Tad Carpenter: Illustrator & Author of "SAD SANTA"

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    Happy Friday, everyone! We’re excited to share a pinterview with the talented illustrator and graphic designer Tad Carpenter. He talks about using Pinterest for collaborating on his client projects and collecting inspiration from Mid-Century based artists. Most importantly, he gives us a sneak peek into his latest children’s book, “SAD SANTA.” Enjoy!

    Hi Tad! First, can you tell us a little about yourself?

    My name is Tad Carpenter and I am an illustrator and graphic designer in Kansas City, Missouri. I run my own studio called Tad Carpenter Creative where we do work for great people ranging from larger clients like Target, Macy’s, Adobe, Publix, Rayban, Nick Jr. and Chronicle Books to name a few. We also do a lot of work creating strong memorable brands for start ups and smaller clients. I love the mix of clients and mix of what they need. Diversification is one of the best attributes of being a designer, different needs and projects everyday. But most importantly I love that I get to do what I love every single day. I am so very thankful that I get to do this for a living. I feel that is something we all have to remind ourselves as designers and creative people…we get to do this.


    What are some of the different ways you use Pinterest and how has it been helpful?

    I use Pinterest in several ways. First and foremost like a lot of users I use it as a place to store things I love. I was lucky enough to grow up the son of an illustrator so my father introduced me to a lot of Mid-Century based artists and illustrators at a very young age. Pinterest is a place where I can store all these heroes. I can organize them in specific folders for myself as well as for other people to view and enjoy.

    I also use it for clients and projects. For example my wife (also a designer) and I are taking on a huge project and designing and building a new home and office space. We are working with a really talented Architecture firm and instead of us having to build and print out mood boards to share what kind of materials or structures we respond to most we can just share our home boards we have created in Pinterest. We have meetings together where we pull up our boards on large screens in a conference room and discuss why we like one stair case over another. It has really helped and sped up the overall creative process. All from our Pinterest accounts and boards.


    Have you found any inspirations on Pinterest that you used to create something?

    I keep a board titled “Retro Pop”. It is just tons of Mid-Century illustration and design. My work is very much routed in that time period from all the inspiration my father gave me as a boy. I think if you were to look at my work you can really see the connection to the past.


    Do you have an interest or hobby that most people wouldn’t know about?

    I really love design. Ultimately I love all forms of design. I love old folk art, collecting vintage goods like maps, globes, old movie posters, vintage advertising signage, anything I can get my hands on really. I also keep a board devoted to mens wear which is something I like a lot. I also really love sports. I grew up playing football from when I was 9-10 so I really love football. I also teach graphic design and graduated from the University of Kansas. So it is needless to say that I am obsessed with college Basketball too. Rock, Chalk Jayhawk for life.


    As the year is coming to an end, what are you looking forward to?

    I can not believe this year is coming to an end. 2012 was way too fast. I am looking forward to what I can hope will be another great year of fun projects ahead in 2013. I am really looking forward to starting to build our home and office space. We should be breaking ground within the next month. Moving in next year is something we can hardly wait for.

    As I said previously, I feel so so lucky that I get to create and make for a living. Not everyone gets to do what why love for a living. I am beyond lucky and thankful to be a part of the design community and do what I love.

    More specifically, I have a new book out for the holidays this season titled SAD SANTA. It is a super fun, playful book about Santa getting the post-holiday blues. I gave readings in Kansas City, St. Louis and New York City which was a blast.

    Thanks for the pinterview, Tad and best of luck on your new book! To check out Tad work, visit his website and his boards on Pinterest. Happy pinning!