“I don’t like to confuse the viewer. I like things to be understood, and appear technically accurate even though they rarely are.”
When and where were you born?
A hot day in July, 1979.
York Hospital, Pennsylvania.
Where do you currently live and work?
New York City. My studio is part of our apartment which I share with our dog.
T.M. Detwiler LLC, NYC, USA.
How long have you been practicing your craft?
Well, it’s a little gray I suppose, but I would say I started taking it seriously around 2012 – positioning myself as an illustrator and being able to make a living doing it. Although it wasn’t until February of 2016 that I quit my day job as the Design Director of Popular Science magazine to pursue illustration on a completely full-time basis.
What inspires you?
Most commonly, other artists. I keep a close eye on what my peers are doing and I am constantly fascinated by what other illustrators and designers are creating. Most recently I have been curating an exhibition for an arts club in New York and have had an opportunity to meet so many talented artists and sculptors from all over the world. The experience has been very rewarding both personally and professionally.
How would you describe your style
I would be the first to tell you that what I do is not unique. I’m just very good at it. Using simple lines to explain a process or dissect an object, person, or thing has been happening for a long time. I don’t like to confuse the viewer. I like things to be understood, and appear technically accurate even though they rarely are. If there is anything unique about my style, I would say it is that I try to add humor as much as I can. Because some of the work I do is fantastically boring. I try to spice it up, if possible.
What has been a defining moment in your career?
I got dinged for some taxes in 2012 and had to scramble to make some quick money. I redesigned my entire site, emailed everyone I knew and started working my ass off as a professional illustrator. I learned a lot very fast, and was able to take the new work I generated and turn it into an actual business.
What are your future plans?
I’ve started working on some paintings, based off the work I’ve been doing digitally. The goal would be to have a show in New York by the end of 2016. In particular, I’m intrigued with making a phenakistoscope – which is what people had before the mighty .gif. If you have a minute give it a google, you’ll see what I mean.
Can you leave us with some parting words or advice?
Talent is massively overrated. Hard work. That’s the avenue I’ve always found leading to success.
All images copyright T.M. Detwiler. All rights reserved.