British image maker, Tom Abbiss Smith, explores shape and form to produce abstract work and illustrations. Taking influence from Matisse, Tom’s bold and dynamic approach brings to life the punchy, savoury flavours of Sour Cream & Black Pepper.
Q. What’s your background? How and when did you decide to become an illustrator?
I lived most of my life in a small town in Hertfordshire, which was pretty boring in comparison to Norwich, where I live now. I studied academic subjects at sixth form but very quickly realised they weren’t for me! I went to college from there to study Graphic Design and knew instantly that that was my path to follow. It was much later at the very end of university that I explored collage, specifically digital collage. I’d done a lot of drawing and texture/mark making before collage which was great, but it didn’t feel natural to me within the figurative outcomes I was creating. I think the reason I love and stay with collage is because it feels right. There’s that gut feeling which helped me become more experimental and playful with my approach to art.
Q. How did you develop your style?
I explored a lot of art techniques throughout various University projects. I think from doing this I was able to discard some and explore others, which led to my collage and textural style that felt natural and fun.
Q. Who are your artistic influences? What have you read or seen that has most influenced your work?
I love Matisse, he’s the king of collage! But there’s a lot living artists I admire too, like Atelier Bingo, Antti Kekki, Charlie Coatney and many more. If I’m honest, natural environments inspire me the most, rainforests are insanely magical.
Q. Where do you get your motivation and ideas from?
My motivation is my addiction to creation, it’s always satisfying to make good use of time. Nature, sculptures, textures in everyday environments usually spark my ideas.
Q. What’s the inspiration behind your Sour Cream & Black Pepper illustration?
Sour Cream & Black Pepper is punchy and full of flavour which inspired my bold and dynamic approach to the design.
Q. What’s your favourite part of your Sour Cream & Black Pepper illustration?
My favourite part has got to be the patterned sections such as the black pepper motifs.
Q. Tell us an interesting fact about your Sour Cream & Black Pepper design
I ate a lot of Sour Cream & Black Pepper popcorn whilst designing the pack – it’s so addictive!
Q. Sum up your Sour Cream & Black Pepper illustration in 3 words.
Fun, experimental, dynamic.
Q. What do you love most about PROPERCORN and your chosen flavour?
PROPERCORN has so many interesting flavours compared to other popcorn brands. Sour Cream & Black Pepper is definitely a favourite of mine, which made the art process a lot easier!
Q. How many iterations did it take before you came up with your final design?
I think two or three iterations.
Q. What do you do to overcome creative blocks?
If the weather is nice, I take myself for a skate or go charity shopping. Sometimes you’ve just got to preoccupy yourself in those blocks.
Q. What’s next for you?
I’m in the process of creating more products for my online shop and hope to set up a studio name soon which will include fashion products and homeware.
Follow @tomabbisssmithart to see more from Tom.