1) Why did you pursue a fine arts major in undergrad?
I was always drawing or making things as a kid, and with family, school and friend support, I thought nothing less than to pursue it.
2) What was your favorite medium to work in? Your least? Why?
Painting possibly in watercolor or oils was my favorite. I do not think there was a medium that I didn’t enjoy though, but I was always interested in the possibilities with creating with my hands. A favorite class I really enjoyed was Art Techniques, where we explored the mediums through history looking at oils, egg tempera, fresco, and encaustic-style mediums. Learning the techniques and how the materials are created fascinates me.
3) You went to Columbus College of Arts and Design for undergrad. Why did you skip out senior year?
The late ‘90s–early 2000s were a great time to dive into the Internet. We had the original GIFs and Flash!!! (RIP). I wanted to know more about it and get experience using computers and software to create art. The daunting fact was that I was on the verge of graduation with a fine art degree and zero experience with a computer other than checking out a library book. Paying off student loans and my potential future in this industry was honestly—scary. So, I took a chance and moved on in search of more knowledge.
4) What is the most worthless course you took in college? How did you end up taking it?
When I transferred to a major Ohio university, a requirement was to have a few phys ed credits to graduate. My options at the time were:
Due to my class and work schedule, Bowling was out. So I relearned how to walk…seriously! I was given a pamphlet and a pedometer and so I walked and walked…a lot. To think I had to pay tuition for such is ridiculous. So again, I moved on…I left there, too.
5) What bands or music genres do you love but would be hesitant to tell anyone because of the weird looks they might give you?
Marilyn Manson, Skinny Puppy, Ghost, Rise Against, Lagwagon, NoFX and The Grateful Dead…I relax and work best listening to industrial and punk.
6) What is a nerdy thing about you?
I read technical documentation and books on code languages and how-to’s on software and hardware. The last books I attempted to read were a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories and The Girl with A Dragon Tattoo series. I’m still struggling to finish those. With the tech manuals, I feel I am learning new ways of, or means of, creating art.
7) What is something you get unreasonably excited about?
Home brewing. A few years ago, I started brewing beer and kombucha. This started a diversion into fermentation and learning about biology and the various forms of yeasts and bacteria that help make some tasty treats! I’ve made, various forms of yogurt, cream cheese, sourdough, ginger bug sodas, water kefir, kefir and wine.
8) Tell us what you do now to stay creative and curious. Why are you interested in this medium?
At this point, I am able to do some fun things (in my opinion), and looked to reach out and integrate other mediums I use, like 3D. So, what I have been doing is generating some visuals with code then adding them into a 3D program, Blender. Within the 3D program, I create a simulation similar to that of a kaleidoscope, then look at the visuals through the software’s camera lens. The resulting rendered image is a modification of the initial visual, often manipulating patterns and dimension. This work has some elements of the art movements I enjoyed and was inspired by from Art History, like Dada, Futurism, Cubism and Op Art.
To see more of Tom’s work, check out the following links: