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A Magazine for Sheffield

Tom Jackson:

This month's cover feature comes from Tom Jackson, another omnipresent image merchant. From a fresh take on academic inspiration for the uni to working with TADO (who have their own magazine to decorate in early 2011), Tom is fast becoming a Sheffield mainstay in the photography game. The sheer amount of hand crafted, real elements he places into his meticulous construction of sets for images makes me very happy. In a world of over-digitised creation, it's refreshing to see the human emphasised to excellent effect. Just as likely to be seen hunched behind some decks and a laptop in a dimly lit building as he is to be caught behind a camera taking snaps for some of Sheffield's best nights out, it's probably best if you all keep your eyes and ears peeled in his general direction. WHAT STARTED YOU TAKING PHOTOS? I guess for me it's from travelling as a kid. I used to go on a lot of caravan touring holidays with my parents around France and other parts of Europe. Most places were in the middle of nowhere. My dad gave me his Pentax SLR and I used to take pictures of anything and experiment with filters and things. I remember the first film I took in for developing. I was so excited about the images, but the technician told me the film was all ripped and shredded up. Later, I found out that I'd not pressed the button on the bottom and forced the winder back, ripping all the sprocket holes. This was my first school boy error, but at least I learnt early on. WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION FROM? Usually what's going on around me. One of the biggest inspirations for me is space. I've always been fascinated by it and it seems to be a reoccurring theme in my work. TOOLS. WHAT DO YOU USE REGULARLY AND WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE? I'm a photographer, but I love getting involved and building things, so my gaffa tape, string, craft knife, card and blue tac are just as important to me as my lenses. I don't geek out too much with cameras, so I can't give you a massive list of accessories and model names. I just stick to a select few. I would say my ball of string is my favourite tool. WHAT OTHER ARTISTIC MEDIA HAVE HAD AN EFFECT ON YOUR WORK? I've always loved graphic design, but at school I was told I couldn't hold a pen properly, so I thought it wasn't a career for me. Blending elements of photography and design are now quite common in my work. I also have a big place in my heart for illustration, so being given a chance to work with TADO and exhibiting at Pictoplasma in Berlin was fantastic. HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR DAYS? Most days I don't do too much. I only spend a handful of days in the month working. A lot of time goes into looking and listening to stuff on the web. Standard. Also producing and DJ'ing under the name Baka Baka. People probably know me for being out and about with my camera, doing photos for various club nights like Soup Kitchen, Squelch and Clap and Club Pony. OUT OF YOUR RECENT WORK, WHICH PIECE HAVE YOU ENJOYED MAKING THE MOST? Working with Nous Vous on the Tokyo Police Club album cover. I was already a big fan of their work. Not only was the set already built when I arrived, but I got to smash the crap out of it at the end for the back cover of the album. We all had good fun that day. HOW HAS YOUR WORK EVOLVED OVER TIME? I used to use Photoshop loads after I finished college and when I was assisting. Most of my work now has a handmade element to it and I try to keep retouching to a minimum, because you see so much digital art it's hard to really appreciate it, even though it's still a craft and some work can look incredible. I started wanting to keep things as real as I can. [imagebrowser id=4] WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON? That would be telling and I'm not sure if I'm supposed to, but it's a local job that I'm really proud to be a part of. I'm also going to be making some images for Checan's BWRC mix series. ANY TIPS ON HOW TO SURVIVE MAKING MONEY FROM YOUR WORK? Get your invoice in as soon as! Sometimes it can take bloody ages to get your hardearned pennies. )

Next article in issue 33

Andy Brown:

Andy has been documenting Sheffield for as long as I've been looking at pictures here, part of the Go 'alumni' responsible for a…

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