Spotlight: Tom Griffiths

— 6 Jun 2018 by Lauren Furey

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This month's exhibition at Boxpark Croydon fuses the talents of the young Tom Griffiths with the 2018 World Cup. We caught up with Tom to find out more about his inspirations and what the rest of the year has in store for him.

Hi Tom, tell us who you are and what you do.

I’m Tom Griffiths, I'm 21 years old and I'm from Herefordshire. I am currently at the end of my studies at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, where I will be graduating in BA (Hons) Illustration later this month. The artwork featured in my Boxpark exhibition is part of a larger body of work for my final major project. For this project, I have illustrated each nation participating at this summer’s World Cup. These illustrations are featured within a self published magazine I have produced to act as an illustrated guide ahead of this summer’s tournament. 

What can people expect from your exhibition at Boxpark?

I hope my exhibition showcases the hero status that many of these players have within their homeland, where the weight of expectation is very much on their shoulders to succeed. I also believe my work demonstrates the great diversity at the tournament, with the diverse range of colours, cultures and traditions on show.   

Your work is heavily influenced by your love of sport. When did you start transforming your passion into art?

Before heading to university, I studied a diploma in Art and Design for two years in Hereford, it was here where I really discovered my passion for illustration, and began combining it with both my passions for football and motorsport. From there, I began to take a much more entrepreneurial approach to my work and began to sell my illustrations online to a worldwide audience, whilst also taking on a number of private commissions. 

What does the World Cup mean to you?

For me the World Cup is the absolute pinnacle of world sport, where all of the current superstars of the game compete for the ultimate prize and a place in history alongside football icons. The World Cup also showcases a great diversity, whether it be the colours of the national jerseys, the passion and culture of the supporting fans, or the variety of players and playing styles showcased on the pitch. This year's tournament has all the hallmarks of being a memorable tournament for players and fans alike.

Who were some of your biggest influences when you were starting out?

There are a number of illustrators who I've discovered over the years, through Instagram and other online platforms, who share a similar sporting passion to mine. The styles vary dramatically between these artists and it is great to see the range of ways creatives are able to showcase their passions within their art. Spanish illustrator, Jorge Lawerta has become a personal favourite of mine over the past year or so, while I’m also a huge fan of Stanley Chow, who I know is exhibiting at Boxpark in Shoreditch throughout June.

What does the rest of 2018 have in store for you?

I’m graduating later this month and I will also be exhibiting at the New Designers show in London between the 4-7th of July. After graduation, I will be continuing on with my freelance work, while also actively applying for jobs within the creative industry. 

What was the last song you listened to?

Pusha T - Santeria


Tom's exhibition is available to view throughout June at Boxpark Croydon. You can also follow Tom and his incredible illustrations online on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.