Tom Fee began drawing when he was nine years old, and kept his imaginative spirit as he grew into adulthood. He received his BFA in advertising design at the University of North Texas. Afterward, he became an art director, designer, and creative director for several design studios in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. It was in the 1990s that he decided to go independent and open Tom Fee Graphic Design, where he had continued working as an illustrator for over twenty-five years. Before working on Steve Michael Reedy’s Monkey Mind Tales® book series, he lent his talents to a variety of children’s books including “A Tree Full Of Animals,” “The King of Camelot,” and “Revenge of The Snowman,” by R. L. Stine.
Reedy was introduced to Fee shortly after Reedy had given up finding an illustrator. Reedy had a vision of what he wanted his illustrations to look like, and he had spent two years trying to bring the book to life with several illustrators, one of which had almost illustrated the entire book. But no one seemed able to understand the vision that Reedy was trying to create with his work.
After talking to Fee, and working through a few sketches, Reedy believed he had found someone that “got him.” Together they spent a year designing illustrations for the first book, Tales For Your Monkey’s Mind. They created a specific look for the book, with a nod toward the black and white illustrations of the late 19thcentury. Their work then paid off as the illustrations were met with glowing reviews, having captured the feeling Reedy was trying to create with his work.
Reedy and Fee spent another year illustrating More Tales For Your Monkey’s Mind, which had a similar look to the first book, but with more detail. Then, with Tales From Bombast’s Bookshelf, they spent two and a half years creating fifty illustrations that went above and beyond anything they had done previously. Currently they are researching and designing the look of their fourth collaboration, Tales For Tra La La Day, which they hope to release in 2022.
Fee continues to work as an illustrator in Dallas, Texas and can be found at www.tomfeecreats.com
You can also learn more about Tom’s work on the Monkey Mind Tales® Book Series” by watching the “Book Launch Party” video.