14 Sep 2010

Artist 19: Thomas G.P. Ball

Welcome to the wonderful world of Thomas G.P Ball, illustrator, live artist and all round cheeky monkey. When not creating dynamic and ice cool illos Thomas is finding creativity in everything around him, and it shows! As a live artist he has developed a sense of drama and his work has that simple likeability that sets it out as been developed by a skilled eye. Coming soon to a venue near you, the art revolution couldn't ask for a better comrade, read about him here while he can still be caught!

Who are you:
Hello! I am Thomas G.P. Ball, an Illustrator based in Sheffield. Currently, I am about to undertake my Final year at Sheffield Arts Institute at Sheffield Hallam University.

What do I do:
I draw. I paint. I print. I make. I find pretty much anything can be a form of creativity and this is a philosophy I try to utilise. I have found my comfort zone with Lino and Screen printing, as well as digital illustration, but I am always looking for new ways to express my imagination. I am also a Resident Live Artistat a bar in Sheffield called SOYO (creating original work in front of a crowd) . After doing Live Art at Tramlines Festival (free music festival in Sheffield) a collective of the artists participating was set up called Stars In Stripes. our group specialises in Live Art and Live Decorating, painting murals on walls of pubs, bars and even hospital waiting rooms!

How did you start:
I had a little bit of a misspent youth, buying into Banksy revolution, but alas my poor graffiti skills were not going to get me anywhere, I soon realised I had better skill with a pen and paint. Since my earlier days painting very expressively and without any real purpose or intent, I've begun to really discover myself as an illustrator. I had a very beneficial year out, and came to university to study Graphic Design without a Foundation degree, I'm now specialising in Illustration. It has been the most incredible 3 years of my life so far, I'm only getting more confident with everything I'm doing and ultimately just enjoying myself as much as I can.

Personal Statement:
I don't see illustration as a job, I see it as something I simply really enjoy doing (as I'm sure everyone else does!). I gain inspiration from a lot of different things, from old screen printed posters and packaging from before my time to the musings of drunks around Sheffield City Centre (always full of comic value). I've found great comfort and confidence in screen printing, but mainly in Lino and Woodcut, which is my main focus for my 3rd year studies. I take a lot of inspiration from my immediate environment. Especially, the disused/discarded/abandoned. I adore music and film, and it greatly influences work I produce, certainly when doing Live Art. You can thank people such as Nicholas Saunders, Jean Jullien, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Johnathon Miller for influencing me and moulding me into the artist I am now.

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