Hello everyone, I’m Amy and I’m a newcomer on the Creative Nottingham blog- I am the youngest and newest addition to the team. When I decided I’d like to give a helping hand to those at this site, I had a flood of ideas I could use. I came up with a regular feature I’d like to introduce: Share Your Stories. This idea was rather impromptu and resulted in me contacting those people I had in mind to answer a few questions. The response from those who were involved was satisfying, and I’m pleased people are so willing to help. So, over this month in February I’d like to introduce this feature. I’ll include the email interviews in the posts, and link all their details so you can check them out, get involved, “like” them on Facebook and “follow” them on Twitter.
The first person who got back in a flash was Tom Trueman. Now Tom has been all in our local newspapers in the middle of January for winning an award from the Joan Oliver fund. This fund is rather precious, only around 8 artists being granted the sum of £500 each year. The award was given by Brian Oliver, his late wife was an artist in Nottingham. The fund allows up and coming artists to help them financially make the leap: New equipment, better facilities and with new recognition. Tom is an 18-year-old student at New College Nottingham. He had been painting since a young child, but hadn’t really given the idea any thought as a path for his life. His original career plans were to become a graphic designer, after his continuing support from family and a little friendly persuasive advice from tutors he pursued his enjoyment of painting. Tom explains a little more in the answers he gave below. Tom has his own website where he has previews of his paintings, and a dedicated Facebook page: These are the best ways to contact him.
AS: How did you know you were destined to be a part of the creative bunch?
TT: I have painted since a young age. I always found a great amount of happiness in simply painting and drawing. My family were always very supportive of my love for art and encouraged me to pursue a career in the art world. For a long time I thought I wanted to be a graphic designer. This amuses me now because when I look back to that time I don’t think I even knew what a graphic designer was. It is due to the guidance from my sixth form tutors that I finally decided to follow my love for painting and to try make a living out of that. So I suppose the appropriate answer to this question is that I always knew I wanted to be a part of the art world but without the help of my family and tutors I would not be in the great spot that I am in now. I am very lucky.
AS: Do you feel you have a hungry determination to make this reality for yourself- and if so, do you think it is the pure love and enjoyment for what you do that created this determination?
TT: I believe I am very determined to pursue my dream of becoming a successful commercial painter! I practice daily and explore new ways of creating exciting landscape paintings. I have recently booked places in several art fairs in Norfolk. This should be interesting as it will be an indicator as to whether my work is the kind of thing that people will want to have in their homes. I must admit however that if it were not for my family I would just be painting in my bedroom with no sign of getting my work out there any time soon! They have given me the support and push I needed to get my work out there for which I am very grateful.
AS: Do you think there are many opportunities for aspiring, young people to get involved with in Nottingham?
TT: I think that there are a fair amount of opportunities in Nottingham including awards like the Joan Oliver Fund. The fund runs several times a year and serves as a helping hand for young artists. There are many art galleries in and around Nottingham, ranging from very contemporary work that can be seen at the Nottingham Contemporary to more traditional artwork at commercial galleries like Castle Fine Art and Whitewall. I also know of a small exhibition space called The Beetroot Tree in Draycott where it is very possible for young artists to get their own work on display, as a matter of fact I have some work up there at the moment as part of their open exhibition. I believe they are also having an exhibition for artists aged 18 and under in several weeks which is also open for anyone to enter. So yes I believe there are many opportunities for artists in Nottingham.
AS: Last words, how do you think now with a little more recognition, and the boost of funding that you will progress into more artistic routes?
TT: With the assistance of the Joan Oliver fund I am producing more artwork, and going to lots of exhibitions and art fairs. I believe that by doing this I will be able to continue to do what I love and hopefully make something of a living from it! Without the Joan Oliver Fund I do not believe I would have had as great of a chance to do all these things, but that’s not to say that you need to win an award to progress in the art world. At the end of the day I think that by continuing to work at it day in day out and showing your work to others you will undoubtedly excel.