XL Trailblazer Thaddeus Coates


XL Trailblazer Thaddeus Coates

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

I knew I wanted to be an artist when I watched “The Fairly Odd Parents”, Butch Hartman the creator had this segment in which he would show you have to draw the characters. “Timmy Turner, Cosmo, and Wanda”, from there I became obsessed I wanted to be a voice over and a storyboard artist.This happened between the 5th-6th grade.


What do you say to people who say “aren’t you too big to be dancing”?

I really know of anyone who has said that to me once they’ve seen me actually dance, initially I can tell that most are skeptical, give me a little space and I’ll throw out an 8 count like nobodies business, I actually discovered my passion for dance with I watched ” You Got Served”, I learned most of the dance and it’s still my favorite movie. I danced with several dance companies, and hopefully, you’ll be seeing me dance background for some of your favorite artist. So usually when that said they I squinted my eyes and say “watch me”.


How did it feel you you notice Blavity reposted your work?

I love Blavity, they are one of my favorite blogs I’ve been following them since they first started so they are almost like family. They always show me love and I’m always sharing the articles and stories I come across on their website with all of my friends.


What is the creative process like from start to finish? If it can be confined?

The creative process for me depends on what my listening to at the moment and what I’m moved by, I find inspiration in everything so usually it starts with tons of thumbnail sketches, then my fleshing them out via illustrator/tablet.


What do the next five years look like for you and your career?

In the next five years I hope to have a tour/performed with any of my favorite music artists, and be successfully established as a well know black illustrator, with my work in galleries everywhere from NY to ATL to LA. I hope to have worked with Erykah Badu on something I would love to curate art for her! Ahh, and to have secured a great spot at one of my favorite children’s cartoon networks.

What’s your favorite place to shop and why?

I shop everywhere, to be honest, I find some great pieces on line and some of my best pieces at thrifts stores, also ASOS plus size men’s ALWAYS comes through for the kid. Always.


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