Thomas Campbell

Thomas Campbell

Things That Inspire Me — Kaleidoscopic artist Thomas Campbell shares the threads of inspiration that weave into his world.

In the latticework of influences that inform every issue of Huck, a handful of names crop up time and time again. And right now Thomas Campbell is way up on the list.

From his countrified home in quiet Bonny Doon, the prolific California artist has a knack for encouraging others to see their creative potential as an infinite pool of possibility that’s just waiting to be belly-flopped and endlessly explored.

Just ask some of the people profiled in Huck 45 – curated by Ed Templeton and hitting shelves July 10 – and you’ll soon get a sense of Campbell’s reach.

Whether he’s hooking people up with their first shows – like the time he connected photographer Tobin Yelland with Beautiful Losers curator and documentarian Aaron Rose – or encouraging others to get their story out into the world, Tmoeski, as Campbell is affectionately known, has pulled a lot of creative triggers in his time.

Even Toy Machine filmmaker Kevin Barnett, who shares his own story in Huck 45, credits Campbell’s knack for championing other voices with his own creative wake-up call: “I had seen this interview [with Ed Templeton] in TransWorld, done by Thomas Campbell. It was the most expansive interview I had ever read.”

Maybe it’s because he leads by example and confidently cross-steps across all mediums, producing dreamy analogue films, fantastical paintings, and amorphous bronze sculptures that bring his kooky characters to life.

Maybe it’s because he never follows fads, fearlessly reinventing tomorrow’s culture by referencing our handmade past. Or maybe it’s just because he takes an interest – and is a really, really nice guy. Either way, Tmoeski’s fingerprints are just about everywhere.

Campbell’s current show, Ampersand, closes at Joshua Liner Gallery, NYC, on July 12. Here, he shares the threads of inspiration that weave into his world.

Things That Inspire Me

Talking Heads – Remain In Light


Recently I was turned on to this Talking Heads record. I have always liked them, but never fully got into them. This record was made in 1980. I think they were really into Fela Kuti at the time; most of the record is just these long jams that have a kind of Fela vibe. But then Brian Eno produced it and played some parts on it too, so it’s Fela meets Baby’s on Fire at moments. For the first half of the preparation for my Ampersand show at the Joshua Liner Gallery in NYC, I listened and danced around my studio to this amazing slice of sound. It’s funny, after that I got super amped to listen to more Talking Heads, so I got both records on either side of Remain In Light and I couldn’t get into them. But Remain In Light is the shit… and how cool is the title?

Ryan Burch

Ryan Burch 3

Thomas showing off one of Ryan’s creations.

Ryan Burch and his asymmetrical surfboards –  I dig Ryan Burch and his well rounded approach to sliding on water. His ideas and asymmetrical surfboard shapes have been really inspiring to me over the last few years. It takes about three whole concentrated minutes to realise that what kind of rail outline, bottom, and fin set up you want on the toe side of your surfboard is not necessarily what you want on your heel side. Thanks to Brian and Carl Ekstrom for making my view of surfing lopsided.

French Fred

Photographer French Fred aka Fred Mortagne is one of the true visionaries of skateboarding. I had the pleasure of working with him on my last film Cuatros Sueños Pequeños. His approach and the way he captures life and skateboarding is extremely original and unique. I have been a big fan of his still photography over the last decade. His compositions are very striking and generally when you see one of his images you know it’s Fred’s. Together with Um Yeah Arts, we are moving towards releasing a document of Fred’s black and white body of work. I’m really fuckin’ excited about this.


Seance by AMTK

Seance by AMTK

Shit, I don’t know much about AMTK… I do know these paintings are made by these two guys that make paintings together, Andrew Mazorol & Tynan Kerr. And I do know that i really dig them a lot!


Thomas' garden.

Thomas’ garden.

I like it and it makes me happy.

Thomas Campbell’s Ampersand closes at Joshua Liner Gallery, NYC, on July 12, 2014. 
Huck 45: Curated by Ed Templeton, is out July 10, 2014. Get it now on our web shop or subscribe to make sure you don’t miss another issue this year.