Ten questions with Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Thomas about life away from football:
Q. How did you get into painting?
A. Childhood hobby. I didn’t have the dollars to do all the extra-fun activities. But I picked up a pen and paper, and found a gift. I’ve carried it over, kept doing it, took some pride in it.
Q. Did you take art classes?
A. I didn’t take classes. It’s just one of those things where I was naturally gifted. I just learned to appreciate it over the years and I stayed with it. It’s also saved me money. I don’t necessarily want to go out and do stuff, but just sit in the house and paint (laughs).
Q. Do you have a studio?
A. No, I paint on the walls in my garage just to kill time. I have an easel. I have oil paint, acrylic, watercolor, charcoal, sketching. You name it, I do it. Digital – paint it on a computer.
Q. Do you have any of your work hung in your home or in any galleries?
A. I normally do artwork for other people to give away. That’s one thing my grandmother has always gotten on to me about is I always give away my pieces. But I feel like I just can re-create it and do it all over again.
Q. How did you get from Dallas (his hometown) to the University of Buffalo?
A. Turner Gil is from Dallas-Fort Worth. At the time he was the head coach there, and he took a personal visit to come see me. I kind of wanted to get outside Dallas, outside of Texas. It happened to be in a completely different environment.
Q. How was Buffalo?
A. The first time seeing snow, it was flying horizontal. Not even how I imagined to see snow for the first time. That was just plain crazy.
Q. Then you got drafted by Dallas. That had to be cool.
A. Actually, it was a dream come true. I rooted for the team since I was a little boy growing up. My first jersey was Emmitt Smith. Obviously, being called back to go home – but they also let me go. So just keeping things in perspective, I’m glad to be a Panther. And I was also glad to play against them. I appreciate what they did do for me.
Q. How do you like living in Charlotte?
A. I want to buy a home here to be my actual home. At Christmas I want people calling me in Charlotte in 20 years when I’m done playing, asking me where we’re going to have Christmas. You guys can come to Charlotte or am I coming there? It’s just a great place, not too fast, not too slow. Great school systems here for children. I like it here.
Q. Do you have children?
A. Yes, a son (who’s) 16 months. He just recently started warming up to me the past week. It’s kind of been weird because I’m not used to him being nice to me. When I come home now, he’s like, “Daddy.” Calls out my name.
Q. What’s his name?
A. His name’s Dallas.