Everything is Valid, Nothing is Wasted.
The Visual Notebook of
Tom Moglu Interview:
1. What tools do you use?
Paper, Pritt Stick, one pair of very old scissors, occasional craft knife, coffee.
2. What do you do when you are not making artwork?
Play in two bands, write, watch films, organise projects that remain at ‘concept stage’, make bread, grow tomatoes, tickle the cat.
3. What (or who) keeps you focused?
I find it hard to keep myself focused. Enthusiasm works.
4. Where does the idea of your art come from? (the spark of inspiration)
I have no idea. A reaction to a combination of stimuli that please me?
5. When/if your mind is blank, how do you create?
Usually by repeating myself for a while, then getting into a rhythm. And ideas always come to me when swimming or taking a bath.
6. Can you describe your process?
Sift through huge pile of scraps of paper, hack a few large pieces about and glue them down as a ‘background’, drink coffee, find more pieces to shape the composition, cut and glue, destroy/obliterate non-working parts, cut, glue… repeat for hours.
7. What words of advice would you give to young people?
Work hard on your own vision, absorb as much as you can seek out and then find a unique style. This will take a long time, but don’t worry. And go out, drink, don’t sleep, have fun, as your body won’t take this kind of abuse in a few years.
8. Can you work with distractions/others around? or do you need special conditions?
I can work with others around, but generally it’s not good work, so I’m most comfortable alone. Usually I listen to music (Ennio Morricone is good working music).
9. Do you think hard work is the key to inspiration? or deep thought? is it the same thing?
Working hard and putting in hours is so important, but so is contemplation. Perhaps it is best to keep them separate. Deep thought sometimes happens at funny times so I carry a notebook everywhere I go.
10. Does your work have humour?
It’s playful, but not actually funny.
11. If you went blind overnight, how would this affect your work? Your attitude to your work?
I would continue to create, only my objectives would be different. I’ve made collage blindfolded, and the results are surprisingly good, but taking off the blindfold for the ‘reveal’ was the interesting part, so what does the work mean for someone forever blindfolded?
12. What is the difference between painting and collage? how important are these differences?
There is no difference if the objective is the same, it’s the medium you want to use. If you’re talking about the physical difference then there is just as much difference between watercolour and oils as collage and ink.
13. Who do you make art for?
Like most artists I have an inbuilt desire or need to create something from nothing. What I make in paper collage is a meditative artwork for the viewer. It is for anyone who can see something in it, whether it is the texture, the colour, the history, or the evocation of something.
14. Is your personal appearance important to you? why/why not?
Yes, but I do change appearance dictated by mood.
15. Tell me a story that has affected the way you work, forever.
I always remember a note for me that a good tutor pinned to my desk at college - “Things to have around - brushes, ink, rags. Go outside occasionally”
16. Will you fight for your art? Risk imprisonment? How far would you go? Why?
If I was denied the right to make art, I would fight against it. It is an instinct to be creative - I could not and would not suppress it.
17. Do you defy categorisation or welcome it?
I like to organise things to a point, and I think categorisation is a natural way to understand something new. However, I work on collage, watercolour, ink, oils, paper, fabric, prints, canvas, film, music, abstract, figurative, fiction, design, pattern (and soon ceramic) so I don’t want to be categorised as one thing.
18. How does time affect you and your work?
Hindsight affects me a lot, as do regrets. I often look at old work with contempt. And time literally affects the collages as they will fade subtly over time. When I die, these pictures will remain, physically, as well as resonating in the minds of other people, and that is amazing.
19. Do you read books?
The last few books I read were: Roth:Time (about Dieter Roth), Basquiat by Hatje Cantz, a few Bruce Chatwin books and some Osamu Tezuka.
20. What do you aspire to?
That more people have their lives enriched by something I create. And to make art all the time.