Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 2821 Fall 2016 | HTCinc.net A toothpick. An old baseball card. A forgotten guitar pick. To most of us, these mundane items don’t say much beyond “clutter.” To local artist and former elementary school teacher Tim Carroll, they are the beginning of a beautiful process. A native of Tupelo, Mississippi, Tim has a unique ability to create something from nothing, a skill that dates back to a New Orleans, Louisiana, trip with his wife. There, he read an article on the most expensive sports card in history — the 1909 T206 Honus Wagner baseball card. Inspired and wanting to commemorate the Pittsburgh Pirates legend, Tim’s first mixed media piece was born. “I joked with my wife that I should trade all of the worthless common cards in my closet for one of those Wagners, but those kinds of trades are impossible,” says Tim. “The trade concept with cards stood out, so I pulled the boxes of cards from the closet. I found some that had similar colors and started laying them over each other. Nine hundred and ninety-six cut cards later, I had a rough enlarged picture of the T206 Honus Wagner, made from the junk cards I ‘traded’ for it.” And boy, was it worth the trade. Tim posted his work online and became an instant hit, giving him more opportunity to perfect his process and expand his capabilities. “Every piece starts with a sketch,” explains Tim. “I use a grid to ensure the drawings are of proper proportion, and I block out areas that are filled with specific colors.” Next, Tim goes to his pile of over 350,000 baseball cards and finds the right mix of colors. From there, it’s cut, glue, repeat. Start to finish, a project like this typically takes Tim anywhere from 80 to 90 hours — 50 to 60 of which are solely dedicated to cutting cards. Where does one find enough hours in the day for a project that time- consuming? Tim admits that his full-time position as an elementary school teacher limited the time he could spend in the workshop and made balancing time with his family a challenge. As Tim’s work grew in reputation and recognition, the demand for more work left him with a big decision. Just last month, Tim took the leap and decided to pursue art full-time. Luckily, he has his family’s full support. More flexibility means more time with them, which is a major motivating factor for him. In fact, this transition into art has allowed the Carroll family to travel places they might not ever have explored otherwise, like various art shows, organizational events and even to Disney World! “It’s like I’m living the American dream. I get to do what I want to do, and I have the freedom to be my own boss,” says Tim.