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Staying Creative with Tom Rogers

This week we chat to designer Tom Rogers aka Fine For Now about his creative process and the steps behind his fruit sticker wizardry.  Check out the full interview below and make sure to go follow him on IG here

Cheers for catching up with us Tom, what sort of creative background do you have?

I think my earliest memories of being creative would be waking up around 5am most days to make stuff with my twin brother (and part-time Fine For Now collaborator) Oli, whether that be building something, drawing, wrapping Lego men in bog-roll or making some aardman-esque stop frame animation. Since then, I went to art college, studied Graphic Arts at LJMU and later found myself working a lot in editorial design and sometimes for some large, angry football clubs. 

Whats your graphic design process like?

The process consists of lots of research and reference imagery, mostly panic. Thinking about it now, I seem to think of all/any relevant ideas all at once, then overthink them to death, then leave them to rot for a bit, then revisit them to see what’s ripe and ready to develop.

Similar with references - it’s like pouring a big tub of all your Lego out then start putting the bits you don’t want back into your big Lego tub until you’re left with the right pieces you need to make whatever it is you’ve dreamed up. Even for these questions, I pretty much wrote out my life story then condensed it down. I’m not sure it’s a very good process at all.

I think I rely quite heavily on listening to the right music to get the creative juices flowing. If nothing’s helping I’ll normally refer back to my ‘Limewire’ playlist to cleanse the pallet which mainly consists of Kerrang!, Scuzz and MTV2 throwbacks.

What drew you to your current project of working with fruit sticker designs? 

It started off as a very small seed of an idea which was just to group and make little designs for the obvious artist/songs like Lemonheads, Pulp, R.E.M - Orange Crush etc and just see what happened. Back in 2017 when I started posting them it was because I’d just left my job and wanted something to keep me focused and occupied but it also gave me an excuse to post about and reach out to bands that I love so that’s always nice!

The name Fine For Now is just a reminder to stay productive and keep going in the short-term, not to overthink things and just blurt out ideas whilst they still feel fresh... even if your ideas are to re-imagine all the Premier League Managers as Magic: The Gathering cards, it doesn't mean it’s a good idea but better out than in surely?

Any design tips that you wish you'd known sooner?

I’m not sure about any useful technical tips but I would say if you get stuck or bored, if you can, go and do something different away from any screens - for me recently that has been lots of deadheading.

Any Favourite film/album?

So tough! Favourite albums would probably be Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective or The Courage of Others by Midlake. Best film could be There Will Be Blood but favourite would probably be The Truman Show. I read this really cool article a while back which pointed out all these crazy ‘bits you probably missed’. There are so many hidden cameras you don’t notice on initial viewing! 

Finally, any artists/designers we should know about?

I would say go check out the recent work of my good pal and sporadic partner-in-crime Lottie Brzozowski. I also have to mention Gold Flake Paint, the music journal I am lucky to get to work on. Tom Johnson and the rest of the gang are so lovely and it’s probably the best place in the world to find new music.

Cheers Tom!