Monday, March 30, 2009
Welcome Jimmy Thomas to the Manor! Day One:
Do you ever wonder where in the world they find those guys who grace the covers of your fav romance book covers? Are they real, or the artistic concept of someones' vivid imagination? Today and tomorrow , here at the manor, we are fortunate to have visiting with us, cover model, Jimmy Thomas. From his humble beginnings in Plymouth, Massachusetts to receiving awards for his architectural design and international acclaim as a fitness model, there is a whole lot more going on with this guy than just a pretty face and a fine physique!!
Amanda: So lets start at the beginning...that's a very fine place to start(*humming the tune as I rifle through your bio pics! AHA!...sorry, Jimmy, I can't help myself-this pic is just too darn cute. Must share it;) You're the one on the far right;)
As I read through your bio, it looks like you've always been involved with something physical, pushing your level of endurance. Precision sculpting and strength of the body obviously quite important for doing modeling. I understand it was around 1998 when you got actively involved in the modeling industry. But give us the inside scoop ;) Its not like you were standing at a bus stop and someone came up to and asked if you were a cover model, right?
Jimmy: I had a few people say I should model, but I never saw myself as the model type at all (look-wise), then a DROP DEAD GORGEOUS girl approached me in a club (yes, she was sober, lol) with a huge smile and said... "Wow, tell me you model?" I looked behind me to see who she was talking to, lol. So I got into it then...... and started dating her! ;)
Amanda: She was an agent?? Probably not, eh? Okay, so what happened then?
Jimmy: I began test shooting for many photographers and very quickly picked up representation by 13 agencies throughout Florida alone. From commercial print, retail ads, catalogs & magazines, I've worked with company's like Tommy Hilfiger, Dillard's, Disney, Sports Authority, & many fitness magazines. I've worked with celebrity Model/Actress Amanda Swisten ("American Pie III"), and starred in music videos like the Persian Artist Ebi: Sedam Kardi. and Persian Artist Shohreh: Shabe Shekar.
Amanda: You've been a very busy man, besides your real-life job which is in architecture, correct? How did you go from that to pursuing a career in modeling?
Jimmy: I worked for an engineering firm in his first few years in Florida, then onto working for the largest architecture firm in the state of Florida, which was also the largest franchised architecture firm in America. I was there for 4 years where I custom designed up to 4-story, multi-million dollar homes, and left the firm as one of their Senior Designers, and with 2 "Designer of the Quarter" awards. In 2002, I moved to Los Angeles to further my interests. I still designed upper-scale homes, trained clients independently and also for 'CBS Television Studios' for the cast & crew. I continued his modeling and still taught self defense & kickboxing.
Amanda: The grass does not grow beneath your feet , does it? That was then, what about now? What do you have going on?
Jimmy: I have been studying martial arts off and on since 1992 where I used to teach it (including kickboxing), where I still do on a freelance basis, mostly for free if the timing is convenient, as I just really enjoy giving to others the knowledge I have learned. I've also been a Personal Trainer since the late 90's certified through NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), which I also teach, train and guide people with their diets and workouts for free a lot. I'm a freelance Architectural Designer for a few companies throughout Los Angeles, which is the work I've been doing since the early/mid 90's. I've written an action-adventure screenplay, I've designed many websites including my own, and I used to manage about 50 Models where I've gotten many of them published in magazines like FHM and various fitness magazines, in catalogs, on commercials, to trade shows, etc. My latest projects I'm working on are a new cardio fitness concept similar to Tae-Bo only much better, 6 retail inventions in prototype stages, an organic product, a self help book, my romance novel stock photo website, and an animal abuse prevention organization.
Amanda: So you've been on a number of book covers in the past few years and really , we're not talking too long since 2001. That's quite an accomplishment! In talking to other cover models, I think its harder to break into this end of the business than it is to get a book published! Congratulations on your accomplishments! Here then is your latest? Now this just brings to mind a whole host of questions about this book!
In all of your portfolio pics, you look so natural, like you're really having a good time. And we haven't even touched on the portfolio for your newest endeavor! Whew! Those are "scorching!" Tell us, what do you like best about being a cover model?
Jimmy: Well, of course there's the holding beautiful female models close to me ;) but also that I can present a character for readers to envision as they're reading the stories, the chemistry between the female character and me to come through on the cover, or the boldness, strength, and heroic attitude of the character if I'm alone on the cover.
Amanda: Funny, thats usually the fantasy of the female readers as they look at those covers! LOL
But I think the writers (who are readers also, of course) would have to agree that those pics serve to inspire our imagination in creating our characters as well! So, um...thanks for that!!;)) Is there anything you don't like about being a cover model?
Jimmy: Not a single thing! I LOVE shooting for, and being on, novel covers.
Amanda:With that, I would like to post a few more covers and give our bloggers a chance to ask you some questions. Tomorrow; the second half of our interview with the quintessential "Renaissance man" Jimmy Thomas. We'll be talking about a brilliant new idea that Jimmy launching at RT that is bound to do very well in this industry! Additionally, I've muscle-armed Jimmy (yeah, tough guy, me;) into giving up one of his promo publicity collage pics, featuring nine of his book covers-one at random from all who leave a comment on the blog! Good luck!