Archive for the Photography Category


Posted in Photography on June 6, 2014 by Thomas Allen



I will be a Featured Speaker (along with Amy Friend) at the Society for Photographic Education’s Southeast Regional Conference in October. This year’s event titled, “IF YOU BUILD IT…” is being hosted by East Carolina University  (Greenville, NC) at the Jenkins Fine Arts Center.  More information can be found HERE. If you are kind enough to come and here me speak, come prepared to ask me tough questions and be sure to stick around and say, “Hello” afterward.


Posted in Photography on November 26, 2013 by Thomas Allen

I thought I would share a behind-the-scenes look at how a commission evolves from start-to-finish. This is for a project I’m presently working on, but I can’t say for who or what it’s about. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I receive the full text to read. At minimum, I get a synopsis. After reading the copy, I usually rough something out quickly in pencil to get me motivated. From there I draw a more refined, yet still ragged, version via my Wacom tablet and Photoshop. This allows me to mess around with scale and element placement before I started cutting things out. The central character is very angular and rigid (intentionally). Since tentacles need to be smooth, it’s much faster for me if I create them in Illustrator. Sometimes I use the pen tool and other times the blob brush. The second tentacle is blue so that I can easily discern the overlap. From here I can move the shapes to Photoshop as pixels.

…to be continued.


Posted in Photography on November 19, 2013 by Thomas Allen


Jasper Fforde—in French!


Posted in Photography with tags , , , , , , , on November 13, 2013 by Thomas Allen


Posted in Photography on November 12, 2013 by Thomas Allen

SFH-7In June, my daughter and I traveled to Ohio with my parents (my wife stayed home to tend the livestock) for a family reunion. It has always been my great Uncle Ron’s dream to host an all-day music event with family (and that is exactly what he did)! They tried to coax me into singing, but I said that the event would be better served if I designed a keepsake program (and that’s exactly what I did)! For all of you print geeks, the 11″ x 17″ piece was printed head-to-head on 70lb text weight stock (no bleed) and Z-folded. The front, when pulled out, provides details of the day’s activities. The back pays tribute to my great aunt Marilyn who passed away prior the reunion. She was one of the original planners. The copy was written by her husband (my great uncle Mike). Since the content is deeply personal, I chose to obliterate it.



I’ve been going to reunions ever since I can remember and have to say that this was, by far, the most fun. Ron was the first to take the stage in the barn where everything took place and he was the last one to leave! I think this picture illustrates how pleased he was.



Posted in Photography on November 12, 2013 by Thomas Allen



An illustration I did for Nautilus Magazine. However, the story was killed at the last minute so it never appeared.



This is the final illustration that was reproduced in Mental Floss several months back. To be honest, I still prefer my original idea (as seen here).


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Mock preview of the booth graphics I designed for a company my friend has a vested interest in. These were for a solar energy trade show in Chicago.




This was created entirely from scratch (translation – no hand cutting of actual paper) for The Atlantic. I photographed the actual table and built the the rest of composition in Photoshop. James Garner was so taken by the illustration that he purchased a printed and signed copy of it from me. It will go down as a definite career highlight!



Posted in Photography on May 1, 2013 by Thomas Allen


Looking forward to receiving my complimentary copies of the Chronicle Books compilation, ART MADE FROM BOOKS: ALTERED, SCULPTED, CARVED, TRANSFORMED.  I was one of the artists invited to contribute last year. Thank you to the book’s author—Laura Heyenga.

Release date: August 20, 2013.


Posted in Photography on April 23, 2013 by Thomas Allen





My work is part of the exhibition, WORLD OF POP-UP ART, at the Art Center IDA in Yangjae-dong, Seoul, Korea. Special thanks to Vivian S.H. Choi for inviting me to participate.


Posted in Photography on April 4, 2013 by Thomas Allen

ZERO2FIFTYTo commemorate my 50th year (the birthday odometer rolled over in February), I’ve been looking through and scanning old family snapshots from when I was a kid. There’s something really special about printed photographs. The weight. The smell. The handwritten messages on the back. The dog-eared corners. The deckled edges of early Polaroids. I could go on. The realization that future generations will have no concept of what I’m talking about leaves me crestfallen. So, as you’re passing around your iPhone to show how cute your child is, remember this: your pictures are ones and zeros. My pictures? Matter.


Posted in Photography on March 14, 2013 by Thomas Allen


A few months ago I received an email from Estíbaliz Espinosa asking if (a) she could use on of my images on the cover of her self-published book of poems and (b) how much it would cost. She also mentioned that the collection would be free.

I firmly believe that, as artists, we need to help one another whenever possible. The feeling of making someone’s day is worth more than money. Besides, she had me sold when she wrote, “I really love your work, it weaves a fabulous perspective on the inside of books. And it returns to life so many lovely vintage pictures.”  

Now that’s poetry!


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