Artist Series -- Tom Turkey

We have known Tom Turkey for our entire lives. I thought that you might like to get a closer look at the artistic side of Tom. You will be surprised and delighted with this eye-opening interview that brings out a side of Tom that many of you are not familiar with. Let's get on with the party!

1. When did you become interested in art and did you choose art, or did it choose you?

It was early in life when I realized that art would become my life. While I revel in the limelight of being Tom Turkey, I realized that I needed to find another line of work, in order to survive. Starting over again has been very difficult; people don't understand that there is more to me than wings and legs.

2. You get to spend one weekend each with three historical figures, an artist, a writer and one of your choice. Who are they and what will you talk about or do?

Hmmm…let me take a moment to think about this. First, and foremost I would have to say that Sarah Josepha Hale is my writing inspiration. In 1930 she published "Poems For Our Children," which included "Mary Had A Little Lamb," which she wrote --I love her affinity for helpless animals. During her spare time, she campaigned to make Thanksgiving a national holiday and in 1863, President Lincoln granted her wish. (Thankfully I am one of those turkeys who have been pardoned by the president)

A more contemporary artist, Margaret Cusak designed a beautiful commemorative postage stamp that highlights Thanksgiving with a traditional folk-art needlework cornucopia.

Finally, the most important artists are all of the c
hildren who make all of those beautiful hand turkey's with their friends and teachers. Nothing beats seeing all of those special creations!

3. How has the popularity of the Internet affected your work?

The internet has let the world know of my plight and how difficult it has been to be taken seriously as an artist. Most of my work is done with feathers and it seems that without the internet I would be basically an unknown artist. I will bet that many of your reader's have little knowledge regarding this art form. There are very few of us who actually practice this art and I take my inspiration from this wonderful artist, Emily Long,

4. Have you discovered any new technique to creating your work that you can share? How do you overcome artist block?

I haven't discovered any new technique's for my feather art. I do have some ideas on different types of theme's to paint on the feathers. I also think I could make wearable art with the feathers. Perhaps some nifty cuffs or neckpieces…I realize that the market may be limited since some people do have allergies to feathers.

5. If I walked into your studio this moment, what would you show me first? What would you want to hide?

Feathers. They are everywhere. Big ones, little ones, turkey, peacock…my studio is a mess! The Butterball Company wanted to do a holiday shoot and I had to turn them down. I knew that I would not have time to get the studio clean to the hygienic quality that Butterball insists on when preparing for a Turkey shoot.

6. Describe something that comes up in your work because of a life experience?

Oh, where should I start? In 1927, Tony Sarg, a children's book illustrator created the first hot-air balloon for the Macy's day Thanksgiving parade. From that history, I decided to take what comes naturally, feathers, to a different level. Before I decided to do feather art I was experimenting with claw art, (I would dip my claws in paint and then dance all over canvas) but I just couldn't create anything that seemed to be acceptable to the public. After doing some research on Thanksgiving and finding Tony Sarg, he gave me the inspiration to create outside of the box. My art is also ecologically friendly since I am recycling a natural material.

7. Describe what you do or who you are in a haiku

A turkey feather
Wispy painted tail feathers
No dinner required

8. Is there anything else that you would like to share?


13 reviews:

Mrs.Kwitty said...

Cute. and eye-opening. I had no idea that Tom Turkey was such and urbane and sophisicated gentlebird.
Smiles, Karen

Have a beautiful Thanksgiving!

missknits said...

wow so interesting! what a great post! and thanks for sharing! hope you have a great thanksgiving!

Rosebud Collection said...

How cute..We wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving..from our house to yours..
very good blog..

Michelle said...

great post!

Kala Pohl Studio said...

Wonderful read, with quite a bit of info on Tom Turkey:):)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Leah said...

fabulous interview, I had no idea he was so creative :)

alamodestuff said...

Thanks for making me smile!! Have a great Thanksgiving!

storybeader said...

cute interview!

Bejeweled said...

That was so cute! Way before the end I was smiling hard :)

Happy Thanksgiving!!

XUE said...

I do like the cartoon hand-turkey! So today, I learned more about Tom Turkey. We won't be celebrating this but Happy Thanksgiving!

kim* said...

oooh love this entry!

Bumpkin Bears said...

I just found your lob - Happy Thanksgiving, loved the interview :) Catherine x

Malaysian Fabric Heritage said...

The Thanksgiving story of Tom Turkey is superb. Only here in Malaysia, Thanksgiving is an absent celebration. The significance of Thanksgiving is missing and missed as it is just another normal day for Malaysians.

Thank you for sharing your Thanksgiving joy and 'turkey' and the meaning of this day with me.

Wai Mun

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