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(Continued... )
A woman in a broad dress ties her shoelace; another adjusts an earring in a mirror; another sits patiently as an old man with a beard applies make-up. “I also had the chance to sketch the orchestra,” he enthuses, “imagine what a life-drawing class that was.” He points at the profile of a cellist writing notes on a piece of paper on her music stand. “I was interested in what the musicians were doing between the times they were playing.”

So far, so Degas? Too right. Tom was partly inspired to do this body of work after visiting the Degas and Lautrec exhibition at the Tate Britain last autumn. “The way in which I approach this over-familiar subject matter as an artist is very different to my approach as an agency ‘creative’,” he says. “I have to access a very different part of my brain. One part thinks of the impressionists and sees the visual clichés and how that might be used in marketing. The other side looks much deeper into the work, how and why it was created. It is not until you actually put yourself in the same environment as a ‘master’ artist that you can fully appreciate the challenges and exhilaration which shaped their work. You can try to imagine it, but I find that this produces totally different results.”

We get into a discussion about conceptual art and advertising, and how the two are linked. Tom’s art is deliberately not based on a snappy idea: it is more crafted, aesthetically pleasing, representational, moving. Tom spent time talking to the poet and writer Nicki Jackowska who is a kind of creative therapist; helping writers and artists to release their creative ideas. (continued overleaf...)

Cello scuro: the orchestra pit was a life drawing class par
excellence for Homewood