Thomas Yeates, Illustrator

Thomas Yeates

Interview: How to become an Illustrator with Thomas Yeates

Thomas Yeates is a comic books illustrator, who has been drawing and illustrating comics for very long time, since the boom of comics. He has worked on titles such as Tarzan, Prince Valiant, Zorro and Swamp Thing, and other graphic novels.

Below is a summary of our interview:


“Keep your dreams wild and free. But keep your approach to achieving them grounded and pragmatic.” – a Thomas Yeates original

His Journey

Thomas Yeates was a little bit maladjusted. He spent his youth running around outside with his friends unsupervised.  When he went to school, he almost found school to be more repressive. He resented the time away being outside and he was always attracted to the old movies on TV. The comic books didn’t grab his attention until he was 13 years old. Drawings really excited him. His cousin, Randy, was the comic book nerd who introduced him to the world of comics. He got Thomas to want to do comics and Thomas started going to comic book conventions. He discusses how he began to work for DC comics and illustrated a short story and became a full-fledged comic book artist.

Low Point

Thomas described a time when he had all these assignments and Joe Kubert wanted Thomas to come to his school. He had so many assignments and different mediums. He couldn’t draw this stuff as it was out of his comfort zone at the Kubert School of Art.

Aha Moment

Around 1979 or 1980, someone saw Thomas Yeates’ art was influenced by Bernie Rightson, the artist who had done Swamp Thing, and thought maybe they should bring Swamp Thing back and get Thomas Yeates to do it, but Thomas hesitated. But he did it, and from that point on, it launched his career.

Lightning Round

Books Thomas Recommends:

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Helpful Habit:  

Once you’ve finished a project, just go onto the next one and do not let your creative energies dissipate.

Internet Resource:

He uses Google Images for references to drawings of horses or animals

Helpful Person: 

Al Williamson whose work Thomas admired and collected.

What’s your purpose?

Thomas’ purpose is to have a good time and do good work and his good work to be appreciated.

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Where to follow Thomas

His Art Galleries  page and the Thomas Yeates page.

Parting Words

Look at the stuff that’s out there and what’s selling and tell yourself you have to be as good as that or better.

An awesome way to spread the word

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Jackie Abrams

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