Tom Abbiss Smith

Harpenden / Norwich

‘Through both contemporary and traditional techniques such as digital collage, printmaking and painting, Tom explores shape and form to produce abstract works and illustrative outcomes. His inspiration comes predominantly from nature and music such as Jazz, Soul, Funk and Hiphop. However many things around him, from small details on walls to giant shapes in cities feed into his work.’

You capture organic qualities in your pieces, where do these influences come from?

I’m hugely inspired by natural environments and like to study the shapes and forms you see in those locations. Sometimes a very small detail will catch my eye, and other times it will be more dynamic or obvious shapes such as leaves that are depicted in my work.

What drew you to collage?

Artists such as Henryk Tomaszewski inspired me a lot when studying in my final year at Uni. This led to a whole new realm of research! There is so much inspiration out there. I guess I felt a connection to the method of cut and paste though, it feels really punchy and intuitive, I love that!

How important is colour selection for your work?

The most important! Colours can be sensitively but effectively used and that is critical in my design!

What differences can you see in your work when it’s presented digitally or on physical products?

It has to be how the designs interact with the environment its in, within situ. Digital is great, but you don’t really see it reacting with everything else around it (apart from the edge of the screen). It’s nice to see other textures such as walls/fabric interact with my artwork in the physical realm.

Why do you think your work engages a lifestyle/interior audience successfully as well as a design audience? Do you see the lines between disciplines blurring?

I do see the lines blurring, but design is all around us, so I think its natural for my art to be applied to various things. I guess the abstract style allows it to breathe in many formats without looking out of place!