Artist Tom Burbidge‘s abstract paintings combine a love of creative expression and contemporary design, and are now adding some artistic flair to the Coggles bricks and mortar store in Alderley Edge. We wanted to get to know a bit more about the established artist, from what makes him tick to the aesthetic and process behind each creation.
#1 Tell us a bit about your artistic journey?
I have been painting since 2004, naturally drawn to portraiture from a young age I spent lots of time in practice painting the figure. After graduating my Fine Art BA Hons degree and in fear of producing artwork commercially, I decided to learn how to cut hair and also travel, having lived in Sydney and Amsterdam during this time.
On my return to England I opened a men’s hair salon called Notjust in Manchester, which is now award-winning. This acts as a business to provide me the network, showroom and further contact with the creative world daily.
Over the past 3 years I have painted full-time alongside the business, selling growing numbers of work to professional football players, elite business owners, working professionals in Manchester, London and in Europe. I work alongside interior designers on high end specification homes, show in galleries and continue to sell privately. Nova Fine Art Leamington Spa have partnered with me for 2020 and I will go on to produce works for all their future galleries.
#2 Typically, how long do each of your pieces take?
Pieces generally take 5-10 sittings, I paint in layers, each adding depth, details and colour at each stage, the ending/length of time is never pre-determined but instinctively arrived at.
#3 You’re an abstract artist, do you plan on sticking to this signature style?
I LOVE expression, the feeling and therapy in the production, abstraction gives me the range of possibility and a wide boundary for energy to be exerted. The subject matter may change yes. My style is me, its moulded by my unconscious, my life and ultimately cannot be changed. The decisions in marks are made before I can practically decide on them, I simply just attempt to control them as they come, like singing I guess. To add, I have been drawing the figure from life for over 14 years, pencil and ink sketches which I have to do in contrast.
#4 As an artist do you have any advice to offer those wanting to follow your path?
Keep on doing it, paint more, paint less, travel and find a market for what you do and move there.
#5 Where has your art been featured?
I’m represented by Nova Fine Art Leamington Spa and in 2019 I had my second solo show in Manchester City, before this I had exhibited in Liverpool.
#6 The colours used differ from painting to painting, some brighter than others, is this down to what the buyer has specified for their commission, or is there method behind it?
70% of my work is sold reactively so it simply is a natural occurrence that paintings differ with mood, season and varying inspiration. They are later bought by anyone who desires a particular piece. 30% is commissioned privately by my audience online and by an interior design company I partner with. I tend have a workflow that carries me all year round, selling around 20-30 per year.
#7 What’s the next step for your career?
To emerge into multiple galleries with Nova Fine Art, exhibit in Europe and grow my notability as such and I suppose to paint religiously until I cannot. It’s important that I allow my work to take me where it wants to.
#8 Other than Coggles, can people find your art anywhere else?
Yes it can be viewed at Notjust Manchester City Centre and Nova Fine Art Leamington Spa. Exhibitions and other forecasted events in future.
I hope that all Coggles customers can now enjoy my work alongside their shopping experience in store and in any respect that may arise in the future. It’s a privilege to be partnered with an aligned high end brand.
All commissions can be requested and my full collection can be purchased online here
Interview with Tom Burbidge