Tom Bachtell's distinctive drawings and caricatures appear each week in "The Talk of the Town" and other sections of The New Yorker where he has been a regular contributor for some 20 years. Tom’s work is seen in many other national and international publications, from The New York Review of Books to Newsweek, Forbes to Bon Appetit, Town and Country to Mother Jones, as well as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York magazine, The New York Observer, London’s Evening Standard, and Poetry magazine. His ad campaigns range from the late Marshall Field's department store to Lands' End mail order to the chamber music series at The University of Chicago.
Trained as a pianist at the Cleveland Institute of Music and with a liberal arts degree from Case Western Reserve University, Tom is self-taught as an artist. Working primarily in brush and ink, Tom's drawing style pays homage to many of the classic American illustrators and cartoonists of the 1920s and 1930s. He has drawn countless celebrities, artists, and politicians. Tom is the illustrator of When I Knew (HarperCollins), edited by Robert Trachtenberg, and a Lambda Literary Award finalist. He frequently portrays musicians, doing regular work with the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and Awards (Kalamazoo, Michigan), the Risør International Chamber Music Festival in Norway, and Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley. He recently created the official poster for "The Girl, The Grouch, & The Goat," a new musical comedy by Jack Helbig and Mark Hollmann.
Tom's work has been exhibited in New York at the offices of The New Yorker; the invitational exhibitions Drawing the Candidates at The New York Times; Politics ’08 at the Society of Illustrators; and Good Work at Nazareth College. In Chicago, he has exhibited at the historic Water Tower Gallery and The Cliff Dwellers. His illustrated talk, How I Learned to Stop Complaining and Start Drawing Mariah Carey: My Life As a Cartoonist, was commissioned as a Marquis Lecture at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and has also been given at The Arts Club of Chicago.
An active chamber pianist, Tom also performs and teaches swing dancing, particularly the Lindy and the Balboa.