Mr. Know-It-All

By Tk Published on .

Tom Lichtenheld was at Fallon/Minneapolis for 17 years, but last year he left his group head job and moved to Chicago, largely because he knows everything. At least about pirates and monsters. An art director by trade, he wrote and illustrated a children's book a few years ago, Everything I Know About Pirates, which made Newsweek's "Books of Wonder" list for 2000 (see Tomlichtenheld.com). And just in time for Halloween last month came the follow-up, Everything I Know About Monsters. "My wife and I wanted to live closer to our families in Chicago, and I wanted a little more time to write children's books," Lichtenheld explains. "But I need to be careful not to give agency people the impression that I'm no longer in the advertising business. I enjoy doing the books, but I still love advertising and I've discovered that bouncing between the two pursuits is very stimulating." He remains an active freelancer, and while he readily admits that "publishing isn't quittin' money, I felt that I had an opportunity that many people dream of, and I'd be a fool not to pursue it." However, Lichtenheld says he's been back at Fallon a lot lately, working on BMW. "Needless to say, I've gotten pretty good at drawing cars." In fact, his next book in the "Everything . . . " series will be about cars. "It's complete silliness and it bears no resemblance to my advertising work on BMW," he's quick to point out. But oddly, before the Cars book he'll publish a complete departure titled What Are You So Grumpy About? "I came up with the idea on an airplane," he shrugs.
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