Hi Tom, please tell us something about yourself
My name is Tom Brooks. I am a Canadian educator and artist, living just outside of Ottawa, Ontario. I am a graduate of the School of Industrial Design at Carleton University. I have also studied painting at the Ottawa School of Art.
When did you discover painting?
Initially, I started taking evening life drawing courses at the Ottawa School of Art. I met an inspirational instructor there, who introduced me to painting. Over several years, I developed my style of trowelling with a vivid colour palette.
What are you currently working on?
Currently, I am creating a large body of work that draws on my experiences, as a painter and an educator of digital media.
Which techniques play an important role in your art?
My abstract paintings interweave bands of paint, marrying together digital masking and paint applied with trowels and hand pulls. The viewer can observe multiple layers simultaneously, which create new patterns and optical mixing.
And which stylistic influences define your works?
At the core my work is geometric abstraction. My influences are: non-narrative abstraction, pop art, Industrial Design, Architecture, Graphic Design and scientific phenomenon. My work draws inspiration from the distortions of analog and digital media, as well as interference patterns.
Do you have another job besides painting?
I am currently working full time as an artist, after decades of teaching.
What advice would you give other artists?
Be true to yourself and your vision. Others will see your language. Keep changing and growing. Look at the work of other artists for inspiration. Art is a moment captured in time.
What have art collectors or galleries said about your work?
Comments from galleries:
Young, modern, slick.
The work changes as you move around it.
Complex, detailed, sometimes loose.
Notice different things over time.
Your perfect workspace?
A small design area for prototyping along with a large wet area for production.
For inspiration, find a mentor. Immerse yourself in their work and come out on the other side. My sources of inspiration so far have been:
- Van Gogh
- Julie Oppermann
What is on your to-do list?
A large scale mural.
Is there anything you would do different if you had to start again?
I would not change a lot because for me, art is a creative journey. Sometimes you control the path and sometimes the path controls you. Find a specific time to work. Invest in as much materials as you can. Practise. Practise. Practise.
Is motivation important to you?
I would say that art is a daily practise. Keep to a work schedule. For motivation look at other artists.
Which of your art pieces is your favorite and why?
My favourite piece is the very next piece that I am formulating in my thoughts. Why? Because it is the most abstract and cleanest at that point. There are always compromises, as you bring the concept into the real world.
Do you collaborate with other artists?
Not yet… Though I do ask other artists to critique my work, looking for critical, constructive feedback.
Do you have any artistic goals?
My goal is always to increase the size and scope of my work. To achieve this one needs to get good representation.
Is there anything else you want to say?
In art we find new purpose through lifelong learning and the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge.
Tom Brooks ★ Artist resume
Throughout my career, I have worked as an Industrial Designer, a high school Communications and Photography teacher, as well as a network instructor. All these experiences have helped me to grow as a visual artist.
Many thanks, Tom.