Artist Tim Gibbons said he didn’t have any formal art classes growing up in Fort Walton Beach in the 1950s – he learned his craft by flipping the pages of comic books.
“I got into comic books and started seeing how they were drawing,” said Gibbons, who teaches a “Cartooning with Kids” class at the Hyde Park Art Studio. “It also helped me with reading.”
Gibbons said his Halloween art show, “Bam-boo-zle” opens Oct. 8 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Bamboozle Café, 516 N. Tampa Street, Tampa. He is also planning a “Superhero Show,” which features his comic art such as superheroes on vacation. He also has regular art shows at the Bamboozle Tea Lounge, 109 N. 12th St., Tampa and the Bunker in Ybor, 1907 N. 19th St., Tampa.
Gibbons, 64, has lived in Tampa on and off for the past 30 years. He graduated from the University of West Florida in 1973.
He said Fort Walton was a “dream place” in the 1950s with the “baby boom” providing him with a great multitude of friends his own age.
“Growing up, it was too much fun,” he said.
He wants young people today to express their creativity and develop as individuals and artists.
“I paint and draw,” he said. “I also do some sculptures – whatever strikes my fancy.”
Gibbons said he gets the most satisfaction out of teaching and giving back to the community. He teaches drawing, shading, perspective, shadowing and texture.
“My cartooning class is a big draw for kids,” he said. “I give them the basics of drawing.”
He has been married to Jayne Liseth, a writer, for 23 years. The couple recently moved from Hyde Park to Seminole Heights.
“There is a lot of art activity and artsy people around Seminole Heights,” he said. “I think it’s the next explosion. I’m very happy here. We have a bigger piece of land and my own studio.”
Jeanne Paul of Brandon, a teacher at the Hyde Park Art Studio since 1992, said Gibbons makes learning art exciting for students of all ages.
“I think he is amazing,” Paul said. “He is the most prolific individual. He has a passion for art. You never see him not drawing or painting and he shares that enthusiasm with people of all ages.”
Paul said Gibbons makes art accessible, making beginners feel more at ease.
“It’s great for the kids because they feel like they can do it,” she said. “It’s not some secret ninja stuff they can’t do. They not only learn, but enjoy drawing.”
Gibbons teaches his different art classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Hyde Park Studio. His cartooning classes are from 4 to 5 p.m. From 5:15 to 6:15 p.m., he teaches children’s painting. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. he has adult drawing and painting classes.
Gibbons also teaches senior citizens at the Life Enrichment Center, 9704 N. Boulevard, Tampa. He received a certificate of commendation by the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners in September 2011. The commendation was for “a teacher who has positive impacted as an artist, teacher and humanitarian ... for active adults, who has selflessly and faithfully served at the Life Enrichment Center for nearly 20 years.”
For more information on the Hyde Park Art Studio, 702 S. Albany, Tampa, call (813) 259-1687.