A Rockin’ Story of Sobriety

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Posted Thu, Jul 26, 2018

Thad Kosse displays the wall of rock stars that ignited his art. [Photo Lisa McIntyre]

GEORGETOWN, Colo.– Thad Kosse, 47, of Georgetown, slowly circles the table smoking a cigarette waiting for someone to ask about the art, his art. His short, tussled hair frames the kindness and wisdom in his eyes. Passers-by glance from a distance, reluctant to come close to the lone vendor assembled in the town square.

“I stopped drinking almost two years ago, so then I got bored and just started drawing again,” Kosse says.

After four years of art classes in high school followed by two years of graphic art classes he traded the paper and brushes for booze, then spent the next two decades in bars drinking nightly. Alcohol controlled his life and his choices.

Then one day he quit drinking. “My liver couldn’t process it anymore,” Kosse says, “and I knew it was just a matter of time.”

Last Christmas his mom challenged him to draw her favorite rock stars’ faces.

Former Beatle John Lennon comes to life on the the page of Thad Kosse’s sketch book. [Photo by Lisa McIntyre]

Rock stars of his mother’s generation like Jimmy Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Johnny Cash, Bob Marley, even Marilyn Monroe. He accepted. Those original pieces now hang in the hallway of his 1890’s home, once miner’s barracks, as homage to the shift of leading a sober life.

“I love my magnet of the wolf in greens and purples. His work is inspiring,” says Patty Van Horn, one of Kosse’s recent customers.

Kosse’s customers at the Idaho Springs restaurant where he works want to buy more and more of his art. The amount of interest he receives has encouraged him to branch out from drawing only the faces of rock stars to Colorado animals and historic streetscapes.

Kosse is now being commissioned by several local residents to draw their houses, kids and dogs. His art is being printed on stickers, magnets, canvases, and even fuzzy blankets. “The possibilities are unlimited, thanks to the internet,” he says, “it makes making unique items and selling easier.”

A Thad original: Red Rocks Amphitheater with String Cheese Incident’s Jellyfish. They sold these at their recent summer concert. [Photo by Lisa McIntyre]

If you’re traveling Colorado’s high country, you may see Thad and his partner, Debbie Fesler, cruising the streets of Georgetown on their days off in their traveling sales office, a golf cart adorned with magnets. “Have you seen these yet? Original, local art for only $5.00!”, she says as she hands them a magnet for inspection.

“This is how we purchased the golf cart! With the money made selling Thad’s magnets from the golf cart,” Fesler added as Kosse nods with a childlike grin.

Look for more from Colorado native, Thad Kosse in his new life of sobriety. He is finding his business legs and hopes to travel to festivals selling his art full time soon.

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Where to find Thad Kosse’s art this year:

Glacier Fest at St. Mary’s Glacier – August 11, 2018 11:00-7:00

Georgetown Annual Christmas Market

Tommyknocker Brewery, Idaho Springs, CO

 

 

 

 

 

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