Tom Froese’s Art is Fresh in Every Sense of the Word

Award-winning illustrator and designer Tom Froese describes his work process as very methodical. “It always starts with reading and thinking about the brief (or article) and some initial visual research,” he shared with Ballpit Magazine. “After that, I move onto free sketching until I start picking out ideas that I feel are working. Finally, I build a base illustration over the sketch in Photoshop and establish a sense of form and color. After that, I go to my ink and paper and make marks and textures that I bring in to add life to the piece.”

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Blast from the past. I think I made these three summers ago. Feels like a lifetime. At this point in my development I was trying to refine my forms, add more digital linework, but also keep an overall analog feeling to the textures. Today I feel like I’ve gotten better at my compositions, with less conflict between my flat style and the notion of a scene with a foreground and background. Today I aim more for a composition that keeps the entire scene on a single plane, although I have to fudge around with this depending on the client. I also have become more comfortable being less perfect with my digital linework. For instance, the wheels in the bike were made as perfect circles, but today I would freehand those, perhaps with a little assistance from PS’s line smoothing feature. I also find the background of the second image too perfectly perpendicular. Today I would try to let things feel looser. There is something contradictory about the whimsical lettering and the geometric building that needs to be resolved. I’m constant critical of my old work and constantly seeking to do better in my new work. It’s too bad I can’t appreciate my accomplishments, but it also propels me forward by always wanting to do better. How do you feel about your old work? What percentage of your past work would you say you honestly love? For me it’s about 10% or less! . #illustration #critique #summerillustration #patio #cocktailhour #beer #wine #summer

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His hard work seems to have paid off, with more than 12 thousand followers on Instagram and clients that include Yahoo!, Air Canada, GQ France, and Abrams Publishing. Working from his home studio in the small village of Yarrow (about an hour’s drive east of Vancouver), the Canadian illustrator shares his space with Amanda Froese, their two daughters, and their funny cat named Blueberry.

“Every project I work on is a new challenge, a puzzle,” he shared. “I aim to solve them the best way I can, with the most energy, the most appropriate feeling for the job, the most charm. Personally, I want to see myself grow and evolve with each new thing I do. I don’t like doing the same thing over and over again, so I look for new ways to use what I have, something that feels fresh, original, pleasurably unexpected.”

Prepare to be pleasantly surprised by his work.