Mr. Hooper Bio
I grew up in Nashville, TN in the ’70s and ’80s – a typical middle-class kid who watched way too much TV. My first artistic endeavors were drawing on the walls of my closet with a purple crayon, copying characters from the funny pages and rendering all four members of Kiss. In high school, some kid brought a R. Crumb comic book to school. Crumb’s art had a huge impact on me and inspired me to become a cartoonist. I spent my twenties creating comics and trying to get them published (with little success). As I look back, drawing countless comic strips and teaching myself to draw was the best training I could have had. Self-training enabled me to develop a unique style filled with peculiar relationships between scale and proportion mixed with an odd sense of perspective. By the time I finally got around to going to college, I had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted my art to be. Fortunately for me, I found a printmaking professor who liked what I was doing (or didn’t mind as much as the other professors) and allowed me to make the art that was floating around in my head.
After college, a myriad of low paying, dead-end jobs, and limited prospects in the cartooning business, I picked up a paint brush and began to paint in 1998. My paintings are an extension of what I was doing as a cartoonist, though not quite the same linear narrative as comic strips. Again, through self-training, trial and error, my paintings have evolved into distinctive artwork.
For years while I was doing comix and graffiti, I operated under several pseudonyms. I never intended to be a painter who operated under a pseudonym. However, I had a teacher in college who addressed everyone by their last name. The parallel between me being Mr. Hooper and the character on Sesame Street (also named Mr. Hooper) was irresistible to my classmates. The nickname stuck with me and I began to sign prints and eventually paintings with Mr. Hooper . My given name is Tim Hooper but you can call me Mr. Hooper – everyone else does.