Creatives in the Community – Tom Roberts
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
Hi, I’m an Illustrator from Herefordshire. I mainly work on drawings with pencil for books, album artworks, film posters and personal print runs.
I also have a number of clients who I create murals and signage for. Specifically in Hereford I’ve created the Wye Valley Brewery pub signs and murals…also Hereford hospital’s walls have been covered with my work.
Why do you think the arts are important?
The arts are a crucial aspect of what makes being human interesting. Music, film, books have been with us our whole lives and we rely on them each and every day to enhance our existence.
What are your thoughts about arts provision and participation in Herefordshire?
I left Hereford a few years ago, I often miss the thriving art scene that the city had. More recourses would obviously be fantastic for the city and surrounding towns. I was lucky enough to be a member of the Artsite community, a small group of artists headed by Alfie Hall who set up a relaxed studio space at affordable prices for the emerging artist. Best start for an artist’s career.
How do you feel about arts provision in education?
The more we invest into the arts the more chance we have to nurture potentially great artists.
Everyone deserves the right to be creative and try new things. Every artist, writer, actor, singer etc. all had that first time they approached their craft as something new. Investment into education gives those who maybe dubious or unsure that nudge to have a go.
Tell us about a recent or memorable piece of art you have seen/experienced and what made it ‘stand out’?
Temple by Kevin Tong. Kevin is the absolute master of colour. He works highlights into a palette that you wouldn’t usually consider. His style is so fluid that one piece could be almost a different artist than another.
Tell us about a stand out piece of work that you have created and what you feel makes/made it special.
I tend to always look forward and rarely look back on recent or old work.
I suppose one that springs to mind is the screen print film poster for The Fountain film by Darren Aronofsky. I was approached by a screen print guild to do this and the level of detail that’s gone into the printing process is stunning. The paper shimmers in the light and all the inks are so close to my drawing it’s fantastic. I’m currently working on a poster for Pans Labyrinth I would have picked this one but the image is under wraps currently.
How would you like to see the arts community develop in Herefordshire?
I would love to see more being done to keep artists in Herefordshire.
Most of my artist friends and myself have moved to different cities for that next step.
Finally, who would you nominate to be our next ‘Creative in the Community’ highlight?
I would like to nominate Ita Drew, she is a fantastic ceramicist with an incredible imagination. I was lucky enough to share a studio with her in Hereford for 4 years. We would chat about crazy ideas for paintings and sculptures daily. The main thing I miss about Hereford is the studio Artsite 3 and the camaraderie we all had as artists together.