Interview with Tim Tomkinson

by Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hello Tim, who’s the first illustrator that comes to your mind in a second? 

Milton Glaser


When you were 13, what did you want to be?

A Disney Animator.


What inspires you and how do you keep motivated when things get tough in the studio?

Music, design magazines, and art books. Meandering through illustration websites. Taking breaks to work in my sketchbook and to go on mountain bike rides.


What’s the place or what do you do when you feel you’re thinking in a bright way?

When I feel “on”, I try to take advantage of it by getting as much work done as possible.. and writing or sketching down whatever ideas may be formulating, even if they’re irrelevant to the work at hand. They often come in handy as sources for concepts on future projects.


Tell me a song that has haunted you.

Anything by Portishead or Radiohead (apparently any band with “head” at the end of their name). Both of their voices are hauntingly beautiful, and the lyrics get under my skin for much longer than just the few minutes it takes to listen to them.


What do you have in common with a teenager?  

I’ve got some skinny jeans in my closet. And a lingering fondness for old punk rock.


Something you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to.

Get a tattoo. Skydive. Learn to play an instrument.


Something you want the world to know about you.

I get to live and work in one of the most beautiful places on earth: Jackson Hole, Wyoming.


Something that annoys or frustrates you about people.

Undeserved arrogance, consistent lateness, and the incorrect use of the term “literally”.


Your idea about social networks.

I think they’re great if they’re not hogging too much of your time. But you have to be a bit more careful if you’re using them as an extension of your brand/business. My Facebook profile is almost strictly personal, with occasional work updates for family and friends to check out. But I don’t really want a client knowing how much I partied last weekend (complete with tagged pictures), or reading my occasional political rants. I’m planning on joining Twitter to host my more professional network.


A word that you hate.



How many hours do you work in a day?

Anywhere from 4 to 18.. but usually closer to 12, on average.


If you had absolute power for one day, what would you do?

I’d take all private money out of the electoral process, making all campaigns publicly funded.


Your house is on fire, what do you save?

After my son, wife, and cat.. probably my hard-drives, sketchbooks and whatever art I can grab. Everything else is replaceable.


How could you describe that precise moment….The one that makes you say: “Yes! This is great! I did it! I got it!”

It usually arrives during that perfect combination of exhaustion, desperation, and caffeine overdose. But occasionally it happens at unexpected times when I’m not trying to be especially clever or productive. It’s a great feeling, and what I strive for on every project.. but doesn’t always happen!


What’s overrated today?



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