Tom Gonzalez

Thomas Gonzalez has been drawing since he was a child in Havana, Cuba. A Spanish speaker, Thomas didn’t know the English language when he migrated with his family to the States, so it became even more natural to express himself in pictures. Express and impress, we might add! Gonzalez’s debut picture book, 14 COWS FOR AMERICA, received many starred reviews—SLJ described it as “exquisite”—and made several national bestseller lists, including the NYT, which hailed Gonzalez’s illustrations as "beautifully evocative." Most recently, COUNTDOWN: 2979 DAYS TO THE MOON received three starred reviews, a Parents' Choice Gold Award, and was named an Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students K-12.

Influenced by 1960's photorealist illustrators, Thomas is a thorough researcher, placing great importance in accuracy. He is also a planner, a trait he inherited from his many years in the advertising world. Indeed, his background enables him to fully embrace not only the content of a manuscript but the entire approach to the project. For example, in 14 COWS FOR AMERICA, Thomas conveyed his admiration for Maxfield Parrish’s realism along with the precise techniques of Japanese airbrush illustrators.  He considers the arrangement of an illustration to have a powerful effect on the senses and the content of a book and strongly believes that the perfect page balance will guide the flow of information and aid understanding. His illustrations are made on paper, using a combination of watercolor, markers, colored pencils, pastels, and airbrush finishes.

Award-winning Thomas Gonzalez spent years as an art director, creative director, and a principal designer, the majority of them at The Coca-Cola Company. He received several advertising and design-related awards, including one gold and two silver Addy’s and a bronze International Packaging Award. He lives in Georgia with his family.