Tom Deason

The quiet and thoughtful style of this Bristol-based illustrator lends itself to editorial briefs with complex concepts or narratives. We catch up with him to discuss several key projects. 

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Pipelines, Tom Deason, 2014

How would you describe you illustration style?

I pretty much draw people and machines. I like to exaggerate and contort my characters, and use shape and composition to express my machines. I try to simplify my work and minimise my use of layers and colour.

Tell us about your self-initiated Posthuman project.

In my last year of uni I was getting into a lot of futurism stuff like technological singularity and the idea of the posthuman, so I decided to do a series of images which were based on those ideas. Trying to sum those things concepts in drawings will just give you a headache, trust me on that. So Posthuman ended up being more about the present state of things. We live in an age of data and so Posthuman is about our parallel digital existence, which is a reality for us now and a growing part of our experience as humans. The exploration of my own visual language within that project was equally important for me and it really tied my degree work together. It was a lot of fun.

What inspires you and your work?

I love cycling and I love music. Combined they make for a whale of a time and that keeps me inspired. I’m interested in graphic design, poster design, films and graphic novels and recently I've been getting into architectural drawings. 

Tell us about a brief or project that you’ve been particularly pleased with?

I really enjoyed working on the editorial piece I did for the Bristol Cable, for an article about misrepresentation of data in the media. I enjoyed drawing that and was pretty pleased with how it turned out. I find it fun working on editorials because of the quick turnaround of ideas and execution. Also the Bristol Cable is quite a nice idea, in that it is an independent co-operative media source.

What would you like to do now that you’ve graduated?

Hopefully lots of collaborative projects in a variety of disciplines and media that I haven't been able to work on while at university. I want to start a collective to do these projects, made up from creatives from different backgrounds. I’d also like to work abroad and get to know another country. Work on my illustration portfolio seems like chasing a moving visual target in my head, and can feel a bit hopeless at times. It’s all a mess of ideas at the moment so I’d like to take some time to figure out what the next logical step is for me.