Tom Atton Moore boasts a niche in making hand tufted rugs. He has exhibited and made waves in London (Jermaine Gallacher and Gallery FUMI) and now in Los Angeles (his current show titled “Eden” will be showing through Feb 20th) with an expertise in capturing nature and everyday beauty in his work, creating compositions that are dynamic and sophisticated. We chat with Moore to get more insight into his journey as an artist, his work process and how continues to develop his technique through watching YouTube videos.
Can you share with us your journey to becoming an artist? What first drew you to it?
It sounds cliché but I always knew I would be an artist of some sort. I think in a very visual language - it’s a blessing and a curse that I pick the world apart into things that are beautiful and things that are not. I can be very blunt in the way that I think because of it.
What’s your thought process when you begin a piece? Where do you start? What inspires you?
I observe things everyday and certain things stand out to me visually. When I notice something nice I make sure to document it on my phone. Whether it’s the changing of the seasons, petals falling from a tree, or forms emerging on the surface of water in the bath. I approach things from a design perspective.
Do you have a particular studio routine/habitual ritual that smoothens your practice?
My routine is very regular. I almost treat it as a 9-5 job and am strict with myself since I am able to create my own hours. However, when I’m in the zone, I get lost in it - the repetitive nature is almost meditative. I put in my headphones and just work into the night.
In your own experience, what is it about tufting that captivates people, yourself included?
I think people have deeply rooted connections in things that feel so familiar, such as rugs. It’s art that one can stand on, touch, feel, and live with.
How would you describe your aesthetic? How has your style evolved?
My style has become bolder with time. I would say that my aesthetic revolves around colour and form - finding ways to make an impact in a space between those two factors. When making work, I try to keep tradition in mind while also countering it with ideas that feel more futuristic. I’m constantly trying to see how far I can push the idea of what art should be.
Where do you think you are on your creative journey?
I feel very early in my creative journey. I constantly have new ideas in my head and have been thinking about scaling up my work for a while. I want to get more into environments with my work, creating huge, bold, colourful impacts that transform spaces completely.
How do you go about finding and selecting exhibitions?
To be honest I probably don’t go to as many exhibitions as I should or want to. Instagram has almost become a cyber gallery in itself. As long as you’re not thinking about scale and looking at flat images I feel you can take in a lot.
Do you think formal art training is essential to people who want to get involved in textile art?
Not at all, there’s so many ways you can get into textile art. It’s such a broad area of art. I started with a hand loom made with a piece of wood and nails. Once you understand that you’re able to move onto a larger loom and so on. Some of the best learning I did was from watching videos on YouTube - sometimes when you get things wrong you make incredible creative finds.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Sometimes I get so worked up over a piece and not liking it; thinking everything is wrong with it. I’ve learned to make sure that I finish every piece that I create because not everything has to be a final piece. If I don’t like what I’ve made, I can avoid doing the same thing in the next one. After all, no one has to see it unless you want them to.
Can you reveal what you are working on currently and some exciting future projects we can expect from you?
Right now I’m working on being more experimental with tufting. There’s so many methods within it that I haven’t tried - longer pile heights, forms, different textures, etc. As for the rest, I can't speak about it right now!