Interviewed by Erika Block.
Tom Rauwerdink has enjoyed drawing for as long as he can remember. Some of his earliest drawing subjects were spaceships, sneakers, cartoons and video game logos. When Tom got to high school, his artistic interests expanded into comic books and photography.
It was in college where Rauwerdink was exposed to a wide array of art and design disciplines. He attended the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) with plans of becoming a commercial illustrator, but quickly realized that it wasn’t the right career path for him. Tom spent a semester as a fine arts drawing major before deciding to enroll in the graphic design program. MIAD had just acquired new computers for the graphic design program at that time, and it felt like a “cutting edge and wide open” field to him. “[And] the fact that it was a viable career didn’t hurt.”
The most obvious ways in which Rauwerdink’s design background influences his artwork are through the use of words and the very flat, layered look. Tom mainly draws the inspiration for his work from media sources like music, film, books, and video games. “I tend to write a lot of words and phrases down. I try to observe and take note of the things around me.”
Tom spent over fifteen years living in the Milwaukee area before relocating to Sheboygan. “The Sheboygan art scene is very welcoming, with a lot of really talented and supportive people. […] The artists here really helped me feel at home again.”
Since he only began painting within the last year. Rauwerdink intends to grow as a painter by challenging himself to experiment and work larger. “[I] enjoy the freedom of creating things for myself. […] I feel I have a lot to learn.”
To view more of Tom Rauwerdink’s art and design work, please visit his website, eightyad.com.
Erika L. Block is a professional writer, artist and art director working exclusively with the art, publishing and music industries through her company, Creative Studios. Connect with her at facebook.com/elblockcreative.