After graduating from the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Thomas Blackshear worked for the Hallmark Card Company in Kansas City, Missouri. While there, he met the famous illustrator Mark English and became his apprentice. By 1980, he was working as head illustrator for Godbold/Richter Studio, and in 1982 went full-time as a freelance illustrator. Known for his dramatic lighting and sensitivity to mood, Blackshear has produced illustrations for advertising, books, calendars, collectors’ plates, greeting cards, magazines, postage stamps, and national posters. His clients range from Disney Pictures, George Lucas Studios, and Universal Studios to International Wildlife and National Geographic magazines. He has illustrated thirty US postage stamps and a commemorative stamp book titled I Have a Dream. Blackshear has also designed and executed illustrations for four collectors’ plate series. He is known for his best-selling Christian prints produced for DaySpring’s Masterpiece Collection. In 1995 he created Ebony Visions, which has been the number-one-selling black figurine collectible in the United States for the past twenty years. He is the recipient of multiple awards and recognitions. In 2006, at a solo-show, Blackshear unveiled his painting of Pope John Paul II for the 25th Anniversary of the Pope John Paul II Foundation in Rome.
Thomas Blackshear, Wild West Show. Oil.