Q). Who are you, what do you do and where are you from?
Well, my name’s Tom. I was born in England but I’ve lived in Australia for most of my life. After leaving high school in 1989, I pushed trolleys at the local supermarket to save money to go to art college. By the mid nineties I’d completed a degree in graphic design and I had the opportunity to launch into my shiny new career by designing the back of shopper dockets. A job that I quickly turned down because I didn’t want to use my talents for something so mundane. Besides, I was into comic books and movies and I aspired to be a fantasy artist. So I decided to pursue those dreams while I made a living from working in retail. Over time, things have changed and with the introduction of computers and the advent of the internet I’ve been able to start promoting my artwork online. Today, I still work for a large department store selling computers and televisions but now I’m endeavouring to supplement my full-time income by selling limited edition prints and originals of my work. Just lately, I’ve been rediscovering my love for painting and I hope to have an exhibition sometime in the near future.
Q). How would you describe your style?
My style varies quite a lot depending on my mood and inspiration. I get bored quite easily so I’m always keen to explore different techniques, both traditional and digital. About 18 months ago I become enamored with street art and pop surrealism and now I create artwork in a style that I like to call urban expressionism. It’s still heavily influenced by comic books and popular culture and it usually involves strong, bold line work and emotive colours and textures. Sometimes, I simply use shapes and patterns to evoke a sense of rhythm and mystery within a composition rather than to convey any particular meaning and I’m also interested in exploring more stream-of-consciousness type stuff. I used to think that I had to get my art out there for the world to see. Now, I believe that creating art is something I need to do to keep me centred; to take my mind off other things. It’s turned into a kind of therapy in the same way that someone might enjoy the challenge of doing crosswords.
Q). Tell us about Funky Karma.
Funky Karma is my official online store. It’s based on a concept that I came up with after finishing high school. I started making t-shirt designs that were inspired by the beach and surf culture that I’d grown up with on the Gold Coast. In 2004, I got round to creating a website and today it’s become a portal for customers to buy t-shirts, greeting cards, prints and homewares that feature my artwork and designs. Each item is printed on demand which means I have no up front costs and I can just focus on the creative process. The downside is that I have limited control over the type of materials and the quality products that are used. But it does give me an insight into what sort of stuff people like and which way I want to go with my art if I intend to give up my day job.
Q). Describe a normal day in the life of Tom Deacon.
My days and nights are very busy at the moment. You could say I’m a bit of a workaholic. I have a full-time job as an electrical sales consultant and I recently became a father so when I get home I look forward to spending some quality time with my partner and our five month old son. But once they’re asleep I’m on the computer or I have my pens and brushes out creating new artwork till about midnight before I eventually hit the sack.
Q). Any tips for beginners?
Just keep plugging away. Forget the naysayers. Go with your heart. If you love what you do it will show through in your work. Find a balance between artistic integrity and commercial gain. Be aware of what others are doing and try and create a niche market for yourself.
Q). Cheers for your time Tom, is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’d just like to say that it’s wonderful to be involved with a website that is enthusiastic about promoting and encouraging street art and urban graphics as a legitimate art form.
Via Pimp Artworks