The Supersonic Interview: Tom Bagshaw
Tom Bagshaw’s paintings (They’re digital but they’re still paintings) bring forth images of the recondite space just beyond that eerie threshold in the distance. Most times the step into this world, Tom’s world, conjures haunted visions of elegant, bewitching females in the midst of their own magic. These witch’s strengths are not elusive and grasp the viewers attention tightly while casting their spell. And you think, somewhere in the back of your mind, that you don’t mind being enchanted by such beautiful things. That, perhaps, this is what you mostly wanted.
I recently had the chance to ask Tom ten short questions during a break from his extremely busy schedule (Which includes the 2nd Annual Supersonic Electronic Invitational). Check them out and look at more of Tom’s work below:
SE: Your work is completely digital, but has it always been this way? Was your early work as haunting as your current work?
Tom: I’ve worked digitally for the last ten years or so, but before that I used traditional materials like acrylic, some oils, airbrushing… Pretty much anything I could get my hands on. But it’s only been the last couple of years where I’ve been doing exhibitions that I’ve been able to pursue my own work. Pretty much everything before then has been illustration based and not really what I’ve “wanted” to be doing.
SE: What were you influenced by as a child?
Tom: Primarily by comics. My favorite was 2000AD and I would often spend ages studying the artwork of Carlos Ezquerra, Fabry and Dave Gibbons. This was back in the day before they had gone over to a larger format comic and went full color. At the same time I also had a lot of interest in art history and specifically figurative works - as a family we had a few art books lying around - my father had been a commercial artist in his twenties. That juxtaposition of weird ass stories, artwork and Baroque, Neoclassical styles really had a prolonged influence.
SE: Your Tumblrs name is “Carbon Cradle.” What is the significance of this name?
Tom: Carbon Cradle is really a repository of artwork that I find online and not only can share with others but also come back to for myself as a place of inspiration. I blog/repost images that I feel a connection with. The name was only loosely based on the most basic mark making tools and a place to hold those images.
SE: How do you feel social websites and apps such as Tumblr and Instagram are influencing art?
Tom: I dont know if it’s influencing art (and if it is, I have no idea how its affecting people) but platforms like Instagram and Tumblr certainly get more art out there and in front of a wider audience. The internet makes everything more accessible, obviously sometimes thats not a good thing but in the case of art and, specifically, helping artists to get their work seen it’s a great help.
SE: What’s the most frustrating part of doing art work?
Tom: For me, personally, it’s always going to be the idea that digital art is inferior to traditional art work. Views are slowly changing and it’s being accepted little by little, but in terms of a collectors market and the gallery scene or what ever you want to call it, there’s still a lot of bias and misunderstanding about digital work.
SE: The women you paint are strong and cunning, is there a certain reason you feature women more so than men?
Tom: Not really a conscious decision, I just prefer to paint women. But, you’re right. Even though I focus on female portraits / figurative work I’m far more interested in conveying a sense of strength, deviousness, cunning etc., rather than a frail damsel in distress!
SE: Who are some of the artists that influence you the most?
Tom: I really don’t know what to say here as I’m inspired by so many artists, you can have a look at my inspiration Tumblr for examples!
SE: What is a book we should read?
Tom: Two books that everyone should read are both by James Gurney: Imaginative Realism and Color and Light. Wonderful stuff, always make time to learn more or brush up on things forgotten!
SE: What are some words of wisdom for aspiring artists?
Tom: Keep working, develop your own voice and style, don’t try emulating others.
Be sure and follow Tom on Tumblr. Check out his Twitter and Facebook, too.
See more of Tom’s artwork on Supersonic Electronic. See more Interviews on Supersonic Electronic.