Tom Bagshaw

An artist who puts a story be­hind his art and is even more in­ter­ested in the viewer’s take

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Although Tom Bagshaw shuns the idea that he has a style – “hon­estly,” he says, “I’ve never re­ally thought about it” – there’s a unique line of thought that runs through his paint­ings. His in­flu­ences in­clude re­li­gion, the oc­cult, folk­lore and broader fan­tasy, and the idea of the story: his paint­ings of­ten be­gin with a nar­ra­tive be­hind them.

How­ever, he in­sists, “It’s al­ways far more in­ter­est­ing to hear the viewer’s in­ter­pre­ta­tions of what I paint. I’ve had quite a few oc­ca­sions where other peo­ple have come up with far bet­ter sto­ries for my work than mine!”

The wider com­mu­nity is im­por­tant to Tom, and he feels it brings peo­ple to­gether. But he points out that there are still cer­tain bar­ri­ers to be breached. In early 2015 Tom con­trib­uted to the Dream­lands show fea­tur­ing edgy mod­ern art at CHG Circa gallery in Cul­ver City, Cal­i­for­nia. “There’s still a bar­rier be­tween the fine art/col­lec­tor’s mar­ket and how dig­i­tal art is viewed,” Tom says. “Dig­i­tal art isn’t re­ally an is­sue if it’s in the con­text of advertising, pub­lish­ing, ed­i­to­rial il­lus­tra­tion and so on, but once you cross into that fine art mar­ket then gal­leries and col­lec­tors, even other artists, still have an is­sue with dig­i­tal. It’s get­ting bet­ter with time, but is still very much a prob­lem any dig­i­tal artist faces.”


Artist tip

Be ready for ideas

“Ideas pop into your head at odd times, like when you’re ac­tu­ally work­ing on another piece. Hav­ing a notebook to hand en­ables me to quickly jot it down, along with a quick scrib­ble, so I can come back to it later. It’s all these lit­tle notes that help to shape fu­ture works.”

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