single images.

Is cereal soup? Why or why not?
Yes, it is a cold soup. It follows the properties of all other soups.

Name three artists to whom you’d like to be compared. Why?
Banksy – I would love for my work to be that timely and anticipated.
Andy Warhol – To be seen as prolific and important would be a dream.
Salvador Dali – I would love to be spellbinding and able to make my own rules.

What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever worn?
Gym shorts in public school. I have big legs and always have, so that wasn’t a good look.



Follow Thomcat23 on social media at @thomcat23.
Learn more about all the artists-in-residence.
This Q&A is one in an artist Q&A series titled Get to Know. All Q&A’s were reviewed and edited by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation Digital team.