Featured Artist: Thom Kofoed

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When did you first become interested in art? 

I’ve always been interested in art but my interest was really nurtured by my year six teacher Mr Wright. He was the first person to teach me how important it was and how lucky I was to have even a sliver of natural ability. 

How would you describe your design style?

It varies hugely depending on the subject but I love detail and intricacy so it never waivers too far from that. I love line and form and I’m particularly fond of repetition. 

What inspires you?

I love seeing other peoples work and I spend a lot of time in galleries standing incredibly close to paintings trying to figure out the process. And I seek out conversation with people who feel incredibly passionate about making; I love what happens to a person when they speak about what they love. There’s magic there.  

What is your favourite piece in your collection?

I have a relatively unhealthy obsession with Angela Lansbury so I would most probably have to say any of my Murder, she wrote phone cases. 

Is there any artistic talent in your family?

Not if you ask my family, though my Mum is a crazy excellent knitter and makes the most incredible objects. My three and one year old nephews are showing huge promise with playdoh too! 

What is the journey you take to produce your work?

More often than not it starts by googling images of 1980s television stars (I have a particular fondness for that era of TV). And then I sit at my desk in my studio space with my laptop open, Netflix playing on my Kindle, and I draw. I work for about 6-7 hours a day but it always starts with the drawing. If I’m working on illustrations I use the same tiny paint brush I’ve used for about 8 years to paint the whole thing in watercolour, occasionally adding finer details with ink. If i’m working bigger in acrylics it’s a little more free-form and instinctive.   

What made you want to be a part of Art Rookie?

I just thought it was such a brilliant space for creatives who lacked the opportunity to make these objects themselves. I loved the business you were trying to build and the aims of Art Rookie aligned with my own feelings about making.  

When you’re not creating masterpieces what do you enjoy doing?

I’m a big reader. I’m big into cinema and theatre and I really like eating. Constantly. 

Have you faced any struggles getting your work noticed?

Yeah absolutely. Although I think a lot of the struggle has been my lack of confidence in putting my work out there to be noticed in the first place. It’s taken a while for me to come to terms with the idea that it’s OK to believe in my own talents as an artist, and in fact to even call myself an artist at all. 

Where would we find you hanging out in the UK?

Anywhere near water is my ideal and I spend a lot of time in London (usually eating).   

What makes British talent different than elsewhere?

I don’t know that it’s different but I find it to be incredibly honest. I also think theres a particular quirk and humour in the work I see that is quintessentially British.  

 What are your plans for 2017?

 I have a solo exhibition in April called ‘untitled (Ms. Miss. Other)’ where I’ll be exploring disparate experiences of gender, and celebrating women so that will be taking up a lot of time until then. I’m also working in collaboration on a childrens book about hugging. 

www.artrookie.co.uk/thomkofoed

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