September 2012 – Greg Thornton

Artist, Greg Thornton, is the owner of Black Iconic T-Shirts, a t-shirt line inspired by his own history as a black artist and by the icons he has enjoyed and researched for as long as he can remember. 

Greg has been drawing since he could hold a crayon. His mother, Grace Clayton, soon recognized Greg’s talent. Because Greg grew up in a household of limited means, art classes and high-end art supplies were not available, so Ms. Clayton encouraged Greg to practice his drawing skills by mimicking the comic strips in the newspaper each day.

Greg now has the ability to buy new art supplies and to develop art in a number of mediums, but his humble beginnings stay with him. As a result, many of his pieces are mounted on reclaimed or recycled glass pieces, mirrors and tiles. By using reclaimed and recycled items, Greg honors his mother who worked multiple jobs to make ends meet, but always encouraged Greg to do art and develop his talent.

In forming Black Iconic T-shirts, Greg created pieces of artwork of Black iconic figures that are important to Black history. Greg then created a street motif “Hello My Name Is” name tag for each person. The tag for each person starts with “Hello my name is . . . ” and then provides information about the historical figure, such as his or her birth name, date and place of birth, date of death (if deceased), and a few sentences about the person’s “claim to fame.”

Black Iconic T-shirts sells custom-made t-shirts with the image of the person on the front of the t-shirt and the informational name tag on the back of the t-shirt. Greg simply hopes that the viewer is inspired enough by the historical information that he or she delves deeper into these and other individual’s lives and accomplishments.

Greg hopes you are inspired to check to see the rest of his artwork.