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About the artist

Artist puts love of city on the map

Charles Greacen's affection for his adopted hometown is evident in a cartoon map of South Tampa haunts.

By SUSAN THURSTON, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 24, 2003


[Times photo: Stefanie Boyar]
Charles Greacen, who lives in Old Hyde Park, composed a cartoon map plump with South Tampa icons, from Bayshore's joggers to the jets of MacDill Air Force Base. The graphic designer has worked in advertising and public relations in Tampa for three decades.
OLD HYDE PARK -- Charles Greacen moved to Tampa on the advice of a college buddy in Ohio who raved about the weather and the lifestyle.

Fresh from Denison University, Greacen figured the change would be good.

Three decades later, his roots in South Tampa run deep.

"I just found Tampa one incredibly welcoming town," he says.

His fondness for the community is reflected in a cartoon map that fills the center spread of today's City Times. The drawing, a week's work, is plump with South Tampa icons, from Bayshore's joggers to the jets of MacDill Air Force Base.

Click for map (350k)
It shows, in approximate terms, the boundary lines that define local neighborhoods.

They include Greacen's own neighborhood, Old Hyde Park, where he shares a two-story white, brick home with his wife, Mary, two children and a cat named Purrscilla, steps from Bayshore Boulevard.

Greacen, 53, began drawing editorial cartoons for his college newspaper. In Florida, he designed ads for the Tampa Tribune and Tampa Times, before becoming advertising and public relations manager for a restaurant chain.

In 1984, he opened his own business, Charles Greacen Illustrations & Graphics.

The flexible schedule allows for Little League games with his 10-year-old son, Scott. His daughter, Alexandra, is a freshman at the University of Florida.

His client list has included Eckerd College, Centro Ybor and Ferman Motor Car Co., to name a few. He does architectural renderings of houses and buildings.

Greacen especially enjoys drawing cartoons and is a frequent contributor to the City Times feature SoHo Scribbler.

Drawing is just one of his interests. He runs marathons, shoots commercial photography and performs weddings as a notary public. Currently, he's writing and illustrating a children's book based on stories he told to his kids.

-- Extra copies of today's City Times with Greacen's map are available in stores and news boxes south of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Copies also can be purchased at the Times building, 1000 N. Ashley Drive, Suite 700, in Tampa.

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