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Village artist Tom Bates has been part of the Village team for over 20 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.”
Bates has developed into our go-to artist for great designs for Christmas in the City. He has an affinity for tall buildings and found an idea for a new high-rise. The result is the “Singer Building.” Commissioned by Frederick Bourne, the head of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. The building was designed in the beaux-arts architectural style. This New York skyscraper was originally built in 1908 and demolished in 1968 to make way for new urban development.
Tom designed the second Frank Lloyd Wright structure, the Robie House, for the Art & Architecture Series. “Wright was one of our greatest American architects and it is an honor to recreate these.” The Robie House is located in suburban Chicago. These two buildings were some of Tom’s favorites for 2018.
Along a very different theme, Tom added a couple more designs to the “Nightmare Before Christmas” series which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year 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 that wonky look that makes the movie so popular.”
Department 56 the leader and gold standard in lighted collectible Villages, is part of the Enesco family of brands and is located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.