Tom Day and the Seattle Seahawks

I love hearing about the exciting opportunities that come to my fellow Harrison Center artists and seeing the way that their personal passions and interests seem to lead their careers into all sorts of interesting activities. Today’s adventure features artist Tom Day, who has had a studio here for about a year. I believe that Tom is the youngest member of our group here, which makes his recent project even more exciting.

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Tom, who was a painting major at Heron School of Art and Design, is quick to tell me that most of his work is not particularly commercial in nature, and that in fact he works regularly on themes that are intended to increase social and cultural awareness, a fact that is very believable after even a brief conversation with this very thoughtful artist. Be that as it may, Tom’s work has been singled out and he was recently invited to be part of a social media project with the Seattle Sea Hawks. 

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Sidney Noland, originally from Indianapolis, is the social digital media designer for the NFL team, and as such is responsible for coordinating the graphics for their web site and social media pages. She had followed Tom’s growth as an artist for some time via Instagram and was a fan of his work, so she reached out to him with a project that called for intense creativity and talent. Contracts were signed, and Tom was ready to go. During the recent NFL draft, each time the Sea Hawks drafted a new player, Tom did a digital portrait of the player on the spot. In most cases he had a brief amount of warning as to who’s portrait he would be doing, but in some cases another team would draft the player he had already drawn. He also did portraits of players whose contracts were being extended, including Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner. In addition to these players, he did drawings of eleven draft picks while the draft was actually taking place! This would be a challenge for even the most seasoned illustrator, which may be why it as such a perfect fit for Tom, with all of his youthful exuberance!  

Being an avid sports fan, Tom was perfect for this job, and had the experience of truly feeling a part of the NFL Draft the whole time it was going on. Since then, he’s had the fun of seeing players use his portraits as their profile pictures and knowing that his work will be part of this team’s legacy. Most of all, he was excited to watch the drama of the event and to see the lives of the players being completely transformed by their opportunity. It is safe to say that this project may also transform Tom’s life as other opportunities result from this work.

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I encourage you to get a look at his mixed media work the next time you visit the Harrison Center. Tom creates digital art that he then paints on top of, creating unique and intriguing works. Here is a young artist whose career we’ll all want to be watching in the future. In the mean time, here is a link that will take you to the portraits Tom did for the Sea Hawks during the 2019 NFL Draft.

Lorie Lee Andrews