Tom is a passionate waterman and artist. He regularly competes on the Surfski World Series, alongside fellow paddlers of the South: Sean Rice, Dawid, Nicki and Jasper Mocke. Much of Tom’s time is spend training on the waters of False Bay. “I started paddling surfskis when I was a junior lifesaver at Fish Hoek Surf Lifesaving Club. I’ve travelled the world with the sport since then and it’s something I hope to continue doing for some time to come.” Tom divides his day between training hard and painting. Both complement each other well, as his high training intensity is balanced with calm, relaxed periods in the art studio.
“Not many people realise that I paint but being creative is in my blood. I come from a family of designers and artists which stretches back many years. Painting for me started when I was probably 3 or 4 I suppose. On holiday trips my grandfather, also an artist, would teach me the basic painting techniques and try to refine my raw creative talents. Since then it’s my “oupa” and dad who are my greatest mentors and critics.” After school Tom attended the Cape Peninsula University of Technology where he studied Industrial Design. He graduated with a Bachelor of Technology in 2009. While at university Tom was twice a finalist in the Carrol Boyes Metal Young Designer Search competition, as well as a semi finalist in the House and Leisure/Designers at Mr Price Home competition, considered the country’s biggest student-design competition. He has also twice exhibited design works at the Good Food and Wine Show in Cape Town.
“I’ve reach the stage where paddling presents a great opportunity for me to travel and see the world. I’m passionate about design but I’m not yet ready to settle down and get a proper job. I’m really eager to reach my full sporting potential while I still have the opportunity to do so. Painting at the moment compliments my lifestyle perfectly. I love painting just as much as I love to paddle. Finding sponsors to finance my overseas trips as been difficult, especially in the recent months. Selling paintings to finance these trips seems to be a perfectly harmonious solution.”
Most of Tom’s inspiration comes from the sea, where he spends much his time and this is reflected in his unique style of painting. “The thing that characterises my work is the use of found materials like magazine paper. I wasn’t fond of the cheap, thin acrylic paint we used at school, so I began exploring other ways to capture the vibrancy of the experiences I had in the ocean. Like any coastal teenager I had piles and piles of old surf mags. I would pretty much buy them for the unbelievable photos of waves and dream surf destinations inside. It was a natural progression for me to carry the vibrancy of these photos into my work. Since then surf mags have become a healthy source of material for me, along with a whole range of other household disposables.”
“Designing and being creative is my passion and it is what allows me to break the monotony of long hard training sessions. This works the other way around too. Being on the ocean everyday and paddling in some wild environments fuels my creative spirit. Paddling has taken me to some amazing places around the world. Being creative allows me to embrace these experiences to the fullest.”
Contact details: 076 024 1960