Tom Bates

Tom Bates has been an integral part of the Village team for over 25 years, and during this time has worked on many of our Village series. He came to the company with a strong background in drawing and painting and a real passion for what he does. “I don’t have a favorite Village because each one has its own characteristics that make it exciting to work on. For example, Christmas In The City is challenging because you have to design very tight and realistic. The designs need to represent an existing building or at least appear to be real. North Pole and Snow Village Halloween are fun for the opposite reason, there you can be loose and as creative as you like in the designs. I feel that it makes your job fun and interesting, I love having that change of pace.”

In 2020 Tom took over the designing duties for Dickens’ Village after the retirement of Barbara Lund. His love of historical architecture and attention to detail makes him the perfect artist for this series. He also designs Christmas in the City and Alpine Village.

Along a very different theme, Tom added a couple more designs to the “Nightmare Before Christmas” series which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018 and has been an extremely popular Village. “This series was designed sketched on paper instead of the computer-generated designs I do for Christmas in the City which requires a tighter footprint with more straight lines. Here I was going for more of a whimsical feel that makes the movie so popular.”

Department 56, the leader in lighted collectible Villages, is part of the Enesco family of brands and is located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.