February 24, 2009
Meet the correspondents: ORLANDO > Thomas Thorspecken
"I moved to Orlando more than a dozen years ago to work for Walt Disney Feature Animation. For ten years that was a dream job. However after 9/11 the executives decided to close the Orlando studio fearing that people only wanted to see movies created with a computer. Prior to working for Disney I worked in NYC as a freelance illustrator. One of my favorite assignments was a weekly column I illustrated for the Daily News called "Undiscovered Manhattan". This column had me wandering the streets of Manhattan sketching odd historical locations. These last few years I have found myself returning to those journalistic roots. I help instruct traditional animation part time at Full Sail and the remaining time is spent sketching and producing an independent CGI short.
My feeling when I first moved to Orlando was that the whole town must be like the parks, a series of false facades like on a movie set. I missed the culture and variety of New York city. I have been using my sketches to finally try and discover the real Orlando. Sketching is offering me a way to finally put down roots, to become part of a vibrant community that I am uncovering one sketch at a time. People for whatever reason always seem to want to tell me their life's story when I am sketching, so my work puts me in contact with a wide variety of people around town.
Although I have many sketchbooks on my shelves, I only started to share work on the web when I opened my newest sketchbook on a blog I started January 1st of 2009 entitled Analog Artist Digital World. This blog also has sketches I produce with a tablet PC. Starting the blog has been a joyous awakening as I meet artists from around the world. I believe the web has started a new renaissance in art, as artists share there work as it is produced with an audience all around the world. Sketching daily has also awakened in me a desire to further explore local news from an artist's perspective. I wake up every day wondering where my pen, watercolors and sketchpad will lead me next. Everyday is a safari, an adventure."
• Thor's blog.
• Thor's art on Flickr.