The artist in me

It’s a long history but here are a few paragraphs about my journey to this time and place.

When I was a boy I was intrigued by the emerging art and graphic design of the 1960’s. I left school in 1963 and started my working life in the somewhat Dickensian workshop of an art gallery in Stoke on Trent.  I was to learn about the business of picture framing and art restoration.

It was to be the start of a career in arts and crafts but my relationship with the business was terminated after just a few months. I was fifteen years old, it was the 1960’s and the Dickensian environment was not conducive to my creative interests.

Before the ink had time to dry on my notice of termination (addressed to my father) I had landed a job in industry as an apprentice engineer.  My art career would have to wait.

I used every spare moment to develop and create my artwork and by the late 1970’s I had enough decent work to enter an open exhibition at the Potteries art Gallery in Stoke on Trent. I was awarded with an opportunity to show more of my work at the Pentagon gallery with a couple of other artists. 

I continued to develop my work and held my first full exhibition at England’s Gallery in Leek, Staffordshire.  Following the exhibition I was approached by The Ian Palmer Gallery (West Midlands) who offered me a series of commissions and encouraged me to study print making at Leek College of Art. By the mid 1980’s I was working as a full-time freelance artist for Ian Palmer Gallery – a relationship which kept me busy for the following five years.

Following a recession in the late 1980’s I returned to industry as a freelance business consultant and over the next few busy decades I started to look for future creative directions.

In 2013 I was able to burn my industrial bridges and start a new creative journey towards this time and place.

Tom Tomkinson

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