From childhood, art has been an important part of Ted Cowart's life. His talent first earned him a scholarship at the Museum of Fine Art Houston. For ten years, he studied among the Matisse and Bonnard paintings, certain about his talent and his future. Then, after seeing and admiring the drawings of Marcel Vertes, Eric, and René Bouché, Ted’s interest in illustration grew. He became influenced by the early fashion magazines, including Flair, a very creative and coveted publication from the 1950s.
Upon graduation from Lamar High School, Ted attended the University of Houston where he studied fine art. He designed sets for the university’s opera productions – an honor for a freshman student. At the end of his freshman year, he was accepted at the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles where he studied under some of the best and most talented instructors.
After four years at Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles and two years of study in Europe, Ted accepted an offer as Art Director at Hockaday Associates, a very creative Madison Avenue agency. From his first day, he was creating design concepts, directing photoshoots and freelancing illustrations for accounts that included Karistan, Jantzen, Adler Sock, Dunbar, International Shoe, and Martex.
After a few years in New York, Ted accepted an offer from the Carson/Roberts Agency in Los Angeles to help change the image of Max Factor. In addition, he was assigned to other accounts, including Sea & Ski Sunglasses, Jantzen and Universal Pictures. He also freelanced his illustrations to I. Magnin.
Deciding to branch out on his own, Ted returned to New York and formed Ted Cowart Design. As more and more people began to notice his illustrations, a top rep invited him to join her elite group of illustrators – all well-known artists from New York and Europe. Ted's work soon attracted clients including Seventeen, Vogue, Martex, Neiman Marcus, Priscilla of Boston, American Girl and many others.
After many years working in both New York and California on national retail and corporate accounts, Ted relocated to Texas. In Houston, his business continued to grow and thrive. With the advent of computer technology, he expanded his business, incorporating computer design and taking some time to paint and work on exhibitions for his art galleries.