Tommy wanted to be a real artist at five. Like many young children he loved to draw. He however just never stopped. Driven by a passion to create he honed his talent by persistence, training and practice. Efforts that were rewarded by prestigious national and international awards, Fortune 500 clients and as one of the nation’s first Master Artists to serve in the United States Mint’s historic Artistic Infusion Program designing our national coinage.

“Talent is a gift. Finding it’s passion is the adventure of a lifetime.” he says. In 2004 he founded The Artist Within Studio School. He shares his extensive experience creating art to help others develop their talent and begin to seek a passion personal to themselves.

Having endured obstacles and self-doubts many talented young artists face he has developed a nurturing down to earth approach of teaching. Along with humorous stories of his own failures and successes students are put at ease, relax and open up to their own creativity and potential. Thomas believes those driven to create are on a journey of self discovery. He encourages and provides the tools necessary to take ownership of their intuitive artistic knowledge which grows into creative confidence. Freeing each to enjoy the unfolding discovery and adventure that lasts a lifetime.

Thomas was born in Antlers, Oklahoma. Majored in Illustration and Design with Painting and Fine Art as a minor at Texas A&M Commerce formerly ETSU. In 1984 he launched his career in Houston. His client list includes, Coca Cola, General Motors, Nickelodeon, McDonalds, Exxon, JP Morgan Chase, IBM, HP, The United States Treasury Mint and continues to grow. Teaching art since 1997 and founded The Artist Within Studio School in 2004.

He has been interviewed by television and print media alike as well as being invited to the White House for the unveiling of his First Spouse Coin Design by First Lady Laura Bush. He lives in Cypress, TX with his first love and is the father of four adult children and two very creative grandsons.


From left to right:
2007 American Eagle Platinum Reverse design by Thomas Cleveland. Obverse designed by Chief Engraver John Mercanti.

2008 Abigail Adams First Spouse Gold Reverse design by Thomas Cleveland. Obverse designed by Joseph Menna.

2009 Martin Van Buren First Spouse Gold Reverse design by Thomas Cleveland. Obverse first appeared on the Liberty Seated Dime coin from 1837–1891, and was originally executed by United States Mint Engraver Christian Gobrecht.

From left to right: Tex Van Gogh’s Starry Night in Texas. Originally done as a Texas license plate. Dare Mighty Things, sales mark for the Hively Agency, Houston, TX. Cyber Surfer, Compaq Computers.

From left to right: Contest Logo for McCann Erickson, Houston, TX, Art Director Bob Sullivan. Houston Transtar Logo for City of Houston, Art Director Charles Hively.