Tim Bower

  1. conceptual
  2. figurative
  3. b/w
  4. bio
  5. work process

Tim Bower became a commercial artist at age 10, when he won a national contest for Hygrade’s Ball Park Franks. Since his mom wrote the winning copy (“I like Ball Park Franks because they’re plump like my little brother”), and he drew the accompanying picture, (a chubby anthropomorphic hotdog-boy), illustration seemed a natural calling.
Since the contest’s prize, a 3-speed Columbia banana-seat bicycle, had about the same monetary value as today’s average spot illustration, he’s been pretty much treading water ever since.

Client List

Major League Baseball
The National Football League
Blue Sky Studios
Red Bull
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Viking Penguin
Simon and Schuster
St. Martin’s Press
Henry Holt
Farrar Straus and Giroux
The Atlantic
The New Yorker
Vanity Fair
Sports Illustrated
Scientific American
Rolling Stone
Reader’s Digest
Bon Appetit
Harvard Business Review
Travel and Leisure
Entertainment Weekly
Mother Jones
The Oxford American
Garden & Gun
The New York Times
The New York Observer
The Wall Street Journal
The Washington Post
The Progressive
American Heritage
National Geographic
McSweeney’s Quarterly

Fundamentally, as an illustrator I turn words and ideas into images. I begin by reading a text or synopsis, gleaning from it sufficient information to start visualizing an image. Variably, the image must convey a mood, tell a literal truth, or distill the complex into symbol or metaphor. With the conceptual thrust understood, intuition winds the process through myriad linear and abstract channels marrying information with aesthetics, and the sketch builds itself. If I get it right, the final picture will entertain, inform, amuse, or offend, or give pause to invite consideration of an accompanying text. Or it will stand alone as a statement unto itself.

Clients hire me for ideas.

Typically, I provide one initial sketch. I consider the weeding out of lesser approaches part of my responsibility in taking an assignment. Occasionally, as in this example, I’m asked to develop the theme further.

This story entitled ‘The Hard Way’ was an account of a cross country skier’s learning experience. It covered alot of ground, from technique and philosophy, to the role of an apprentice and his master. Ultimately, it was decided that the piece should convey the humility of learning, and the respect of those that came before.

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