Animator and illustrator Tom Rainford only graduated from Winchester Art School a couple of years ago, but the showreel he sent in whirled us away with its original characters, confident colours and lovely rhythms. After sharpening his craft for a year at London animation studio Art & Graft Tom’s wisely headed to the countryside to make animation magic far from the madding crowd.
If the sweetly drawn and wittily narrated Grocery Day and the intriguing Jeremy Crab are anything to go by, this chap’s one to watch. So we thought we’d catch up with Tom to find out more…
Where do you work?
I worked in London for a while but now I work at my home in the countryside, just outside of Manchester. It really is the best of both worlds. The design hub – sorry, second bedroom – is shared with my photographer girlfriend. The shared space facilitates frequent debate over which medium is better. Illustration, obviously.
How does your working day start?
I get up at 8am and make the commute across my landing. I say hi to the hamsters – they usually wait up long enough to watch me start work before they go to sleep again. I usually then check emails and catch up on the design world, before the ‘magic’ starts.
How do you work and how has that changed?
Things have changed a lot over the past two years. I graduated in 2011 and went to work at Art & Graft in London, which was a great jumping-in experience and completely different to the way you work as a student. Now I’m working for myself, I get much more control over what I produce, so I’m working on my own animated short film as well as doing freelance jobs. Also, if I really wanted to, I can work all day in pyjamas, which would have been frowned upon in the past.
Where would we find you when you’re not at work?
Outside of commercial hours, I’m working on my short film. It’s shaping up nicely so far, but it’s still a long road ahead. Other than that I’m pretty much getting beaten by my girlfriend on the Xbox or trying to forget about it down the pub.
Would you intern for yourself?
If you can clone me I’ll do it!