SCOTLAND — 22-year-old hockey fan Rebecca Thomson is an artist who was born in Scotland. Her favorite local team is the Fife Flyers- the oldest professional team in the United Kingdom.
Thomson's only NHL experience came 15 years ago when she went to a Lightning game while vacationing with her parents. She was hooked after that, and she decided to use the Bolts as inspiration for some of her latest work.
"Hockey became one of my favorite things, alongside art," Thomson said via Zoom. "So I thought, I’ll just combine the two and start drawing them."
Thomson chooses her subjects the same way a coach would scout an opponent.
"I’ll go on the Lightning’s Twitter or Instagram and find photos I enjoy," Thomson said. "I’ll get the outline done. I have an airbrush I do the background with. I do that in paint. Then it’s just a case of coloring it. That’s really it."
Her Nikita Kucherov piece took more than 40 hours to complete, but Thomson says the time is totally worth the effort.
"I try to stay motivated, draw for as long as possible. Then go back to it. I think that’s the hardest part is just how long you end up drawing for. But I really enjoy it, so it’s not too hard."
After last season, Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman saw one of Thomson's pictures online. He immediately said he had to have it.
"I posted the drawing. Then the Lightning contacted me on Twitter saying that Hedman had seen it and he was interested in buying it. You never expect that" Thomson laughed. "They messaged me, and I was like 'Of course he can buy it!'"
Rebecca said she hopes to get back to Tampa for another Lightning game in the future. There hasn't been an offer for her to create something to display at Amalie Arena, but Thomson said she'd be overwhelmed if the opportunity presented itself.
"It would be an absolute dream. I don't think I'd know what to do. I would be amazed. That would be a dream."