Tomé Thomas Etzensperger, was born 25th May 1958 in Zürich/Switzerland and grew up in the middle of high mountains near the famous and impressive Matterhorn, where he graduated for his university-entrance diploma. He has an elder sister and a younger brother.
Tomé lives in Augsburg / Bavaria / Germany since 1979. He is married and has two wonderful sons, Raphael and Emanuel whom he has often portrayed. There are 13 portrait books of him, countless cartoons and more than 3´000 drawings of children.
The artist works for UNICEF and other children organizations on children´s causes
Daily newspapers in Switzerland, Germany, India and USA as:
Since 1975 he has been chief illustrator of the students magazine "Reflex“ and three years later he published his Cartoons regularly in the daily Swiss newspaper "Walliser Bote“.
1978 – 1983
He studied medicine at the University of Fribourg in the French part of Switzerland, but then changed his course of studies to become a graphic designer. His diploma dissertation consisted of four cartoon books - "Tomé s exeptionally unbearables“ - which were published in Germany. He studied animation film with Prof.O.O.Uhlig in Augsburg/Germany.
1983 - 1984 Exclusive "Drawing correspondent“ for a Swiss newspaper in Asia, where he also began to draw children.
1983 – 1995
As a free lance cartoonist, he published several cartoon books, political cartoons, funny posters and more than 1´000 daily comic-strips of his series "PiPO“ for magazines and newspapers in Switzerland, Germany and USA. He took part at several exhibitions and with his film "Psycho Chicken“ at the International Animation Film Festival of Annecy in France.
More recently, Tomé studied again at the University of Augsburg and got a teaching degree for secondary schools. He has worked an art teacher since then for children from 10 to 17 years.
Tomé with Markus in front of Markus portrait drawing - 2012
In the castle of Rieneck he again undertook to draw children portraits with passion and insight, and produced an impressive catalogue, beginning with "1“.
Meanwhile Tomé has drawn and painted more than 3,000 children from small size up to the size of 20 m².
Inauguration/ opening of Tomé s Children Portrait Museum in Augsburg / Germany. Visit of Indian child filmstar Hemang (Harun Arun) with his filmcrew.
2012 Exhibition at the 10th international Red Hand Day at the junior high school Gersthofen
LechhausenThe child in happiness and misery Primary school Meitingen (48 oversized children and eye portraits)
Exhibition of 300 drawings in the Castle of Leuk in Switzerland
Radio Program Zum Kaffee/ Radio Rottu
Public drawing for the children of the SOS Children´s Village
Ambassador for the children aid organization "Oberwallis helps children in this world“
Foundation of the international artists group Augsburger Konzil in the Balloonfactory Augsburg
Exhibition in the Balloonfactory Augsburg against the draft law of the German government for the legalization of circumcision of boys and exhibition under the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin / receipt of a letter of the President of the federal president of Germany
Exhibition in the Culture Park West in Augsburg
Mai: Exhibition in the monastery Oberschönenfeld
October: The children on the island Buchau in the Staffellake
Red Hand in the Tower in the Augsburg town landmark Perlachturm at the 25th Perlachtowerrace
Kinderportraitdrawings in the Arbeiterwohlfahrt (AWO) in three houses
Exhibition of more than 300 drawings at the 12th international Red Hand Day in the public library of Augsburg
Public drawing of cartoons for the disabled and sick children of the Colored Circle at the spring fair “afa“ in Augsburg
Big Eyes in the tower of Augsburg
February: Red Hand Action with children of elementary schools at the public library of Augsburg and at the junior high school Gersthofen
August: Red Hand action against the abuse of children as child soldiers and violence against children at the Run for Peace 30 K
... that´s me at the age of two in the bathtub / drawn 2011
Just some words of MuseArtist Tomé Thomas Etzensperger himself:
"This Tasaday boy was THE VERY FIRST child that I have EVER drawn – that was in 1976, when I was 18 years old... my beginning so to say...
I came across the photograph in the National Geographic Magazine of my father's that he got every month from America... these magazines were my inspirations at that time.
So I drew this boy because of his eyes, and because of his innocence and perfect beauty. The artist always seems to seach for the "ultimate beauty“. Well... children´s eyes always touched me ever since! That´s why the face and the eyes of my children that I draw are so important to me and the biggest compliment I ever got was by a father who told me that I really caught the soul of his son Samuel in my drawing. I drew this very special boy Samuel when he was twelve years old. When you want to be able to capture the soul of someone in his eyes I believe that you have to love this person. Children to me are the most precious 'creatures' imaginable, they are our future and they deserve it that you take them and their dreams seriously. But they are also beautiful and admirable, and that´s also why I draw the natural beauty of children- because people only want to protect what they recognize as being beautiful."
The artist adds that, on the other hand, he also draws the war children, the abused children and even the tortured and dead ones, and these children portrait drawings may be disturbing for the people who look at them. Tomé believes it is important to disturb the souls of people, to make them think and it is extremely important not to forget these children who have to live in misery, suffer starvation and poverty, are beaten to death by their parents or fight in wars for adults– but even here you can discover a smile and the beauty of these children.
His mantra ... "No adult can laugh and look at you as a child so naturally does all the time."