A Chat With Artist Thomas Campbell At His Mountainside Home
We’re going to Bonny Doon!
He’s self-taught painter, photographer, filmmaker, sculptor and artist who hates to talk about his art. You might not know Thomas Campbell by name. But you know his work.
Maybe you’re aware of his films: “The Seedling” (1999), “Sprout” (2004), or his most recent, “The Present” (2009). Or remember his part in the 2008 documentary, “Beautiful Losers.” Where he joined fellow DIY surf and skate artists Ed Templeton, Mark Gonzales, and Shepard Fairey of OBEY Fame, among others. A great flick to get lost in on those rainy days devoid of inspiration.
Me? I’m fond of his personal brand of photography. His tenure as the photo editor of SkateBoarder Magazine produced some of the best images the mag saw in its post-Surfer Publications years. And he’s no slouch capturing surf imagery, either. Have $35 burning a hole in your pocket? Pick up his photographic essay, Seeing Fatima’s Eyes. I won’t spoil much, but I’ll tell you it’s 144 pages chronicling two decades of surf-expeditions Thomas took to Morocco. It’s lo-fi, gritty, unglossed and heavy on lush, saturated landscapes. It also features Dan Malloy, Alex Knost, Craig Anderson, Dave Rastovich, Ryan Burch and more. Perfect if you’re one of those types who like reading books for the pictures.
But I digress. Thomas recently joined Vissla as one of their newest “Creator’s & Innovators.” To celebrate the new relationship, Vissla met up with Thomas at his home in Bonny Doon, California, to discuss how he splits his time between making stuff in his studio in the mountainside town outside of Santa Cruz and traversing the globe making films. Thomas is a man that’s notoriously hard to pin down for interviews, so it’s worth the three-minutes-and-forty-seconds you definitely have to spare.
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