Coffee beans, each and every one special in its own way. Growing in places so different, but always nurtured by loving hands. Together, as one, hugging our planet in the green coffee belt. For the March theme of the COFFEE ART CALENDAR 2018, Tom Abbiss Smith took the idea of the bean belt and abstracted it to contemporary shapes and forms that take us to the tropical habitat where coffee can be found and where the coffee bean can show off in all its beauty.
Through both contemporary and traditional techniques such as digital collage, print making and painting, Tom Abbiss Smith explores shape and form to produce abstract works and illustrative outcomes. His work can be seen in various publications, including Creative Review, Wallpaper Magazine, Crack Magazine and Walnut Magazine. Tom’s most recent clients include Atelier Pichita, Whip Appeal Of Sweden, Unlimited Store and El Moderno Concept store.
Where do you live and work?
I currently live in Norwich, UK working as a freelance designer at home in my studio!
When in your life did you decide to follow your path as an artist?
I think it was when I started to realize that design was all around me and super important that I decided I wanted to pursue the path of an artist. My hobbies such as skateboarding introduced me to the most exciting art I had seen at that time and really inspired me! This led to a never-ending inspiration from art and how it can be applicable to many different things!
What is your artistic background?
I studied Graphic Design at College and then studied Illustration at University. The BA course was quite self-initiated, especially within the last year, so a lot of the work I do now has developed from my final project.
How would you describe your style?
Contemporary, Abstract, Fun, Experimental.
What does your daily routine look like?
I try to get up fairly early and usually go through admin stuff first, like emails. Once these are done I feel a lot more free to start creating artworks, where nothing distracts me and I can really dedicate time to it. If I've ran out of paper shape scans and textures, I'll dedicate that day to creating more, so I have a big archive full of components to work with.
How do you create your art?
I start by creating the textures and shapes and then scan those in to manipulate on Photoshop. I don't like to think too much about what I'm going to make, so it's all intuitive from start to end.
Where do you find inspiration?
All around me, but specifically the shapes and textures I see in my surroundings. I'll subconsciously portray those within abstracted arts that tell a new narrative of the journeys I've been on, or the perspectives in which I see things.
If you could live in any time in history, when would that be? Why?
It'd have to be the 90s where I could experience the golden era of hiphop!
What was your first reaction when you were invited to contribute to the Coffee Art Calendar?
I was excited as I love coffee and the idea GOAT STORY had developed! I was equally intrigued to see what I'd be creating for the project!
Where did you get the idea for your artwork for the calendar?
My idea was to portray the 'Bean Belt', which is a horizontal strip across the globe that grows coffee plants. Through abstracted and contemporary shapes and forms, the artwork represents the tropical habitats that coffee grows in. I limited myself to a colour palette that created a wholesome, earthy, but exotic atmosphere; where the flowering plant could show off its beauty.
How would you describe your relationship with coffee?
Where can one see your work on display?
I'd like to see my work on more clothing and interior homeware. However, it'd be interesting to see it in a sculptural form, perhaps as public art!
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ABOUT THE COFFEE ART CALENDAR
The COFFEE ART CALENDAR 2018 is an ode to coffee that is told through graphic art. From January to December it unfolds the story of coffee from bean to cup, while sourcing inspiration from the mythology of coffee, its fair trade production, exploring its social aspects and the amazing effect that the aromatic drink has on us.
Each month is represented by a theme that is closely connected to coffee, starting with the berry and ending with evolution while the story is told by 12 aspiring graphic artists that each contributed a unique view on coffee. The variety of styles and interpretations created a visually rich selection of artwork that will perfectly blend on every background, be it in your kitchen, living room or coffee shop.
Each artwork was created exclusively for the calendar by the contributing artists. By purchasing the COFFEE ART CALENDAR 2018 you are supporting these 12 aspiring artists and sharing your passion for art and coffee.