Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 13th, 2011 at 4:52 pm
(Photo courtesy Tomas)
Every year at BikeCraft there’s one vendor that really raises my eyebrows and makes me think, “Wow, we’re seeing the launch of someone’s career! This is exciting!” This year I felt like that person was Tomas Quinones.
Out of nowhere (at least to me), Tomas launched Flying Snail Creations, a new company to publish his original illustrations. The product he brought to BikeCraft was “Bike Parade” — a kids coloring book full of animals pedaling whimsical bicycles. After buying one myself and seeing my girls devour it with crayons (which he very smartly sold too), I knew this book would be a hit. Turns out it was.
“At 35 years-old I finally admitted to myself that art is why I really want to do with myself.”
I think we’ll be hearing and seeing a lot more from Tomas in the months and years to come so I thought it’d be fun to share a bit more about him. Below is a short Q & A we did recently over email:
“I’m originally from Madison Heights, MI but have been living in Portland for almost 7 years now. I learned to drive fast but slowed down to biking everywhere after going on a 7-day tour of Montana in 2001. It changed my life. Now I bike everywhere and help lead trips with Cycle Wild [a local non-profit]. At 35 years-old I finally admitted to myself that art is what I really want to do with my life.”
“I’ve drawn mini-comics and web-comics over 10 years ago, but never really got a good response from the public nor felt all that into it. But after getting laid-off in October — my third time in 6 years — I finally admitted to myself that I’m an artist at heart and have plunged head-first into Children’s Illustration and freelance illustration.
This is my first real product that seems to be doing well and may finally be my chance at making a living with my drawings.”
“Animals seemed like a great fit since there are simply so many to choose from and pairing the different species to different bike was such a fun challenge.”
“The response at BikeCraft was AMAZING. The e-mails, tweets, pictures of kids enjoying my book, and thank-you notes from parents have brought me to tears.”
“I’m currently working on trying to get the coloring book into more stores, an electronic version, then full-color and black & white calendars, more coloring books, children’s books and whatever I need to get out of my head. If I can continue getting a great response, then I can finally make this my full-time job.”
“Right now, there are copies for sale at the Bikeasaurus store (1337 SE MLK Jr Blvd) and soon to be some other local shops. You can also order a copy from my website and soon there will be a digital version you can download and print all or just your favorite pages.”
“Thanks to all my supporters and fans, I’ll be doing my best to provide more original content. I’d love to hear all feedback – smile[at]flyingsnailcreations.com”
Meet other local, bike-inspired artisans in our Meet Your Maker archives.
See more of Tomas’s illustrations and follow his work at FlyingSnailCreations.com.