Portrait of a creative space: The studio of Tim Trapolin

Tim Trapolin has 35 godchildren. “How is that possible?” you might ask. Well, it’s actually pretty simple: everybody loves “Uncle Tim.” Why? He’s a great guy.

Tim is a classic Southern raconteur with a colorful vocabulary (When I was with him, he spoke of Bedouins and sycophants.); he has a magnetic personality and a wicked sense of humor (His stories about my rather eccentric mother are downright hilarious.); and, of course, he knows just about everybody, including ya mom‘n’em. Tim’s the kind of guy you invite to a party when you want everybody else there to have a good time.

As an artist, Mr. Trapolin has plenty of admirers as well. For proof, just check out his long list of aspiring patrons. Their names are scribbled on a lined piece of paper pinned to the wall. From carnival krewe organizations and cookbook publishers, to prominent New Orleanians and the friends and families of all 35 godchildren, Tim has legions of fans. He doesn’t need to advertise; people just gravitate to him.

The first thing you notice when you walk into his studio, are the photographs. They line the walls like a panoramic mosaic of memories. The images include friends and family, former students and colleagues, traveling companions and clients. They also include interesting faces cut out of magazines and newspapers. “To paint people,” said Tim, “you have to study them. You have to know them like a friend.”

Based on my brief studio visit, I’m pretty sure Tim has plenty of friends.

Photos and collage by Folwell Dunbar


To learn more about Tim Trapolin and his work, go to www.timtrapolin.com. To have a portrait done, give him a call and get on the list.  





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