Although it’s sometimes difficult to ascertain an artist’s place of origin from his or her particular aesthetic, illustrator Tad Carpenter’s Midwestern roots seem readily apparent when looking at his work. From typographic posters to depictions of mythical beings, Carpenter’s art is filled with a warmth, playfulness, and simplicity that points lovingly backwards to a boyhood in America’s “New West.” A nostalgic, rosy-tinted romp, it’s imagery that evokes a time of slingshots and ray guns—something that might taste like bubblegum and smell like motor oil. It’s fitting that Carpenter credits the Midwest for shaping him into the artist that he is today; it seems that this love of home goes hand-in-hand with the love of past that fuels much of his artistic creation.
Quite the prolific illustrator and designer, Carpenter’s work has appeared in countless prints, magazines, and national campaigns for big names like Target and Macy’s. He has also illustrated a number of children’s books including Trick-or-Treat and his most recent, Sad Santa. Tad currently lives in Kansas City where he runs Tad Carpenter Creative and teaches design at the University of Kansas. Check out more photos of Tad Carpenter’s seriously rad sketchbooks and his own words about sketching after the jump! —Max
Above image: A sampling of Tad Carpenter’s work. Check out more here.