Tom is a skater and illustrator from Manchester, England.
My work is pretty much all monochromatic pen and ink – I think I might have used colour once upon a time, but I can’t be sure.
Even if you don’t take into account how intertwined the two are creatively, I think skateboarding and art are two things that once you’re involved with them, remain part of your personality until you’re in the ground. Even if life gets in the way and you’ve lapsed for one reason or the other, in the back of your head that part never stops reminding you that you need your feet on a board and a pencil in your hand.
As regards to creative approach with them both though? I’d say that the freedom of expression and the formulation of ideas is consistent, but whereas skating to me is always better when you’re around others, when I’m producing work it’s the polar opposite – it’s all really self-contained, almost insular.
As far as inspiration goes, it changes day to day, but the aesthetics of brands such as Creature Skateboards, Zero, Witchcraft Hardware and the like always seem to drive me to keep developing my work. Then you’ve got guys like Sean Cliver, hyperstoic and Marc McKee who were massive influences to me when I first started down the road to illustration – Marc McKee’s ‘accidental gun death’ graphic for Blind Skateboards is one of my all-time favourites, and it’s as old as I am.
I’ve got a lot of praise for The No Comply Network, it’s rad to see a platform for the marriage between art and skateboarding that’s such a melting pot of different ideas and creative methods. It’s brought together a lot of people, and here’s to it continuing to do so.