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A Magazine for Sheffield


Time to check up on one of the sons of Sheffield, Mr Tom J Newell, long since departed to the docks of London Port to ply his trade on the rich merchant's well-lined pockets in the South. Tom is a testament to proper illustration. It isn't about over- technicality, photoshop effects and the latest trends. It's about drawing beautifully, in a distinctive style, and keeping it true. More and more I am drawn to work that shows the actual working human behind the pencil, and less and less to crisp computer-aided perfection. Very much rocking the same styles as his last feature - but huge progression throughout. Clean workflows with a growing nod to geometry and repeat patterns will keep me interested for a long time to come. Fair winds, Mr. Newell. [imagebrowser id=10] What have you been up to since you last featured in Now Then (#18,September 2009)? I've had a few shows down here in London and one in Berlin. I've drawn the odd gig poster for the odd awesome band or two, and I've been doing loads of illustration work that's been popping up all over the place. I try to fill the spaces between drawing things with bike rides, record shopping and trying to get back up to Sheffield whenever I can. How do you think your style,approach and methods have changed since then? My style has probably adapted and mutated slightly to suit specific jobs or to reference different influences, but I hope it has retained a stylistic identity that shows it's mine. My approach to a piece is pretty much the same, but might involve a few more cups of coffee than it did a couple of years ago, and my methods have improved a bit through refining my tools. I work part-time in an art shop so I've spent some time figuring out exactly which pens and paper work best for me. Is a new edition of the Pictoral Showboat comic in the works? Yes! I've had the whole thing written and sketched out for a few months, but I just can't find the time to put it together and ink it up. It was always my intention to continue making the comics, but it's getting harder to find the time. You will see Pictorial Showboat #2 one day...but you might not like it, as I'm intentionally trying to make something that fans of the first issue will hate. What were your reunion gigs with The Carol-Anne Showband for Tramlines Festival like? Ha, it was all pretty surreal. We hadn't played together for three years, but my mate Shaun was visiting from Taiwan (where he now lives) and we thought we'd give it a go. After a quick practice we were playing to a packed-out Bungalows & Bears with all our family and friends singing every word back to us and it was just unbelievable. To top it off, me n' Shaun were outside a pub in Shoreditch a few days later and some complete stranger strolls up and says, "The Carol-Anne Showband? I saw you guys play up in Sheffield the other night. You were amazing!" Tell us about the Dead Sea Mob and your live drawing exploits. The Dead Sea Mob is a collective of incredible artists that I'm honored to be a part of. There's me, Drew Millward, Godmachine, TwistedLoaf and the newly recruited Dan Mumford. We've had a few shows and one some drawing events that have all been really well received. We get free pens through our sponsorship with Posca, we're going to be doing some charity work with Sea Shepherd and we will be touring internationally in the coming months. We've got a fine Captain behind and The Mob is just going from strength to strength right now. DSM fo' LIFE! Any current or upcoming exhibitions? Right now I've got a Totem Pole that's showing in an Inkygoodness exhibition at the Custard Factory in Birmingham, some skulls that are on permanent display in Paris, and I've got some work up in the Do It together group show that's up in The Forum. You can buy some prints of mine from The Forum and, in the 'Do it Together' spirit, the money from the first one sold will go to one of the other artists in the show who'll be picked at random. Also, there's a big Dead Sea Mob show coming up in Brighton. There are details of that on our website. Favourite artist right now? Madlib. )

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