Interview with Tal Thompson, Founder/Designer of Pawsents

I have known you as working in banking, co-founder of Sweat Undergear, realtor, fitness competitor, AirBNBhost, and in financial planning. Only recently did I learn you are an artist. Can you share a bit about your journey as an artist?

I’ve dabbled in various art mediums since I was a little boy. I recall my very first experience in art was when my dad bought me various small cans of bright colored paint. He told me I could use the paint to do whatever I wished on my bedroom wall. I recall doing a very mystical gothic inspired castle floating in the clouds. Throughout the following years into adulthood, my professional life in finance took over. 

It wasn’t until recently that I decided to get creative once again - first starting with acrylics on canvass pieces, then moving into a mixed medium of sorts with acrylic and Paper Mache. I very recently got interested in AI art and how it is created. Currently a controversial subject to some. Good or bad, AI is only going to get more and more prominent.


What types of art do you love exploring?  Please include your work in costuming.

Thanks for bringing up the cosplay. That is a huge artistic outlet for me. I use many different mediums to create one outfit. I loved to play dress-up as a kid, and continuing that now as an adult is so much fun. Now my joy is wearing my costumes to an event where there are children and seeing the excitement in their faces meeting a character they know come to life. 

I also bake extravagant cakes. This is an area that takes great skill and artistry to decorate using mostly edible items such as fondant. My plan is to explore more extreme cake decorating in the future.'


Two Wheaton Wheaten Terriers are an important part of your life. Have you always owned pets and how do they enrich your life personally?

Being brought up in a pet loving household, I have always had a furry friend to love and hold and cherish. There is nothing like the love a pet can give back. We also can and should learn from how or pets live their lives. One of my T-shirts on Pawsents says, “Be More Like A Dog: Loyal, Impulsive, Happy, Friendly, Cuddly” Need I say more?


In May 2024 you launched a fabulous shop on Etsy called Pawsents - candles, mugs and graphic tees for dog lovers. What inspired you to create Pawsents and how did you go about choosing what products to offer?

Yes, this is brand new adventure for me. I was inspired by friends who would tell me they wanted pet related gifts for pet owners that were a little different than what is already out there. There is so much out there, as this is a billion dollar industry. People like to spend money on pet related merchandise. With my products. I wanted to keep it simple - T-shirts, coffee mugs and, believe it or not, candles. My goal is to keep the products simple, but the art work special. 


Where do your ideas come from for mew I new mages and graphic tee quotes? How does the design process work once you settle on a creative direction?

I pull my ideas from daily life. As soon as something pops into my head as a possibly idea, I write it down. I have a full binder of notes, scribbles and possibilities. Once I have that, I start up my design software and play around with it. Sometimes the idea just clicks immediately, sometimes it takes many tries, and other times I scrap it all together. It is a process I absolutely love.


What comes easiest for you as an artist/entrepreneur? What is hardest?

The creative process is easiest for me as my mind just tends run on artistic flow. The lack of ideas is never an issue, however the ability to execute those ideas often is. I find myself switching hats from artist to entrepreneur, but I can’t quit seem to meld the two into one easy to work with hat. If that makes sense. I think that is a common problem for many people that have creative senses.

Pride themed Tshirts and Mugs

Will you be expanding the Pawsents brand to include other products and a wider range of pets?

Yes, I am starting to add in more exotic small pets. Lizards, snakes, mice, as these types of pets are often left out when it comes to products such as mine. I mean, who doesn’t want to show off that they are a proud snake owner? Having said that, I also want to be mindful to not include animals that are not suitable as domestic pets.


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