Inspired by the patterns and themes of the streets and neighborhoods and a love for art and architecture, Thompson began drawing two-flat styled homes, which are "long and narrow to fit on standard city lots, able to accommodate two-generation immigrant families, and have distinctive large bay windows, elements of Arts and Crafts style, exteriors heavy on masonry, and terracotta, but wood-framed interiors with built-ins," Thompson told us. "I love them."
After gaining popularity, Thompson began making privately-commissioned drawings, and now draws a wide variety of residential styles.
Through the process of drawing and living in Chicago, Thompson has noticed patterns in the local architectural styles: "You start downtown, which is dominated by Art Deco and modernist skyscrapers; you head outward and get buildings that were built after the fire of 1871, a lot of Victorian-influenced buildings from the 1880s-90s; then there's this huge ring of homes and buildings from the 1900s-1920s with seams of homes like the 'bungalow belt,' reflecting the styles of the era. The city exploded outward in this relatively short time frame and kept so much of its character."
Thompson additionally notes that the most difficult--but also the most fun--aspect of a drawing is imagining the parts of the home that no longer exist, or are no longer visible.
Each drawing is completed in about eight to 12 hours on heavy drawing paper.
News via Cape Horn Illustration.