Thomas Lynch grew up in LA, oldest of four sons to his father, a TV writer, and his mother, nurse-turned-full-time-mother-of-four. Life for Thomas was probably the same as most. He attended St. Paul School in LA and ultimately went on to Loyola High School. Like most teenagers, he wondered what the next step in life was. University loomed ahead for him like most of his peers, but Thomas, after being at Regis University for a “short stint”, decided that he needed to change his trajectory. He left school and headed for the mountains of Colorado to find himself.
Though Lynch had always been interested in art, specifically illustration, he had never seen it as a career path. After taking a break from the monotony of school and developing a new perspective, he knew that it was what he wanted to do. He packed up his snowboard and came back out to the West Coast to attend Otis College of Art and Design. After a few years he graduated with a degree in Illustration, ready to join the rat race. Much to his surprise, it wasn’t easy to make money.
However, the impressive high water mark of his short dip into corporate waters found him at the Cartoon Network working as an illustrator. A coveted position that is marked by long hours and stiff competition. After two years working in the industry, and as much as he knew that it was an awesome experience, he was ready for something more. While he loved the thought of having security, he couldn’t see himself in an office in a world ruled by deadlines. With the loving support of his then-girlfriend, now-wife, Ashley, he left the corporate world and became… well, an erm… a not-regularly-employed artist.
Navigating the rapids of the art world these last two years took a lot of getting used to for Lynch, “It’s fun getting lost in your own world and creating these places, but the reality is, there’s things that need to be taken care of as an adult.” The hardest part of the business, according to Lynch, was the “business” part: “That part of the business is new to me. The way that it works is… black magic. Yeah, you have to be talented; yeah, you have to not be a dick; but part of it ‘just happens.'”
One of the challenges now is negotiating with galleries and potential clients, “Everyone wants to buy art until they find out how much it costs.” Lynch added, “It’s really dangerous for artists out there now. Gallery owners, who used to just market your art and take percentages of the sales, now try to charge artists for utilizing their galleries. Others just don’t want to pay for work that took months and months to do.” Lynch is currently working on his latest paintings which, aside from being totally awesome, are slated for a solo gallery exhibition on the West Coast in short order. He hopes it will be successful, but is still working on the final pieces of which he’s already completed three.
What’s his next big project? Lynch has his eyes set on a wall in the “beautiful art district of downtown LA.” The wall is located on Sante Fe and 7th street and is roughly 30 feet tall and 100 feet wide, making it the largest project he has attempted to date. How much is he making? Nothing. Apparently, beautifying a city is a thankless and pay-less job. To fund this project, he turned to crowdsourced funding portal Kickstarter and after a week of campaigning, he is a mere $100 dollars shy of his $3,000 budget. The bulk of the money will go into renting a scissor lift with the remainder of the funds being set aside for materials. Considering, based on his budget, he will have to complete his work in 4 days, it will be a marathon with a guaranteed photo finish.
When asked what kind of advice he could give young artists just starting their journey, Lynch responded, “Tell ’em to go to law school. In all seriousness, you just have to keep going. Keep doing it.” His secret weapon? If I had to guess, it’s his immediate family, who always supported his actions, even when he didn’t know which way was up and his wife: “We have fights, but I love her to death. She’s mine.” We’ll see where this journey takes him in the long run. In the meantime, we’re all rooting for him here at NSB. Make sure you track his Kickstarter and definitely go visit, “preferably with pizza and redbull” when he begins his mural marathon.
SideBar: You can see Lynch’s portfolio on his website at http://thomaslynch3rd.com/. He is also available for commissioned work which he takes requests for via email.