Tom was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art and The Royal College of Art. Tom has been represented by Heart since 2001 and works in the same shared studio as the London agency.
Tom’s deadpan, matter-of-fact delivery is the common theme in all his artworks. His interest lies in the gulf between the perfected ideal and the potential for a more mundane reality. An enduring interest in the heroic vs. the ordinary has seen him refer to a cast of characters including astronauts, soldiers and other well known biblical, literary and historical greats. It’s as if we all know how the traditional stories should go and Tom seeks out the other narrative. In his 2013 book ‘Goliath’ published by Drawn & Quarterly, Tom created the prequel for David and Goliath, the run up to the event told from Goliath’s perspective. Mooncop, published by D&Q in 2016 tells the story of a cop filing crime reports on a Moon with a decreasing population. Seventeen comic books of Tom’s work have been published to date. His books have been translated into multiple languages. As well as international book tours, he is a regular guest and speaker at comic book festivals across Europe and America.
Tom’s creative output crosses between author of comic books and commercial illustrator and cartoonist. ‘You’re All Jealous of My Jetpack’ a compendium of his cartoons for The Guardian (from a column he has been illustrating since 2005) was published in 2013 by D&Q. His work has featured twice on the cover of the New Yorker and he has weekly columns in the same magazine, The New York Times and the New Scientist. The amazing news stories presented in the New Scientist of discoveries of historical and philosophical importance, are given an amusing and normalising re-interpretation by Tom.
He has worked on advertising campaigns for Boots and British Gas as well as Diet Coke, which included use of his work on limited edition cans and bottles. Amongst these projects he has worked on smaller scale endeavors for Primary Care Trusts and local councils. Projects such as the Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre, the site of a Stone Age settlement. His work has been animated on several occasions including for music videos. He created the identity for Canongate Books’ 40th anniversary as well as having produced numerous book covers and has illustrated an edition of Ted Hughes’ ‘The Iron Man’.
Select Client List
BDO Stoy Hayward, Boots, Bournemouth Borough Council, British Gas, Cannongate Books, Chemistry World, Courrier Japan, Diet Coke, EMI, Faber & Faber, Fedrigoni, Google, The Guardian, Howdens, It’s Nice That, Knight Frank, Laurence King Publishing, Little Brown, New Scientist, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Penguin Books, Royal Mail, Unbound Publishing, Wellcome Trust, Wired