Although a scatterbrain as a child, Tom Kidd was a magic copying machine. Once he looked at something he could draw it accurately, but he was quick to notice that machines could do just as good a job as he could. Even though he had offers to do portraits, he set about making things up to draw instead – no camera could do that, and making things up was more fun anyway. Later with role models like Chesley Bonestell and Norman Rockwell to guide him he worked towards his goal of being a fantasy illustrator. This led to a scholarship to Syracuse University, but he dropped out after two years, and eventually moved to New York City. His simple plan: sink or swim. After some gasping and flailing in the muck of the big city he got the hang of it and begin treading water.
Tom Kidd has worked for a number of publishers: Baen Books, Random House, DAW Books, Warner Books, Doubleday, Ballantine Books, Marvel Comics and Tor Books. He has illustrated two books: “The Three Musketeers” (1998 – William Morrow) and “The War of the Worlds” (2001 – Harper Collins), and there are two books of his art: “The Tom Kidd Sketchbook” (1990 – Tundra) and “Kiddography: The Art & Life of Tom Kidd” (2006 – Paper Tiger). A gallery featuring this book just appeared in the April ’06 issue of Realms of Fantasy.
His art has won him a World Fantasy Award (Best Artist 2004) and seven Chesley Awards. Kidd has also done design work for film, theme parks, entertainment products, and all types of conceptual design work for such clients as Walt Disney, Rhythm & Hues and Universal Studios. His work has been displayed in a wide array of venues, including The Delaware Art Museum, The Society of Illustrators and the Science Fiction Museum & Hall of Fame. His favorite and most time-consuming obsession is a unpublished book called “Gnemo: Airships, Adventure, Exploration.” This is the sort of stuff that makes him happy.