COLORADO SPRINGS — The Hall of Fame recognizes some of the most talented and creative people around the country, and one Colorado Springs resident recently got the call of his lifetime.
His name is Thomas Blackshear, and he's a local artist who currently has six pieces of artwork hanging at the Broadmoor Galleries in Colorado Springs.
Blackshear has been an artist for more than three decades, and he got the call late last year that he was being inducted into the Illustrators Hall of Fame 2020, a call that he thought he'd never get.
"As I tell people, after I picked my mouth up from off the floor, I just sat there in shock because I never thought that would happen," said Blackshear.
Blackshear never thought he'd get the call, because he gave up his passion for illustrating about 30 years ago.
"I walked away from it because I thought I wanted to move in another direction," said Blackshear.
Blackshear was an illustrator for Hallmark and Lucas Films, to name a few, but now he does mostly gallery paintings. What he didn't know was that decision to walk away from his career, would lead him to today's accomplishments.
"Getting inducted into the Illustrators Hall of Fame is as big for an artist or an illustrator as being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or winning a Grammy," said Blackshear.
Blackshear says it's an honor to be recognized among some of the greatest like Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth and Maxfield Parish, artists whose work have made a big impact.
Not only is the national recognition a big honor, but Blackshear also mentioned he's also grateful to have his artwork displayed at the Broadmoor Gallery.
"Of course, in the Broadmoor Gallery, yes it's an honor to be here," said Blackshear.
He also got a call from the manager of The Killers, a popular alternative rock band, who wanted to use his work for their album cover. That album was released in August 2020.
His artwork will be displayed at the Broadmoor Gallery for the next month.