This month's featured artist is Bristol's surrealist illustrator Tom Mead.
Tom’s work is varied, ranging from fine art to illustrations for children’s books, and he’s currently got his first game in the pipeline. Specialising in dark surrealist character pieces, much of his work explores the macabre, his creatures existing in a twisted reality.
Tom studied animation at the Arts Institute in Bournemouth, where he specialised in Environment Design. Despite living in Southville and working in Stokes Croft, one of the most colourful places in Bristol, his work is drained of colour. He explains, “once I got into the industry I realised I didn’t have much passion for drawing colourful things so delved into the world of black and white and never came back.”
Tom’s main inspiration comes from international work, particularly art coming out of America and Japan. He’s a huge fan of the pages of Hi Fructose magazine and the "beautiful and bizarre" art they feature.
The drawing on sale is one of Tom’s signature foxmen characters, entitled ‘Moondog’. “I’m really into drawing surrealist character depictions of emotional or physical scenarios that happen around me. I live vicariously through my drawings.” His passion for surrealism, symbolism and folklore also play a large part in his work. He recently went to South Africa and Iceland for art residencies, which he says “opened my eyes up to other art scenes.”
“I guess I was feeling reflective about the world that day,” he comments on the piece, as the eerie character stares at a glowing moon. Moondog will be exclusively available in our online shop for a special price of £270, a huge discount from the usual £350. The very limited edition prints are available for £45. There are only 15 available, and a particularly special opportunity as Tom doesn’t usually work with prints and has made these exclusively for this offer with Bristol24/7.
Tom has chosen to donate money from sales of this painting to Alzheimers UK. He supports it because he says, “it’s a great charity trying to get rid of a horrible disease.”