Tom Rowe is a recent graduate of the Graphics BA at Brighton Uni, and also a member of Evening Tweed which is where we spotted his work. Tom worked on one of our first and most ambitious Small Press Books ‘Said the Computer to the Specialist’ before going on to do the amazing ‘Mixing Desk’ print with us too. He’s one of the most industrious young men we’ve ever come across and just looking at his depictions of analogue computers and bizarre machinery confirms he’s a work-a-holic. Great; if it means we get work like this!
The idea for the book came from when he first started creating the prints at university in 2008, “unfortunately due to the time and money pressures I was never able to give it the loving attention it deserved until Nobrow contacted me, who facilitated and produced it with such a high level of quality and detail.”
We asked Tom to explain some of the thinking behind the imagery: “It’s my reaction to obsolescence and how quickly technology is replaced by a slightly improved version of its self, this was also fueled by the writings and predictions of the late great Marshall Mcluhan. The title of the book is derived from an interview with him on a tv show in the mid seventies.”
In true Nobrow style, Tom has spent half his adult life collecting (or hoarding we should say) secondary sourced technological journals, ‘how to books’ and images of anything which is electrical or mechanical. Most of these come from ‘Europes biggest book barn’ which is very near where he’s from in Somerset. “These images give me the inspiration and ideas to start, and usually a finished illustration will be an amalgamation of a few images I have sourced.” Tom pens and finishes most of his compositions in Illustrator before finally separating the colours for a screenprint.
Tom lists his current influences as: Vintage Tomorrow’s World Journals, the electronic epochs, Terry Gilliam, most of the scenes from ‘Steam Boy’ by Katsuhiro Otomo, Marshall Mcluhan, Jello Biafra and of course Heath Robinson.
With such an exciting body of work already under his belt we can’t wait to see what eclectic futuristic anachronisms he can concoct next.