Uniting Collage & Illustration with Tom Abbiss Smith


Portrait of Artist Tom Abbiss Smith

Tom Abbiss Smith is emerging as a master of contemporary abstraction. We love the way his bold and blocky compositions combine sharp edges and soft shapes to create a sense of calm. In his interview, he cites natural forms and the city as equal inspirations. We first discovered Tom through a lovely woven blanket produced by Slowdown Studio. Today, he works out of his home studio in Norwich, expertly uniting collage and illustration.

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Tell us about the work featured in Papirmass (not pictured).

My designs featured in Papirmass are abstract collages that explore nature through composition, texture, and colour. I try to portray natural environments, leaves, and more through this style as it draws attention to the more intriguing characteristics of plants and nature in general.

The Artwork of Designer Tom Abbiss Smith

What is your creative process?

I like to explore abstract forms through traditional collage and add patterns and textures with mixed media. First, I work by cutting paper and drawing textures, then I scan all of this and finish my pieces by digitally arranging the shapes and overlaying more colour.

What’s your studio like?

I share a studio space with my partner, which is in the spare bedroom in our house. It has big desks to work at and is always bright. However, there isn’t enough room for all the furniture that I’d like, and I wish the floors were wood instead of carpet.

Artist Tom Abbiss Smoth's studio space

What are the essential items in your studio?

Definitely, my laptop and scanner.

How has your practice changed over time?

I used to feel a lot of pressure always to be making work, but now I take more time with my art. I also do a lot more emailing than I used to!

The Artwork of Designer Tom Abbiss Smith

As an artist, what have you learned?

I have learned that I’m addicted to art!

What is your greatest accomplishment?

I am very proud to have started my homeware brand: Paper Plant Studio.

The Artwork of Designer Tom Abbiss Smith

What do you love and hate about being an artist?

I love seeing my work out in the world. But I hate not being taken seriously by non-creatives

Is creativity learned or innate?

It is a bit of both. Not too long ago, I wasn’t particularly interested in art due to having been brainwashed into thinking it wasn’t important. It took me years to get to where I am now. That was partially through perseverance and learning, and partly because we all have a creative side to us.

Tom Abbiss Smith is our November 2018 artist.
See more at www.tomabbisssmithart.com